Democrats have million-dollar day on impeachment

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Democrats have million-dollar day on impeachment
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 24: U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) answers questions during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol July 24, 2014 in Washington, DC. Boehner answered questions on a pending bill to address the problems with the Veterans Affairs administration and also issues related to immigration. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 11: Speaker John Boeher, R-Ohio, Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speak to the media before signing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, in the Capitol, July 11, 2014. The bipartisan legislation is intended to improve job training programs to help those who are out of work, re-enter the job market. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 11: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (R) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) await to sign bipartisan legislation Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. at the U.S. Capitol, July 11, 2014 in Washington, DC. Also pictured are Ranking Member of the House Education & Workforce Committee George Miller (D-CA) (2ndL), Chairman of the House Education & Workforce Committee John Kline (R-MN) (3rdL), Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)(2nd-R) and Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX) (R). (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
US Vice President Joe Biden (L), Speaker of the House John Boehner (C), and Israeli President Shimon Peres (R) stand during the Presentation of the Colors by the US Armed Forces Color Guard during ceremonies presenting with the Congressional Gold Medal to Peres on June 26, 2014 inside the Rotunda of the US Capitol in Washington, DC. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 24: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks to the media at the Republican National Committee following the House Republican Conference meeting on Tuesday, June 24, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
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By PHILIP ELLIOTT

WASHINGTON (AP) - House Democrats are cashing in on chatter about impeaching President Barack Obama, raising $1 million on Monday alone, their campaign chief said Tuesday.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman Steve Israel told reporters that House Speaker John Boehner's announcement of a lawsuit against Obama opened the door to the fundraising drive. Since Boehner announced in June he planned to sue the president, Democrats' House campaign arm has raised $7.6 million.

"I understand the strategy is intended to gin up its base," Israel told reporters at a breakfast organized by The Christian Science Monitor. "Every time they talk about suing the president, that just ignites our base."

Boehner, meanwhile, said Democrats were the ones fueling impeachment talks. The Ohio Republican told reporters on Capitol Hill that his party has "no plans" to open impeachment proceedings. He called such talk a "scam."

The dueling messages come as both parties are working to engage voters - and, perhaps more importantly, donors. The Democrats' House campaign committee has been a fundraising powerhouse this election cycle, out-raising its GOP rival in 16 of the last 18 months. Although House Democrats face an uphill climb to take the majority, their fundraising operation has raised almost $125 million since January 2013.

House Democrats have highlighted the specter of impeachment in fundraising pitches to tremendous effect since Boehner announced a lawsuit against Obama for failing to enforce U.S. laws, a potential starting point for impeachment proceedings. Some 74,000 first-time donors have responded to the Democrats' House arm pitch about impeachment, Israel said.

"The fate of Obama's presidency is at stake," Democrats said in an email solicitation sent Sunday.

The average donation, Israel said, was just $19.

On Capitol Hill, Boehner said Republican have "no plans to impeach the president" and said the White House was fueling talk of impeachment for political gain.

"This whole talk about impeachment is coming from the president's own staff and coming from Democrats on Capitol Hill. Why? Because they're trying to rally their people to give money and to show up in this year's elections," Boehner said.

"It's all a scam started by Democrats at the White House," he added.

In fact, speculation about impeachment has been popular among conservative activists and some lawmakers despite Boehner's dismissal. In an interview this week, Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, newly elected to the GOP leadership, repeatedly declined to rule out impeaching Obama.

Republicans are expected to keep their House majority after November's elections. Re-drawn congressional districts favor the GOP and both parties are contesting only a handful of seats. Even so, the parties' House campaign committees have already raised more than $226 million as of July 1.

Republicans have 234 seats in the House and Democrats have 199 seats. There are two vacancies.

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