GOP Panels Raise Twice As Much As Dems

Two Republican Party committees raising money to try to keep the GOP's majority in Congress collected about $99 million last year, nearly twice as much as their Democratic competitors.

The fund-raising gap is widest between the Republican and Democratic House committees, year-end reports they filed recently with the Federal Election Commission (search) show.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (search) collected $72.4 million and spent $63.8 million, starting this year with $10.9 million left and no debt.

Phone banks were the NRCC's single biggest expense last year; it dedicated $37 million to telemarketing, an analysis by the nonpartisan Political Money Line campaign finance tracking service found.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (search) raised $28.6 million and spent $21 million last year. It began 2004 with $8.5 million in the bank and $98,000 in debt.

In the Senate, where the GOP holds a much narrower majority than it does in the House, the party committees also are closer in resources.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee raised $26.4 million and used $18.6 million, finishing December with $8.5 million left on hand.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $22.8 million and spent $20.3 million. It started January with $2.5 million in the bank and $1.9 million in debt.