What: All Issues : Making Government Work for Everyone, Not Just the Rich or Powerful : Campaign Finance Reform : (H.R. 5175) Legislation requiring organizations to report all campaign donations over $600 to the Federal Election Commission and prohibiting organizations with a federal government contract worth more than $10 million from working actively for a political candidate or party – On a resolution setting a time limit for floor debate and determining which amendments could be offered to the bill
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(H.R. 5175) Legislation requiring organizations to report all campaign donations over $600 to the Federal Election Commission and prohibiting organizations with a federal government contract worth more than $10 million from working actively for a political candidate or party – On a resolution setting a time limit for floor debate and determining which amendments could be offered to the bill
house Roll Call 386     Jun 24, 2010
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This was a vote on a resolution setting a time limit for debate and determining which amendments could be offered to campaign finance reform legislation requiring organizations to report all campaign donations over $600 to the Federal Election Commission and prohibiting organizations with a federal government contract worth more than $10 million from working actively for a political candidate or party. Under the bill’s new reporting requirements (applying to donations in excess of $600), independent organizations (such as advocacy groups) airing political ads would be required to make previously confidential information regarding their donors public.

House Democratic leaders brought up H.R. 5175 in response to Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance law in January 2010. In that decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could not prohibit unions and corporations from spending money on behalf of or in opposition to political candidates.

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) praised the legislation: “Earlier this year, the Supreme Court overturned decades of precedents in a court case called the Citizens United case. The decision undermines democracy and empowers the powerful….This legislation restores transparency and accountability to Federal campaigns and ensures that Americans know when Wall Street, Big Oil, and health insurers are the ones behind political advertisements.”

Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) argued the bill amounted to an attack on free speech: “If I had the chance under the House rules to speak to the public, this is what I would say. This is your First Amendment. It's not my First Amendment. It's not the Democratic leadership's First Amendment. And yet they are auctioning off parts of this First Amendment by this bill.”

The House agreed to the resolution by a vote of 220-205. 220 Democrats  -- including a majority of progressives -- voted “yea.” 171 Republicans and 34 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House proceeded to formal floor debate on legislation requiring organizations to report all campaign donations over $600 to the Federal Election Commission and prohibiting organizations with a federal government contract worth more than $10 million from working actively for a political candidate or party.

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