The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC, spoken as the D triple-C or the D-trip) is the Democratic Hill committee for the United States House of Representatives, working to elect Democrats to that body. They recruit candidates, raise funds, and organize races in districts that are expected to yield politically notable or close elections. The structure of the committee consists, essentially, of the Chairperson (who according to current Democratic Caucus rules is a fellow member of the Caucus appointed by the party leader in the House), their staff, and other Democratic members of Congress that serve in roles supporting the functions of the committee (candidate recruitment, fundraising, etc.).
The Chairperson of the DCCC is the fourth ranking position among House Democrats, after the Minority Leader, the Minority Whip and the Democratic Caucus Chairperson.
The DCCC originated in 1866 as the Democratic National Congressional Committee.
Due to the reform of campaign finance legislation that took effect in the 2004 election cycle, the DCCC splits into two organizations a few months before each Election Day:
# One organization (the "Coordinated" campaign) can continue to stay in contact with the individual congressional campaigns, offering advice and suggestions to candidates and their staffs in each race.
# The other organization (the "Independent Expenditure" campaign), which makes independent expenditures in congressional districts on behalf of the campaigns, is not allowed to coordinate activities with the campaigns.
In recent elections, the DCCC has played an expansive role in supporting Democratic candidates with independently produced television ads and mail pieces.
Rahm Emanuel assumed the position of DCCC committee chair after the death of the previous chair, Bob Matsui, at the end of the 2004 election cycle. Emanuel led the Democratic Party's effort to capture the majority in the House of Representatives in the 2006 elections. After Emanuel's election as chairman of the Democratic Caucus, Chris Van Hollen became committee chair for the 110th Congress, and thus for the 2008 elections. He continued through the 2010 elections. For the 2014 election cycle, Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appointed congressman Ben Ray Luján to serve as the committee's chair.
In August 2014, the DCCC said it had 444 field staff working in 48 states and planned to add 219 more by the end of August as part of its efforts to manage an expanded ground game across the nation for the 2014 midterm elections.
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