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Campaign Finance Bills in the 105th Congress: Comparison of H.R. 2183 (Hutchison -Allen), H.R. 3526 (Shays-Meehan), and Current Law

Description: As pledged by Speaker Gingrich, the House renewed consideration of campaign finance reform in May 1998. The principal bill is H.R. 2183, known as the freshman bipartisan bill, introduced July 17, 1997, by Messrs. Hutchinson and Allen. Selected floor amendments and substitutes will be in order. The legislation that has generated the most publicity in the 105th Congress has been the McCain-Feingold bill (S. 25), offered on March 19, 1998, as H.R. 3526 by Messrs. Shays and Meehan;1 this has also been offered as substitute amendment no. 13 to H.R. 2183 in the current debate. Table 1 highlights key differences between the two bills, and Table 2 summarizes and compares H.R. 2183, H.R. 3526, and current law.
Date: July 22, 1998
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: January 12, 2000
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.
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)

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.
Date: February 16, 2001
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: March 23, 2001
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: January 18, 2002
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E. & Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance: Brief Overview of

Description: On May 2, 2003, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued its decision in McConnell v. FEC, striking down many key provisions of the law. This report provides a brief overview of the court’s decision and will be updated. The three-judge panel, which was split 2 to 1 on many issues, ordered that its ruling take effect immediately. Since the court has issued its opinion, several appeals have been filed. Under the BCRA expedited review provision, the court’s decision will be reviewed directly by the U.S. Supreme Court. On May 19 the U.S. district court issued a stay to its ruling, which leaves BCRA, as enacted, in effect until the Supreme Court issues a decision.
Date: May 19, 2003
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance: Brief Overview of

Description: On May 2, 2003, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued its decision in McConnell v. FEC, striking down many key provisions of the law. This report provides a brief overview of the court’s decision and will be updated. The three-judge panel, which was split 2 to 1 on many issues, ordered that its ruling take effect immediately. Since the court has issued its opinion, several appeals have been filed. Under the BCRA expedited review provision, the court’s decision will be reviewed directly by the U.S. Supreme Court. On May 19 the U.S. district court issued a stay to its ruling, which leaves BCRA, as enacted, in effect until the Supreme Court issues a decision
Date: May 8, 2003
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: January 12, 2000
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Debate in the House: Substitute Amendments to H.R. 2183 (105th Congress)

Description: This report provides a summary and comparison of the 11 substitute amendments to H.R. 2183, a campaign finance reform bill offered by Representatives Hutchinson and Allen, that, under H. Res. 442, will be in order for consideration by the House. The House began consideration of the bill and these substitute amendments (as well as additional perfecting amendments) on May 21, 1998. This report is intended for use by House Members and staff in preparation for and during House debate and assumes basic familiarity with the underlying issues. It may be updated to reflect further legislative actions.
Date: June 10, 1998
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance: Issues Before the U.S. Supreme Court in McConnell v. FEC

Description: This report provides a summary of the issues presented by 12 groups of appellants in their jurisdictional statements in 2003. Shortly after the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), P.L. 107-155 (H.R. 2356, 107th Cong.) was enacted in March 2002 (also known as the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform legislation), Senator Mitch McConnell and others filed suit in U.S. District Court for D.C. against the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) arguing that provisions of the law are unconstitutional. Ultimately, eleven suits challenging BCRA were brought by more than 80 plaintiffs and consolidated into one lead case, McConnell v. FEC. On May 2, 2003, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued its decision in McConnell v. FEC, No. 02-CV-0582 striking down some key provisions of the law as unconstitutional, but on May 19, it issued a stay of its ruling, which leaves BCRA, as enacted, in effect until the Supreme Court issues a decision. (For information about the decision, see CRS Report RS21511, Campaign Finance: Brief Overview of McConnell v. FEC.) Under the BCRA expedited review provision, the court's decision will be reviewed directly by the U.S. Supreme Court, which scheduled oral argument for September 8, 2003.
Date: June 20, 2003
Creator: Whitaker, L. P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Law and the Constitutionality of the "Millionaire's Amendment": An Analysis of Davis v. Federal Election Commission

Description: In a 5-to-4 decision, the Supreme Court struck down a provision of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), also known as the McCain-Feingold law, establishing increased contribution limits for congressional candidates whose opponents significantly self-finance their campaigns. This provision is frequently referred to as the "Millionaire's Amendment." The Court found that the burden imposed on expenditures of personal funds is not justified by the compelling governmental interest of lessening corruption or the appearance of corruption and, therefore, held that the law is unconstitutional in violation of the First Amendment.
Date: July 17, 2008
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Law: The Supreme Court Upholds Key Provisions of BCRA in McConnell v. FEC

Description: This report discusses the Supreme Court's decision in McConnell v. FEC. The court upheld against facial constitutional challenges key portions of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), (P.L. 107-155, commonly known as the McCain-Feingold or Shays-Meehan campaign finance reform law).
Date: December 19, 2003
Creator: Whitaker, L. P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Legislation in the 108th Congress

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.
Date: October 27, 2004
Creator: Cantor, Joseph E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance: Legislative Developments and Policy Issues in the 110th Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of major legislative and policy developments related to campaign finance during the 110th Congress. The report discusses legislative and oversight hearings and floor action during the period. It also explores major policy issues that are relevant for Congress, but have largely occurred away from Capitol Hill. As of this writing, approximately 50 bills devoted primarily to campaign finance have been introduced in the 110th Congress, but none have become law. A new lobbying and ethics law, the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (HLOGA) contains campaign finance provisions related to "bundled" campaign contributions and campaign travel. That measure is the only campaign finance related bill to become law during the 110th Congress.
Date: January 14, 2008
Creator: Garrett, R. Sam
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance Policy After Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission: Issues and Options for Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of selected campaign finance policy options that may be relevant to the ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. It also briefly comments on how Citizens United might affect political advertising. A complete understanding of how Citizens United will affect the campaign and policy environments is likely to be unavailable until at least the conclusion of the 2010 election cycle.
Date: February 1, 2010
Creator: Garrett, R. S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance: Potential Legislative and Policy Issues for the 111th Congress

Description: This report provides an overview of selected campaign finance policy issues that have received recent legislative attention, or have otherwise been prominent, and which could receive attention during the 111th Congress.
Date: November 3, 2010
Creator: Garrett, R. S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance: Potential Legislative and Policy Issues for the 111th Congress

Description: This report discusses selected campaign finance policy issues that may receive attention during the 111th Congress such as the electronic filing of senate campaign finance reports, bundling, hybrid advertising, joint fundraising committees, 527 Organizations and more.
Date: January 29, 2009
Creator: McCarthy, James E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Campaign Finance: Potential Legislative and Policy Issues for the 111th Congress

Description: This report discusses selected campaign finance policy issues that may receive attention during the 111th Congress such as the electronic filing of senate campaign finance reports, bundling, hybrid advertising, joint fundraising committees, 527 Organizations and more.
Date: December 31, 2008
Creator: Garret, R. S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: July 10, 2001
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: March 12, 2001
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: Issue advocacy communications have become increasingly popular over the federal election cycles. Often these advertisements could be 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 ruled that issue ads are constitutionally protected First Amendment speech and cannot be regulated.
Date: May 15, 1998
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: Issue advocacy communications have become increasingly popular over the federal election cycles. Often these advertisements could be 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 ruled that issue ads are constitutionally protected First Amendment speech and 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). Unlike express advocacy communications, therefore, issue ads may be paid for with funds unregulated by federal law, i.e., soft money
Date: March 15, 2002
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: Issue advocacy communications have become increasingly popular over the federal election cycles. Often these advertisements could be 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 ruled that issue ads are constitutionally protected First Amendment speech and 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). Unlike express advocacy communications, therefore, issue ads may be paid for with funds unregulated by federal law, i.e., soft money
Date: July 10, 2001
Creator: Whitaker, L. Paige
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department