Senate GOP to Put Provision in Spending Bill Allowing for More Campaign Spending

AP Photo
AP Photo
Washington, D.C.

Senate Republicans are planning to slip a provision into the omnibus spending bill which will allow political parties to spend more money on candidates, according to Politico.

The provision, which is being pushed by Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), would reportedly eliminate caps on the amount of money that political parties can spend on their candidates. Contributions to party committees would still be $33,000 per person.

According to Politico, Senate Republicans are planning to add other provisions to the spending bill:

Other campaign-finance provisions being discussed during the omnibus negotiations include GOP-backed efforts to block the Internal Revenue Service and the Securities and Exchange Commission from enacting additional regulations and disclosure requirements on politically active non-profit groups, sources say.

Proponents of the coordination rider cast it as a step toward a more accountable and transparent system of political financing. They argue it would help party committees, which are subject to strict campaign rules and reporting requirements, claw back some of the power and control that has migrated to less-rigorously regulated big-money outside groups empowered by recent federal court decisions, including the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling.

Congress has until December 11 to pass the spending bill. Democrats like Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have warned Republicans that a spending bill with conservative policy provisions, which he calls “poison pill riders,” will not be passed by Democrats and will lead to a government shutdown. However, staff for McConnell claim that there is support for the campaign finance provision.

A spokesperson for McConnell told Politico that “There is a bipartisan desire to have that provision done.”

Politico notes that last year both political parties in Congress worked together on a campaign finance provision.

In fact, though, there has been some bipartisan support for other recent legislative provisions intended to boost the parties. Late last year, representatives for then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and then-House Speaker John Boehner negotiated a rider that was slipped into a government spending bill that dramatically increased the amount of money a single rich donor could give to national party committees each year — from $97,200 to as much as $777,600 ― though most of the new cash can only be used for specialized purposes like recounts and buildings.

The omnibus spending bill will need President Obama’s signature by December 11, 2015 in order to avoid a government shutdown.