[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/13/art.getty.rnc.steele.jpg caption ="RNC Chairman Michael Steele is speaking to committee members on a conference call Wednesday."]Washington (CNN) - Michael Steele is connecting today with the only people who have the power to oust him as chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Those people are the 168 members of the RNC, who are expected to join a conference call Wednesday with Steele. An RNC official downplayed the timing of it saying that it was a "routine" call.
But it comes as Steele is under fire for his leadership of the organization. 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.
To fire Steele, two-thirds of the 168 RNC members would have to support a resolution calling for the ouster of the chairman. The members are state party chairs and top committee officials from the states. Tuesday, New Hampshire RNC member Sean Mahoney accused Steele of spending donor's money with "reckless disregard" and resigned his position on the committee.
–CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Mark Preston contributed to this story