Exasperated Republican donors are tired of hearing excuses from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, and are turning to Steve Bannon to get some return on their investments.
The GOP agenda has stalled, despite congressional majorities and a Republican president, and megadonors who have plowed cash into the party want to see something — anything, really — to show for their expenditures, reported Politico.
The website reported that Thomas Wachtell, a retired oil and gas investor and major GOP donor, confronted a defensive McConnell during a recent gathering of wealthy Republicans and begged him to get some legislation passed.
“Anybody who was there knew that I was not happy, And I don’t think anybody was happy — how could you be?” said Wachtell, who has given McConnell more than $2,000 but recently stopped donating to Republican senators. “You’re never going to get a more sympathetic Republican than I am. But I’m sick and tired of nothing happening.”
Wealthy donors are frustrated by the failure to repeal Obamacare, and some of them say they’re withholding donations until GOP senators pass new legislation or elect new leadership.
“When you’re in a business and you tell your stakeholders you’re going to build a building or something, you have to follow through,” said Dan Eberhart, a Houston-based energy executive. “I can’t borrow money to build a building and then not follow through, which is what these guys are doing.”
Eberhart and other GOP donors were unnerved by the loss of incumbent Sen. Luther Strange, who had the backing of McConnell and President Donald Trump, to the wildly controversial former judge Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate runoff.
“It’s a real mess, no?” said Al Hoffman, a former Republican National Committee finance chair who helped elect George W. Bush.
Some of those frustrated donors are turning to Bannon, the president’s former chief strategist and Breitbart News boss, reported Politico.
He backed Moore in the Alabama primary, and he and Trump megadonor Robert Mercer are planning to aid Republican primary challengers in the midterm elections.
Bannon met with several GOP donors this week in Washington for an RNC gala, and he’s trying to set up a donor network to help unseat Republican incumbents next year.