- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 10, 2001

The Senate Republicans' campaign committee raised a record $24.6 million in the first six months of this year, an achievement one GOP official attributes to President Bush keeping his campaign promise of across-the-board tax cuts.
"It's a case of promises made, promises kept," said Dan Allen, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). "We went out and campaigned a lot last year on tax cuts and education reform, and we've been able to deliver."
The Senate Democrats' campaign arm raised a record $20 million in the first six months, with about $13 million of that total in "soft money" contributions that cannot be spent directly on individual candidates.
The NRSC has $15.4 million in cash on hand, $11.7 million of which is in so-called "hard money" contributions, and has no debt. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is carrying about $1.5 million in debt.
Both parties give partial credit for their fund-raising success this year to the same man — Sen. James M. Jeffords of Vermont, who quit the Republican Party to become an independent. His switch threw Senate control to the Democrats.
Mr. Allen said the Jeffords' decision "energized our grass roots" to help Republicans regain control of the Senate. Senate Democrats said Mr. Jeffords' decision excited their base, too, and helped to increase donations.
Mr. Allen also said Republicans are looking forward to contests next year in states with Democratic senators, such as Louisiana and Georgia, that Mr. Bush carried in the presidential contest.
Democrats have fewer incumbents to defend next year, with 13 senators running for re-election. Nineteen Republican senators are expected to run again next year, and Republican Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina is retiring.
At the midyear point of the 1999 election cycle, the NRSC reported $3.5 million in cash on hand, of which $2.6 million was hard money.
Both parties are smashing fund-raising records while Congress prepares to approve campaign finance legislation that would either ban or limit soft money donations. The House will vote this week on a bill; the Senate approved a soft money ban in the spring.
The NRSC said its six-month, cash-on-hand totals already exceed the committee's end-of-year, cash-on-hand totals from the previous four election cycles.
The committee received one of its biggest infusions of cash in late June when the House and Senate GOP held a fund-raising dinner in Washington.

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