Washington (CNN) - The Republican National Committee says it raised $11.4 million in March, their biggest fundraising total for any March of a midterm election year, according to the organization.
The new numbers come as the RNC's chairman, Michael Steele, is under fire for his running of the organization.
The $11.4 million is nearly $4 million more than the RNC raised in February. The GOP's opposition to the Democrats' health care reform legislation, which last month passed through Congress and was signed into law by President Obama, is most likely behind much of the bounce in cash. The RNC says that FireNancyPelosi.com, a site to raise money off opposition to the House Speaker's role in the passage of health care reform, has so far raised $1.5 million since it was set up just two weeks ago.
But the $11.4 million is less than what the RNC's counterpart, the Democratic National Committee, raked in last month. The DNC brought in at least $13 million in fundraising in March, a Democratic source tells CNN.
In the 14 months since Steele took over as chairman, the RNC has outraised its counterpart, the Democratic National Committee, according to numbers filed with the Federal Elections Commission. But the RNC has also spent more than it has raised during that same period. The RNC reports as of April 1, they have $11.3 cash on hand. That's more than the $9.5 million the committee had in the bank a month ago, but it's less than the $22.8 million the RNC had cash on hand when Steele was elected chairman at the end of January 2009. The DNC had $10.7 million in the bank as of March 1.
Steele called his organization's March cash haul a "a testament of America's opposition to the Democrats' government-run health care legislation."
"Americans are angered and disappointed that Congressional Democrats put the interest of their political bosses above the interests of their economic well-being, caving to back room deals and strong-arm political tactics," Steele said in a statement. "For over a year, Democrats sought to impose a radical health care agenda while the people repeatedly said 'No' and 2.5 million jobs were lost. Americans are ready to fire Nancy Pelosi."
Steele, Maryland's former lieutenant governor who made a bid for the senate in 2006, is accused by critics of misusing donor funds as Republicans head into the midterm elections with less money than Democrats. The party's House and Senate campaign committees rely on the national parties to help fund efforts in the midterm election years.
Steele also came under fire from social conservatives after reports surfaced that the RNC had picked up a nearly $2,000 tab at a bondage-themed West Hollywood nightclub for a group of young donors. A few days later, Democrats distributed an RNC fundraising solicitation that had a misprinted number sending callers to a phone sex line.
- CNN's Peter Hamby, Robert Yoon, Mark Preston and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story
So Mike Steele can now spend $15 million, right?
Republican deficit spending.
It got us to where we are today folks!
I hope the RNC keeps Steele as he is such an asset for Democrats.
It does not surprise me that donations to the RNC are up in March. When the family values republicans found that their money was being spent on sexcapades, they all gave more.
represents a very heavy homework for the current administration since the fund was in very great remove in order to improve economic conditions USA
I'm gonna send in even more $$s.
How much of their money......is coming from foreign powers????
More Democrats and Independent will win in 2010 and the fear/hate/obstructionist/purity Republicans will lose. Once again history will be made.
Good for us the people.
It has become undeniably evident in the past 15 months that the GOP is perfectly fine with saying NO to the duties they were elected for in order to have PLENTY OF TIME TO RAISE MONEY FOR THEMSELVES!
Who needs extended unemployment benefits, how does that benefit us (the GOP)? It doesn't. So let's say NO to benefits for citizens and that will leave us more time for FUNDRAISING!!!! Yay GOP!!!!
Getting taxpayers and companies to pay for 30 million people's insurance premiums was a great idea! not.
Still waiting for the GOP to state how they would do it different Other then tax cut for the rich and the famous trickle down economic theory