House Speaker Paul Ryan told his Congressional flock Tuesday that he had signed up a big-name speaker for the party’s March fundraiser and that he is planning to transfer $2 million to the Republican Party’s campaign arm, according to Politico. The transfer is one of the largest made by a speaker in a non-election year.
Ryan’s announcement, made behind closed doors during a Tuesday meeting with members, brings his total contributions to the party’s campaign committee up to $3 million in the little over a month since he assumed his new leadership role. The transfer shows that, although Ryan said he wouldn’t travel for fundraising as frequently as his predecessor, he is still able to pull in enough cash to fund party operations into the 2016 election cycle.
Ryan told members when he announced the funds transfer that former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will speak at the party’s largest yearly fundraiser in 2016.
Romney and Ryan have remained close after the 2012 presidential campaign when Ryan was Romney's running mate. When Ryan was considering a run for the speakership in October, Romney made his high opinion of his former running mate well known. He urged him to run for the speakership and said that he hoped that, if he did, it wouldn’t keep him from running to be president in the future.
“We need Paul in two spots at once,” Romney said when asked about a Ryan speakership in October. “You know, there haven't been a lot of people that have gone on from speaker to the White House, so I'd hate to lose him as a potential contender down the road for the White House.”
Romney himself flirted with another run for the White House earlier this year, but decided against doing so. Rumors swirled in November that he was still considering a run, but he said that he had no plans to swoop in and try to win the nomination this late in the cycle.