If the Republican Party is a business, then Mitch McConnell is bad for business.
Growing sick and tired of a GOP majority that can’t seem to get anything done, deep-pocketed donors are revolting and withholding vital contributions.
Majority Leader Sen. McConnell is taking most of the blame, starting with his inability to corral his party members to vote for a repeal of Obamacare (an actual repeal).
Tensions reached a boiling point, Politico reports, at a dinner of LA billionaire Robert Day.
Right in front of about 24 guests, millionaire oil and gas investor – and big party contributor – Thomas Watchell delivered an urgent message to McConnell: Do something.
Wachtell, who has given tens of thousands of dollars over the years to Senate Republicans, recalled that McConnell responded defensively. Passing legislation takes time, the Republican leader responded, and President Donald Trump didn’t seem to understand how long it required.
“Anybody who was there knew that I was not happy. And I don’t think anybody was happy. How could you be?” said Wachtell, who has previously given over $2,000 to McConnell but recently stopped donating to Senate GOP causes. “You’re never going to get a more sympathetic Republican than I am. But I’m sick and tired of nothing happening.”
With the Republican agenda – tax reform, immigration, the “Wall,” and health care all at a virtual standstill – the party is facing a difficult reality: Some of the party’s wealthiest and most influential donors, who spent eight years pouring money into the party, are closing their wallets.
The backlash is threatening to financially devastate the party, just as they’re starting to gear up for the 2018 midterm elections.
Politico reports that it’s so alarming that North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, who oversees fundraising for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told his colleagues at a recent conference meeting that donations had fallen off a cliff after the Obamacare flop. The committee’s haul plummeted to just $2 million in July and August, less than half of what it raised in June.
“When you’re in a business and you tell your stakeholders you’re going to build a building or something, you have to follow through,” said Houston-based energy executive Dan Eberhart. “I can’t borrow money to build a building and then not follow through, which is what these guys are doing.” He said he’s spoken to four Republican senators over the past month to express his displeasure, mostly over the party’s failure to repeal Obamacare.
Behind the scenes, the Republican has desperately tried to smooth things over with their biggest donors. On Monday, President Donald Trump met with the party’s biggest donor, Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who has publicly complained that the president hasn’t moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as he promised on the campaign trail.
When one big-wig donor was sent an email asking for a contribution, they sent back a reply to the Republican party:
“The GOP leaders should know, no movement on remaining agenda: tax reform, infrastructure, deregulation, etc. means no funding from supporters like me,” it read. “No meetings, calls, contributions until we see progress.”
Will this finally get them going?