Clock Is Ticking on Campaign Finance Reform

Democrats have been pushing for new campaign finance reforms in light of the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, but, with Congress in recess this week and with more and more primaries being held, general election season is beginning to arrive--at which point corporations may begin the unfettered political spending that Democrats worry about.


National Journal's Eliza Newlin Carney reports on some of the difficulties of getting legislation passed quickly:
Indeed, the bill's authors have only token GOP backing in the House and none in the Senate. Reform advocates say they remain optimistic that some Republican senators will sign on. They note that historically, GOP leaders have pointed to full disclosure as the solution to the campaign finance mess.

But Democrats are quickly running out of time to enact the bill by this fall's election. A crowded legislative calendar delayed a scheduled House Rules Committee markup last week. When it finally does take up the bill following recess, the rules panel must contend with close to 40 amendments on everything from earmarks to shareholder protections and ending contribution limits.

The Democrats' bill would impose disclosure requirements on corporations and unions, which can now spend money directly on elections, and it would place limits on corporations with more than 20% foreign ownership, on government contractors, and government bailout recipients. It's being pushed in the House by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (MD) and in the Senate by Chuck Schumer (NY), the former chairs of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, respectively, from the 2008 campaign cycle.

Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

The Blacksmith: A Short Film About Art Forged From Metal

"I'm exploiting the maximum of what you can ask a piece of metal to do."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

Video

The Rise of the Cat Tattoo

How a Brooklyn tattoo artist popularized the "cattoo"

More in Politics

Just In