Federal Politics

Published — June 24, 2010 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

House considers proposal to eliminate all federal campaign contribution limits

Introduction

After months of false starts and compromises, the House today was set to begin debating a Democratic bill that would make it clear how much companies, unions, and other groups spend on independent campaign ads made legal by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling. As part of the bill, the House was expected to also vote on a revolutionary amendment offered by Republican Steve King of Iowa that would drop all restrictions on federal campaign contributions, meaning a donor would be limited only by the size of his or her bank account.

King’s proposal is one of just six amendments, and is the sole Republican-sponsored one. Democratic offerings include a proposal by Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio to ban campaign-related spending by energy companies with leases on the Outer Continental Shelf and an amendment by Rep. Patrick Murphy of Pennsylvania to require campaign ads by independent groups feature “the city and state of the ad funder’s residence or principal office.”

But unlike the bill and the Democratic amendments — which aim to tighten campaign finance rules — King’s proposal would eliminate the decades-old limits on contributions to candidates, political action committees, and parties. Donors now face a $2,400 contribution limit per candidate in each election.

On its blog, the Center for Competitive Politics, a group that opposes campaign contribution limits, said that while it supports the concept of the King amendment, the language is unlikely to win House approval. The current federal contribution limit of $2,400 is “arbitrary, self-imposed by Congress and well below a level that most Americans find potentially corrupting,” the group said.

Meredith McGehee, policy director for the Campaign Legal Center, supports the overall legislation but strongly condemned the King proposal. She told the Center “If it is someone’s ambition to open the floodgates … and further deluge the system with money that drowns out the voices of average Americans, then it’s a great amendment.” But, she noted, “When you open the floodgates, you get a flood.”

Though the bill has two Republican co-sponsors, a House Rules Committee meeting on Wednesday to set the terms of debate broke down largely along party lines. Democratic Rules Chairwoman Louise Slaughter of New York argued that the House “would be derelict” if this bill was not quickly passed. Republican Dan Lungren of California disagreed, terming the bill a “frontal assault on the Constitution.”

UPDATE (3:31pm): The House overwhelmingly defeated the King amendment, with 369 no votes and just 57 yeas. All 57 came from Republicans.

UPDATE (4:29pm): The DISCLOSE Act passed the House by a 219-206 margin. It now moves on to the Senate, where no Republicans have thus far publicly indicated support.

Read more in Federal Politics

Share this article

Join the conversation

Show Comments

11
Leave a Reply

avatar
9 Comment threads
2 Thread replies
1 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
8 Comment authors
SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Mark Sullivan
Guest
Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
Guest
CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
Guest
George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
Guest
j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
Guest
Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
Guest

hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
Guest
SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
Guest
Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
Guest
Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
Guest
South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
Guest
SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
Guest
David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.