- McConnell vs Freedom Caucus on Campaign Finance Reform
- December 8, 2015
- Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is a long-time opponent of campaign finance laws, so it should come as no surprise that McConnell is pushing to include a provision easing donor restrictions in the omnibus spending bill.
The provision would allow party groups, such as the Republican National Committee or the Democratic National Committee, to spend unlimited amounts in coordination with party nominees - giving parties greater influence, something they once enjoyed in the electoral process.
Opposition to this move isn't just coming from Democrats who generally support campaign finance laws, indeed its coming from some of the most conservative voices on the Hill who see the measure as an attempt by the GOP establishment to increase the power of the parties at the expense of outside groups.
Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), who opposes the measure, called it the "anti-Donald Trump bill," and claimed the provision was intended to protect and empower the "establishment wing of both parties."
Mulvaney and others in the House Freedom Caucus say that such a provision will engender opposition to the omnibus if it is included.
Rep. John Fleming (R-LA), another Freedom Caucus member, said that if there is a move to uncap spending by the national parties, there should also be a similar move to uncap the amount of money that political action committees could spend in coordination with candidates. Currently PACs can spend in coordination with candidates, but that number is capped at $5,000 per election.
Party committees are currently capped on the amount they can spend in coordination with candidates as well, but those caps are much higher - ranging from $48,000 for House candidates to some $20 million in a presidential election - and they vary from state to state.