Washington (CNN) –"I have the best job in Washington."
That's how Rep. Steve Israel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, opened up his first briefing with reporters since he took over late last year as the head of party committee.
"I wake up every single morning trying to figure out how to win 25 seats. Being in the minority sucks, but being in the minority and being able to do something about it is priceless," added Israel.
The six-term congressman from New York's Long Island announced that the DCCC brought in just over $4.4 million last month, the second highest January fundraising total ever for the committee.
"We are shattering records," said Israel, adding that "our base is energized," and that "they are writing checks."
DCCC officials admit that around $1 million of the donations are contributions from Democratic House members.
But Israel acknowledged that the DCCC is still around $20 million in debt.
The National Republican Campaign Committee is not releasing its fundraising figures at this time.
Thanks to a net gain of 63 House seats in November's midterm elections, the GOP won back control of the chamber. The Democrats need to win 25 seats in the 2012 elections to take back the House.
"Drive to 25" is the DCCC's slogan for their campaign to regain the majority. Israel said the terrain is highly competitive and pointed to 14 House seats now held by the GOP that Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry won in the 2004 presidential election and President Barack Obama won in 2008.
Israel says that actions by House Republicans since they regained the leadership are helping him.
"I want to thank the Republicans for making my job easier. Every day they give us something to work with," said Israel.
Responding to Israel's comments, NRCC Communications Director Paul Lindsay told CNN that "judging by their continued support for massive government spending, it's obvious that House Democrats have a long way to go before accomplishing their goal of returning Nancy Pelosi to the Speaker's chair."
Israel indicated that he'll have some candidate recruitment announcements to make by the end of March, but adds that his recruitment timetable is fluid due to fluidity of redistricting.
– Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN