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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Campaign Finance Bills in the 106th Congress: Comparison of Shays-Meehan, as passed, with McCain-Feingold, as considered

Campaign Finance Bills in the 106th Congress: Comparison of Shays-Meehan, as passed, with McCain-Feingold, as considered

Date: January 12, 2000
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E
Description: On September 14, 1999, the House passed the Shays-Meehan bill--H.R. 417, the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 1999, as amended, by a vote of 252-177. Senate sponsors of the companion measure, S. 26 (McCain-Feingold), revised their proposal and, on September 16, introduced S. 1593, containing just four sections of H.R. 417 and S. 26. The Senate debated S. 1593 from October 13-20, culminating in unsuccessful cloture votes October 19 on two amendments: Daschle amendment 2298, substituting text nearly identical to the House-passed H.R. 417; and Reid amendment 2229 (a perfecting amendment to no. 2298), substituting text of S. 1593 as offered, plus McCain amendment 2294 (adopted October 14), which added certain disclosure requirements. This report compares provisions of the House-passed bill with the one considered by the Senate in October 1999. No further updates are planned.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Finance Debate in the 106th Congress: Comparison of Measures Under House Consideration

Campaign Finance Debate in the 106th Congress: Comparison of Measures Under House Consideration

Date: January 12, 2000
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E
Description: On September 14, the House passed H.R. 417 on a vote of 252-177, as amended by three perfecting amendments: Bereuter/Wicker #6; Faleomavaega #1; and Sweeney #21. This report features two tables. Table 1 summarizes and compares the ten perfecting amendments, current law, and the Shays-Meehan proposal. Table 2 summarizes and compares current law, the Shays-Meehan bill, and the three substitute amendments.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Financing

Campaign Financing

Date: January 12, 2000
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E
Description: This is one report in the series of reports that discuss the campaign finance practices and related issues. Concerns over financing federal elections have become a seemingly perennial aspect of our political system, centered on the enduring issues of high campaign costs and reliance on interest groups for needed campaign funds. The report talks about the today’s paramount issues such as perceived loopholes in current law and the longstanding issues: overall costs, funding sources, and competition.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Date: February 4, 2000
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: Soft money is a major issue in the campaign finance reform debate because these generally unregulated funds are perceived as resulting from a loophole in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). Generally, soft money is funds that are raised and spent according to applicable state laws, which FECA prohibits from being spent directly on federal elections, but that may have an indirect influence on federal elections. This Issue Brief discusses three major types of soft money: political party soft money, corporate and labor union soft money, and soft money used for issue advocacy communications.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Financing: Highlights and Chronology of Current Federal Law

Campaign Financing: Highlights and Chronology of Current Federal Law

Date: March 8, 2000
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E
Description: Current law governing financial activity of campaigns for federal office is based on two principal statutes: the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1971, as amended in 1974, 1976, and 1979, and the Revenue Act of 1971. These laws were enacted to remedy widely perceived shortcomings of existing law, the Corrupt Practices Act of 1925, and in response to reports of campaign finance abuses over the years, culminating in the 1972-1974 Watergate scandal. This report provides a summary of major provisions of federal law and a chronology of key legislative and judicial actions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Presidential Elections in the United States: A Primer

Presidential Elections in the United States: A Primer

Date: April 17, 2000
Creator: Coleman, Kevin J; Cantor, Joseph E & Neale, Thomas H
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
527 Organizations: How the Differences in Tax and Election Laws Permit Certain Organizations to Engage in Issue Advocacy without Public Disclosure and Proposals for Change

527 Organizations: How the Differences in Tax and Election Laws Permit Certain Organizations to Engage in Issue Advocacy without Public Disclosure and Proposals for Change

Date: June 26, 2000
Creator: Morris, Marie B.
Description: This report compares the tax and election laws relating to political organizations and political committees in an attempt to highlight the differences between them, and discusses some of the proposals in the 106th Congress to require additional reporting by organizations engaging in political activities. This report does not address the taxation of other tax-exempt organizations making political expenditures taxable under IRC § 527. The report will be updated as new proposals are reported.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Date: August 10, 2000
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: "Soft money" has become one of the major issues in the area of campaign financing in federal elections. The controversy surrounding this issue is due to the perception that soft money may be the largest loophole in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). Soft money is broadly defined as funds that are raised and spent according to applicable state laws; that would be impermissible, under the FECA, to spend directly in federal elections and that may have an indirect influence on federal elections. This Issue Brief discusses three major types of soft money: political party soft money, corporate and labor union soft money, and soft money used for issue advocacy communications.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
527 Organizations: How the Differences in Tax and Election Laws Permit Certain Organizations to Engage in Issue Advocacy without Public Disclosure and Proposals for Change

527 Organizations: How the Differences in Tax and Election Laws Permit Certain Organizations to Engage in Issue Advocacy without Public Disclosure and Proposals for Change

Date: September 7, 2000
Creator: Morris, Marie B.
Description: Virtually all political organizations are "section 527" political organizations, which means that they are tax-exempt. 527 organizations are created to influence the election or defeat of public officials. This report compares the tax and election laws relating to political organizations and political committees prior to the enactment of P.L. 106-230 in an attempt to highlight the differences between them, and discusses some of the proposals in the 106th Congress to require additional reporting by organizations engaging in political activities. This report does not address the taxation of other tax-exempt organizations making political expenditures taxable under IRC § 527.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
527 Organizations: How the Differences in Tax and Election Laws Permit Certain Organizations to Engage in Issue Advocacy without Public Disclosure and Proposals for Change

527 Organizations: How the Differences in Tax and Election Laws Permit Certain Organizations to Engage in Issue Advocacy without Public Disclosure and Proposals for Change

Date: September 7, 2000
Creator: Morris, Marie B.
Description: This report compares the tax and election laws relating to political organizations and political committees prior to the enactment of P.L. 106-230 in an attempt to highlight the differences between them, and discusses some of the proposals in the 106th Congress to require additional reporting by organizations engaging in political activities. This report does not address the taxation of other tax-exempt organizations making political expenditures taxable under IRC § 527. For developments after the enactment of P.L. 106-230, please see CRS Report RS20650, 527 Organizations: Reporting Requirements Imposed on Political Organizations after the Enactment of P.L. 106-230.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
527 Organizations: How the Differences in Tax and Election Laws Permit Certain Organizations to Engage in Issue Advocacy without Public Disclosure and Proposals for Change

527 Organizations: How the Differences in Tax and Election Laws Permit Certain Organizations to Engage in Issue Advocacy without Public Disclosure and Proposals for Change

Date: September 7, 2000
Creator: Morris, Marie B.
Description: Virtually all political organizations are "section 527" political organizations, which means that they are tax-exempt. 527 organizations are created to influence the election or defeat of public officials. This report compares the tax and election laws relating to political organizations and political committees prior to the enactment of P.L. 106-230 in an attempt to highlight the differences between them, and discusses some of the proposals in the 106th Congress to require additional reporting by organizations engaging in political activities. This report does not address the taxation of other tax-exempt organizations making political expenditures taxable under IRC § 527.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Finance Regulation Under the First Amendment:

Campaign Finance Regulation Under the First Amendment:

Date: September 8, 2000
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige & Jennings, Christopher Alan
Description: This Report first discusses the critical holdings enunciated by the Supreme Court in Buckley, including those: upholding reasonable contribution limits, striking down expenditure limits, upholding disclosure reporting requirements, and upholding the system of voluntary presidential election expenditure limitations linked with public financing. It then examines the Court’s extension of Buckley in fourteen subsequent cases, evaluating them in three regulatory contexts: contribution limits (California Medical Association v. FEC; Citizens Against Rent Control v. Berkeley; Nixon v. Shrink Missouri Government PAC), expenditure limits (First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti; FEC v. Massachusetts Citizens for Life; Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce; FEC v. National Right to Work; Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee v. FEC; FEC v. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; FEC v. National Conservative Political Action Committee), and disclosure requirements (Buckley v. American Constitutional Law Foundation; Brown v. Socialist Workers ‘74 Campaign Committee; FEC v. Akins; McIntrye v. Ohio Elections Commission).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Congressional Authority to Standardize National Election Procedures

Congressional Authority to Standardize National Election Procedures

Date: November 27, 2000
Creator: Thomas, Kenneth R
Description: Recent events surrounding the Presidential election have led to increased scrutiny of voting procedures in the United States. This report focuses on the constitutional authority and limitations that might be relevant to attempts by Congress to standardize these and other procedures.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Date: December 11, 2000
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: As in the 105th Congress, many of the 106th Congress bills focus on political party soft money--subjecting contributions, expenditures, or transfers of national political parties to the limitations, prohibitions and reporting requirements of the FECA. Other bills would restrict corporate and labor union soft money. Another major reform proposal would subject certain types of advocacy communications to FECA regulation, either fully or just insofar as disclosure requirements.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Voting Technologies in the United States: Overview and Issues for Congress

Voting Technologies in the United States: Overview and Issues for Congress

Date: January 11, 2001
Creator: Fischer, Eric A
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Electoral College: An Overview and Analysis of Reform Proposals

The Electoral College: An Overview and Analysis of Reform Proposals

Date: January 16, 2001
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige & Neale, Thomas H
Description: Following the closely contested presidential election of 2000, it is anticipated that Congress may revisit the issue of Electoral College reform. Although some reforms could be effected through federal or state statutes, most would require overcoming the considerable hurdles encountered by proposed constitutional amendments: two-thirds approval by both houses of Congress, followed by ratification by three-fourths (38) of the states, usually within a period of seven years.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Internet Voting: Issues and Legislation

Internet Voting: Issues and Legislation

Date: January 16, 2001
Creator: Coleman, Kevin J & Nunno, Richard M
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Election of the President and Vice President by Congress: Contingent Election

Election of the President and Vice President by Congress: Contingent Election

Date: January 17, 2001
Creator: Neale, Thomas H
Description: The 12th Amendment to the Constitution requires that candidates for President and Vice President receive a majority of electoral votes (currently 270 or more of a total of 538) to be elected. If no candidate receives a majority, the President is elected by the House of Representatives, and the Vice President is elected by the Senate. This process is referred to as contingent election and is the topic of discussion in this report.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Electoral College: How it Works in Contemporary Presidential Elections

The Electoral College: How it Works in Contemporary Presidential Elections

Date: January 17, 2001
Creator: Neale, Thomas H
Description: The Constitution assigns each state a number of electors equal to the combined total of the state’s Senate and House of Representatives delegations; at present, the number of electors per state ranges from three to 55, for a total of 538. This report discuses constitutional origins, the electoral college today and explains the allocation of electors and electoral votes.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Financing

Campaign Financing

Date: January 23, 2001
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E
Description: This is one report in the series of reports that discuss the campaign finance practices and related issues. Concerns over financing federal elections have become a seemingly perennial aspect of our political system, centered on the enduring issues of high campaign costs and reliance on interest groups for needed campaign funds. The report talks about the today’s paramount issues such as perceived loopholes in current law and the longstanding issues: overall costs, funding sources, and competition.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Election Projections: First Amendment Issues

Election Projections: First Amendment Issues

Date: January 23, 2001
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Description: Media projections may be based both on exit polls and on information acquired as to actual ballot counts. The First Amendment would generally preclude Congress from prohibiting the media from interviewing voters after they exit the polls. It apparently would also preclude Congress from prohibiting the media from reporting the results of those polls. Congress, could, however, ban voter solicitation within a certain distance from a polling place, and might be able to include exit polling within such a ban.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Financing

Campaign Financing

Date: January 30, 2001
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E
Description: This is one report in the series of reports that discuss the campaign finance practices and related issues. Concerns over financing federal elections have become a seemingly perennial aspect of our political system, centered on the enduring issues of high campaign costs and reliance on interest groups for needed campaign funds. The report talks about the today’s paramount issues such as perceived loopholes in current law and the longstanding issues: overall costs, funding sources, and competition.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Finance Bills in the 107th Congress: Comparison of H.R. 380 (Shays-Meehan) with S. 27 (McCain-Feingold)

Campaign Finance Bills in the 107th Congress: Comparison of H.R. 380 (Shays-Meehan) with S. 27 (McCain-Feingold)

Date: February 16, 2001
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E
Description: As in the last two Congresses, campaign finance reform will be a major issue in the 107th Congress, with attention again centered on the Senate McCain-Feingold and House Shays-Meehan bills. S. 27 (Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2001), introduced on January 22, 2001, will be considered by the Senate in March 2001; H.R. 380 (Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2001) was introduced January 31. Both bills ban the raising of soft money by national parties and the spending of it by state and local parties on federal election-related activities (as defined). But on the other key provision–issue advocacy–they differ notably. H.R. 380 offers a broad new definition of express advocacy, subjecting activity meeting that standard to all aspects of federal election law regulation. S. 27 classifies some messages as electioneering communications, requiring their disclosure and banning their funding by unions or for-profit corporations. This report summarizes and compares these two measures, according to various categories.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Campaign Finance Reform: A Legal Analysis of Issue and Express Advocacy

Campaign Finance Reform: A Legal Analysis of Issue and Express Advocacy

Date: March 12, 2001
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: Issue advocacy communications have become increasingly popular in recent federal election cycles. These advertisements are often interpreted to favor or disfavor certain candidates, while also serving to inform the public about a policy issue. However, unlike communications that expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate, the Supreme Court has determined that issue ads are constitutionally protected First Amendment speech that cannot be regulated in any manner. According to most lower court rulings, only speech containing express words of advocacy of election or defeat, also known as "express advocacy" or "magic words" can be regulated and therefore be subject to the requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). Unlike express advocacy communications, therefore, issue ads may be paid for with funds unregulated by federal law, i.e., soft money.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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