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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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 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.
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Campaign Finance Bills in the 107th Congress: Comparison of S. 22 (Hagel-Landrieu) with S. 27 (McCain-Feingold)

Campaign Finance Bills in the 107th Congress: Comparison of S. 22 (Hagel-Landrieu) with S. 27 (McCain-Feingold)

Date: March 23, 2001
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E
Description: On March 19, 2001, the Senate began consideration of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill. The bill–S. 27 (Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2001)–was introduced on January 22, 2001 by Senators McCain, Feingold, Cochran et al. It features a ban on the raising of soft money by national parties, a ban on the spending of soft money by state and local parties on federal election-related activities (as defined), and a disclosure requirement for electioneering messages not regulated by federal election law, along with a ban on their funding from union or for-profit corporation treasuries. Another bill receiving considerable Senate attention is S. 22 (Open and Accountable Campaign Financing Act of 2001), introduced on January 22, 2001 by Senators Hagel, Landrieu et al. It features limits on soft money donations to national parties, increases in hard money contribution limits, and a requirement that broadcasters make information available on groups engaging in issue advocacy. This report provides a summary and comparison of these two measures, according to various categories.
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The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act: Background and Issues for the 107th Congress

The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act: Background and Issues for the 107th Congress

Date: April 2, 2002
Creator: Coleman, Kevin J
Description: None
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The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act: Background and Issues

The Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act: Background and Issues

Date: January 30, 2003
Creator: Coleman, Kevin J
Description: None
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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.
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Campaign Finance Legislation in the 108th Congress

Campaign Finance Legislation in the 108th Congress

Date: October 27, 2004
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E
Description: As of October 11, 2004, 29 bills have been introduced in the 108th Congress to change the nation’s campaign finance laws (primarily under Titles 2 and 26 of the U.S. Code). These bills — 20 in the House and nine in the Senate — seek to make improvements in the current system, including to tighten perceived loopholes. In the wake of enactment of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (P.L. 107- 155), there has been decidedly less legislative activity in this area than in recent Congresses, which typically saw well over 100 campaign finance-related bills introduced.
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Postponement and Rescheduling of Elections to Federal Office

Postponement and Rescheduling of Elections to Federal Office

Date: October 4, 2004
Creator: Maskell, Jack
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002: Summary and Comparison with Previous Law

Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002: Summary and Comparison with Previous Law

Date: January 9, 2004
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E & Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 was enacted on March 27, 2002 as P.L. 107-155. It passed the House on February 14, 2002, as H.R. 2356 (Shays- Meehan), by a 240-189 vote. Its companion measure, on which it was largely based, had initially been passed by the Senate in 2001 as S. 27 (McCain-Feingold). On March 20, 2002, however, the Senate approved the House-passed H.R. 2356 by a 60- 40 vote, thus avoiding a conference to reconcile differences between S. 27 and H.R. 2356. The two primary features of P.L. 107-155 are restrictions on party soft money and issue advocacy.
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Campaign Finance Bills in the 107th Congress: Comparison of S. 27 (McCain-Feingold), H.R. 2356 (Shays-Meehan), H.R. 2630 (Ney-Wyn), and Current Law

Campaign Finance Bills in the 107th Congress: Comparison of S. 27 (McCain-Feingold), H.R. 2356 (Shays-Meehan), H.R. 2630 (Ney-Wyn), and Current Law

Date: January 18, 2002
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E & Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: S. 27 (McCain-Feingold), the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2001, was introduced January 22, 2001 in a form similar to prior versions of the last two Congresses. On April 2, after a two-week debate and adoption of 22 amendments, the Senate passed S. 27 by a vote of 59-41. That measure’s companion Shays-Meehan bill, the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2001, was initially introduced as H.R. 380 in a form similar to House-passed versions of the prior two Congresses; on June 28, the bill was modified and offered as H.R. 2356. H.R. 2360 (Ney-Wynn), the Campaign Finance Reform and Grassroots Citizen Participation Act of 2001, was introduced and ordered reported favorably by the House Administration Committee on June 28. (Shays-Meehan was ordered reported unfavorably at the same time.) The two primary features of the bills are restrictions on party soft money and issue advocacy.
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Campaign Finance in the 2000 Federal Elections: Overview and Estimates of the Flow of Money

Campaign Finance in the 2000 Federal Elections: Overview and Estimates of the Flow of Money

Date: March 16, 2001
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E
Description: Federal election law regulates money in federal elections through a ban on union and corporate treasury money, limits on contributions, and uniform, periodic disclosure of receipts and expenditures. Money raised and spent under these laws to directly influence federal elections is commonly known as hard money. Money that is largely outside the restrictions and prohibitions of the federal regulatory framework–but raised and spent in a manner suggesting possible intent to affect federal elections–is commonly known as soft money.
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The Electoral College: Reform Proposals in the 107th Congress

The Electoral College: Reform Proposals in the 107th Congress

Date: September 25, 2003
Creator: Neale, Thomas H
Description: Seven proposals to reform the Electoral College system have been introduced to date in the 107th Congress. H.J.Res. 3 (Representative Green of Texas), and H.J.Res. 5 (Representative Delahunt) would eliminate the electoral college, substituting direct popular election of the President. H.J.Res. 1 (Representative Clyburn), H.J.Res. 18 (Representative Engel), and H.J.Res. 37 (Representative Clement) would incorporate the “district” method of awarding electoral votes, and H.J.Res. 17 (Representative Engel) would provide for proportional award of electoral votes. H.J.Res. 25 (Representative Leach) is a hybrid plan. These measures have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee and await further action.
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The Electoral College: Reform Proposals in the 107th Congress

The Electoral College: Reform Proposals in the 107th Congress

Date: February 7, 2003
Creator: Neale, Thomas H
Description: Seven proposals to reform the Electoral College system have been introduced to date in the 107th Congress. H.J.Res. 3 (Representative Green of Texas), and H.J.Res. 5 (Representative Delahunt) would eliminate the electoral college, substituting direct popular election of the President. H.J.Res. 1 (Representative Clyburn), H.J.Res. 18 (Representative Engel), and H.J.Res. 37 (Representative Clement) would incorporate the “district” method of awarding electoral votes, and H.J.Res. 17 (Representative Engel) would provide for proportional award of electoral votes. H.J.Res. 25 (Representative Leach) is a hybrid plan. These measures have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee and await further action.
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The Electoral College: Reform Proposals in the 107th Congress

The Electoral College: Reform Proposals in the 107th Congress

Date: March 29, 2001
Creator: Neale, Thomas H
Description: Seven proposals to reform the Electoral College system have been introduced to date in the 107th Congress. H.J.Res. 3 (Representative Green of Texas), and H.J.Res. 5 (Representative Delahunt) would eliminate the electoral college, substituting direct popular election of the President. H.J.Res. 1 (Representative Clyburn), H.J.Res. 18 (Representative Engel), and H.J.Res. 37 (Representative Clement) would incorporate the “district” method of awarding electoral votes, and H.J.Res. 17 (Representative Engel) would provide for proportional award of electoral votes. H.J.Res. 25 (Representative Leach) is a hybrid plan. These measures have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee and await further action.
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The Electoral College: An Overview and Analysis of Reform Proposals

The Electoral College: An Overview and Analysis of Reform Proposals

Date: November 5, 2004
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.
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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.
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Campaign Finance Regulation Under the First Amendment: Buckley v. Valeo and its Supreme Court Progeny

Campaign Finance Regulation Under the First Amendment: Buckley v. Valeo and its Supreme Court Progeny

Date: August 28, 2003
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: This report first discusses the critical holdings enunciated bythe SupremeCourt 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 fifteen 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; FEC v. Beaumont), 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 (Colorado I) v. FEC; FEC v. Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee (Colorado II); 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).
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Campaign Finance Regulation Under the First Amendment: Buckley v. Valeo and its Supreme Court Progeny

Campaign Finance Regulation Under the First Amendment: Buckley v. Valeo and its Supreme Court Progeny

Date: July 9, 2003
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: This report first discusses the critical holdings enunciated bythe SupremeCourt 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 fifteen 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; FEC v. Beaumont), 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 (Colorado I) v. FEC; FEC v. Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee (Colorado II); 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).
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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).
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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 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.
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Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Date: January 10, 2005
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: Prior to enactment of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), P.L. 107-155, the term “soft money” generally referred to unregulated funds, perceived as resulting from loopholes in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), 2 U.S.C. §§ 431 et seq. The general intent of BCRA, (effective November 6, 2002), which amends FECA, is to restrict the raising and spending of soft money. This Issue Brief discusses constitutional and legal issues surrounding two major types of soft money that BCRA regulates: political party soft money and soft money used for issue advocacy communications. Corporate and labor union soft money, which FECA exempts from regulation and is not addressed by BCRA, is also discussed.
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Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Campaign Finance: Constitutional and Legal Issues of Soft Money

Date: November 3, 2004
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: Prior to enactment of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), P.L. 107-155, the term “soft money” generally referred to unregulated funds, perceived as resulting from loopholes in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), 2 U.S.C. §§ 431 et seq. Generally, the intent of BCRA, (effective Nov. 6, 2002), which amends FECA, is to restrict the raising and spending of soft money. This Issue Brief discusses constitutional and legal issues surrounding two major types of soft money that BCRA regulates: political party soft money and soft money used for issue advocacy communications. Corporate and labor union soft money, which FECA exempts from regulation and is not addressed by BCRA, is also discussed.
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: September 3, 2004
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Description: Prior to enactment of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), P.L. 107-155, the term “soft money” generally referred to unregulated funds, perceived as resulting from loopholes in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), 2 U.S.C. §§ 431 et seq. Generally, the intent of BCRA, (effective Nov. 6, 2002), which amends FECA, is to restrict the raising and spending of soft money. This Issue Brief discusses constitutional and legal issues surrounding two major types of soft money that BCRA regulates: political party soft money and soft money used for issue advocacy communications. Corporate and labor union soft money, which FECA exempts from regulation and is not addressed by BCRA, is also discussed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department