Despite backlash from Democrats, good government groups think the language in the year-end spending bill that alters campaign finance law benefits both parties’ pocketbooks too much for it to be carved out. The watchdogs were among the first to criticize provisions buried deep in the “cromnibus” released Tuesday night that would dramatically ease spending limits on individual contributions to national political party committees. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi followed suit. The California Democrat said she learned about the provisions only one day before the carefully negotiated agreement was released. Pelosi, one of the top fundraisers for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, announced she’s “deeply troubled” by how that part of the package would increase by tenfold the amount of money wealthy individuals can contribute. Reps. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Steve Israel of New York, former chairmen of the DCCC, joined in the criticism of the legislation that would allow a single individual to contribute to each national party’s three committees a total of $1.5 million per two-year election cycle.
“We should not pass legislation that just further empowers these special interests,” Van Hollen told reporters, placing the blame on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for the campaign contribution change and a rider that rolls back portions of a 2010 financial overhaul bill known as Dodd-Frank. The Kentucky Republican told CQ Roll Call late last week he was hoping for campaign finance changes in the appropriations deal, and has promised to continue pushing to ease spending limits when his party takes control of the Senate in January. McConnell has long fought to roll back restrictions on political money.
“No,” Van Hollen said when asked whether he would have supported the changes when he was DCCC chairman. “We have limits that were [enacted] under McCain-Feingold [and] this blows an even bigger hole in those limits,” he said, referring to the 2002 law that has been largely dismantled by the Supreme Court.
Full Article: Campaign Finanace Changes in the Cromnibus.