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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Campaign Finance Reform and Incentives to Voluntarily Limit Candidate Spending From Personal Funds: Constitutional Issues Raised by Public Subsidies and Variable Contribution Limits

Campaign Finance Reform and Incentives to Voluntarily Limit Candidate Spending From Personal Funds: Constitutional Issues Raised by Public Subsidies and Variable Contribution Limits

Date: March 22, 2001
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: The Supreme Court in Buckley v. Valeo ruled that spending limits, including the amount a candidate can spend on his or her own campaign from personal funds (also known as personal fund expenditure limits) are unconstitutional. The Court did, however, uphold a system of spending limits, on the condition that they are voluntarily accepted in exchange for some form of public financing. As a result of these Court rulings, the concept of various incentives toward voluntary compliance with a personal funds expenditure limit has been developed. This report discusses some constitutional issues raised by two such incentives: public subsidies and variable contribution limits.
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Campaign Finance Reform: Constitutional Issues Raised by Disclosure Requirements

Campaign Finance Reform: Constitutional Issues Raised by Disclosure Requirements

Date: March 20, 2001
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: Campaign finance reform legislation often contains provisions that would impose additional reporting and disclosure requirements under the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). For example, S. 27 (McCain/Feingold), would require disclosure of disbursements of expenditures over $10,000 for “electioneering communications,” which are defined to include broadcast ads that “refer” to federal office candidates, with identification of donors of $500 or more. S. 22 (Hagel/Landrieu) would increase and expedite current disclosure requirements under FECA. H.R. 380 (Shays/Meehan) would lower the current FECA threshold for contribution reporting from $200 to $50 and impose reporting requirements for soft money disbursements by persons other than political parties. This report will discuss some of the constitutional issues relating to these and other such disclosure requirements.
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Campaign Finance Reform: Regulating Political Communications on the Internet

Campaign Finance Reform: Regulating Political Communications on the Internet

Date: September 20, 2005
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige & Cantor, Joseph E
Description: In October 2002, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) promulgated regulations exempting from the definition of “public communication” those communications that are made over the Internet. In response to the FEC’s final rules, the two primary House sponsors of BCRA filed suit in U.S. district court against the FEC seeking to invalidate the regulations as opening a new avenue for circumvention of federal campaign finance law. In September 2004, in Shays v. FEC, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia overturned some of the FEC’s new regulations. In response to the district court’s decision, in April 2005, the FEC published proposed new rules in order to conform to the Shays ruling. The proposed regulations reflect an attempt by the FEC to leave web logs, or “blogs,” created and wholly maintained by individuals, free of regulations under FECA, while extending limited regulation only to uses of the Internet involving substantial monetary transactions.
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Campaign Finance Reform: A Legal Analysis of Issue and Express Advocacy

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

Date: July 10, 2001
Creator: Whitaker, Paige L.
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 as election-related communications and therefore be subject to the requirements of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). Upcoming legislation would further investigate and elaborate upon this issue.
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Federal Reserve Membership and Monetary Control

Federal Reserve Membership and Monetary Control

Date: January 12, 1981
Creator: White, Roger
Description: None
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The Liability Insurance Controversy

The Liability Insurance Controversy

Date: May 1, 1987
Creator: Whiteman, David
Description: None
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The Liability Insurance Controversy

The Liability Insurance Controversy

Date: May 1, 1987
Creator: Whiteman, David
Description: None
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U.S. International Trade: Trends and Forecasts

U.S. International Trade: Trends and Forecasts

Date: October 19, 2012
Creator: Williams, Brock R. & Donnelly, J. Michael
Description: This report provides an overview of the current status, trends, and forecasts for U.S. import and export flows as well as certain trade balances. The purpose of this report is to provide current data and brief explanations for the various types of trade flows, along with a brief discussion of trends that help inform the discussion of the various policy issues mentioned above.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Aid to Roads and Highways Since the 18th Century: A Legislative History

Federal Aid to Roads and Highways Since the 18th Century: A Legislative History

Date: January 6, 2012
Creator: Williamson, John
Description: The federal government has provided aid for roads and highways since the establishment of the United States in 1789. This report comprises a brief history of such aid, detailing some precedent setters and more recent funding through the Highway Trust Fund, which was created in 1956.
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Exchange Rates: The Dollar in International Markets

Exchange Rates: The Dollar in International Markets

Date: April 17, 1987
Creator: Wilson, Arlene
Description: Mainstream economic theory suggests that U.S. budget deficit was the main cause of the dollar appreciation between 1980 and early 1985. The high budget deficit forced the U.S. Government to compete against the private sector for available savings, raising interest rates in the United States. In response, net capital inflows to the United States increased, the demand for dollars on the foreign exchange market went up, and the dollar appreciated. Restrictive budgets and loose monetary policies abroad, both of which kept interest rates low abroad, also contributed to the dollar’s appreciation on over this period.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department