Campaign Finance Bill Faces 'Poison Pill' Amendments in House
Interview by Between The Lines' Scott Harris.
Supporters of campaign finance reform legislation celebrated a hard fought victory in April when the U.S. Senate passed the McCain-Feingold bill. After a summer recess, campaign finance legislation will be considered in the House of Representatives, where it has passed twice before. But the House Republican leadership has vowed to kill the bill with "poison pill" amendments or in any House-Senate conference.
The House legislation, named for Connecticut GOP Representative Chris Shays and Massachusetts Democratic Congressman Marty Meehan, parallels the McCain - Feingold bill with a ban on unregulated "soft money" contributions made to political parties by corporations, unions and individuals. The measure would also restrict TV and radio issue advertising referring to specific candidates within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election. But an unusual coalition of advocacy groups on the left and the right, including the National Rifle Association and the AFL-CIO, oppose limits on political speech.
Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Steve Weissman, legislative representative with Public Citizen's Congress Watch, who discusses the obstacles still standing in the way of passage of campaign finance reform legislation. (A RealAudio version of this interview may be Found at http://www.btlonline.org)
Contact Public Citizen by calling (202) 546-4996 or visit their Web site at www.citizen.org