More Lawmakers Cancel Fundraisers As Government Shutdown Enters Second Week

FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, file photo, dark clouds pass over the Capitol in Washington. Political chaos from legis
FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, file photo, dark clouds pass over the Capitol in Washington. Political chaos from legislative gridlock, the government shutdown and an increasing fear of a default on its debts have deepened global unease that Washington is distracted from world affairs and scrambling to solve its domestic crises. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

WASHINGTON -- As heavy rain fell on Washington Monday, some lawmakers decided it was not the best time for fundraiser rainmaking with a government shutdown entering its second week.

Sunlight Foundation's Political Party Time website showed that at least five events that had been scheduled for this week were called off. A Monday breakfast for the PAC of Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) was canceled. A fundraiser for Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) scheduled Monday at the New York City home of Olivier Sarkozy (the half-brother of the former French Prime Minister) was also called off. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee canceled one fundraiser Monday and postponed another. An event benefitting Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Ill.) that had 11 Republican congressmen as guests was canceled. Rep. Bill Enyart (D-Ill.) canceled a fundraiser at the Hotel George near the Capitol scheduled for Wednesday.

Holding fundraisers while Congress is at an impasse over a bill to reopen the government, leaving approximately 800,000 government workers furloughed, may send a wrong message to voters who want to see their representatives working. Still, fundraisers are usually planned months in advance and draw much-needed money for lawmakers' reelection campaigns.

Last week, five lawmakers canceled planned fundraisers amid the government shutdown. President Barack Obama did not appear at a fundraising dinner for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and Vice President Joe Biden canceled a speech at the Human Rights Campaign dinner.

First lady Michelle Obama had been scheduled to appear at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Los Angeles Friday at the home of Philip Rosenthal. A DNC representative said the event had been postponed.

Not all events were canceled. PACs benefitting Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Tom Coburn (Okla.) are holding events at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, near Charleston, S.C., which boasts of "ten miles of wide, immaculate, ocean beach."

"Instead of raising dollars and cents, these members should show some sense and focus energies on ending the shutdown, putting nearly 1 million people back to work and averting a budget default," Mary Boyle, communications director of Common Cause, said in a statement to HuffPost.

This article has been updated to include Rep. Bill Enyart's canceled fundraiser.



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