What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Campaign Finance Reform : HR 2356. Campaign Finance Reform/Vote to Intended Complicate Implementation of Reform By Requiring Mid-Election Cycle Adherence to Law Changes. (2002 house Roll Call 31)
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HR 2356. Campaign Finance Reform/Vote to Intended Complicate Implementation of Reform By Requiring Mid-Election Cycle Adherence to Law Changes.
house Roll Call 31     Feb 13, 2002
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

Reformers of the campaign finance regulatory system sought to close the so-called "soft money" loophole: the provision in existing law that permitted unrestricted donations to political parties, even as individual donations were restricted to $1,000 per candidate per election cycle. The parties were supposed to use the money for "party-building," but they had found ways to use it to support individual candidates while staying within the letter of the law. Shays (R-CT) and Meehan (D-MA) proposed a bill that closed this loophole, but to get it through the House they needed to avoid unfriendly amendments from the opposition meant to fracture the fragile pro-reform majority and complicate the bill's passage in the Senate. One such amendmentproposed by Reynolds (R-NY)-sought to change the date on which the bill would become effective. Shays and Meehan had specifically placed the effective date after the coming election to earn votes and save candidates and parties from changing strategies in the middle of an election season; the Reynolds amendment disregarded that logic and made the effective date the day after the bill passed, thus ensuring that many members would have a reason not to support the bill on final passage. Progressives opposed this amendment because they supported reform and saw the amendment as an attempt to undermine that reform. With Progressives voting "no," the amendment was rejected 190-238.

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