What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Campaign Finance Reform : HR 2356. Campaign Finance Reform/Vote on Shays-Meehan Bill to Close "Soft" Money Loophole on Donations to National Parties and Reduce the Role of Money in the Political System. (2002 house Roll Call 21)
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HR 2356. Campaign Finance Reform/Vote on Shays-Meehan Bill to Close "Soft" Money Loophole on Donations to National Parties and Reduce the Role of Money in the Political System.
house Roll Call 21     Feb 13, 2002
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

Shays (R-CT) and Meehan (D-MA) had been pressing to reform the campaign finance laws for many years. Their goal was to eliminate so-called "soft money": money that avoided caps on the size of donations by exploiting a loophole in existing law. Soft money had become a way for corporations and wealthy individuals to give hundred-thousand and even million-dollar donations to political parties, who would in turn use it to support individual candidates. Shays and Meehan had brought their bill to a vote in previous Congresses, and they used a previous version of the bill as a starting point for debate. The vote at hand was to replace this previous version with the latest version, which included provisions designed to earn votes and ensure a smooth passage through the Senate. Progressives supported this version, because they supported removing big-money donations from politics and they knew this was the vehicle for achieving that end. With their support, the substitute version passed, 240-191, and became the default version of the bill.

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