In an informal practice, both the Democratic and Republican parties assign fundraising quotas to each of their respective members of Congress. Those given positions of power, such as committee assignments, are expected to raise more. While these quotas, or "party dues," are not mandatory, both current and former members of Congress report that to advance in either party, they must be met. Dues are typically set in the six figures, but exceed $1 million for top positions.
These quotas are often met with contributions from special interests. Rep. Thomas Massie revealed in 2016 that a lobbyist offered to help him raise enough money to get on the Ways and Means Committee with the implied expectation that afterward, Massie would grant him legislative favors.
Proposed reforms range from adopting a merit-based system for committee-member selection to barring lawmakers from fundraising while Congress is in session.