Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House with amendment(s) (07/16/1996)


Title I: Restoring Control of Elections to Individuals

Title II: Strengthening Political Parties

Title III: Disclosure and Enforcement

Title IV: General Provisions

Campaign Finance Reform Act of 1996 - Title I: Restoring Control of Elections to Individuals - Amends the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to prohibit a candidate for the office of Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress from accepting contributions from individuals other than local individual residents which exceed the total amount of contributions accepted from local individual residents. Sets forth penalties for exceeding contribution limitations.

(Sec. 102) Decreases allowable contribution amounts for political action committees in Federal elections to the level allowed for individuals in any calendar year.

(Sec. 103) Modifies the limitations on contributions when a candidate spends or contributes amounts exceeding personal fund spending limitations. Requires the principal campaign committee of a House candidate to submit certain notifications of expenditures or contributions of such personal funds.

(Sec. 105) Prohibits a candidate for Federal office or an individual holding Federal office from establishing or controlling a political committee, other than a principal campaign committee.

(Sec. 106) Prohibits bundling of contributions to candidates for Federal office by political action committees.

(Sec. 107) Redefines the term "independent expenditure."

(Sec. 108) Sets forth requirements for the use of payroll deductions for contributions.

Title II: Strengthening Political Parties - Modifies contribution limits with respect to contributions made by an individual to a political party or a political party committee. Limits contributions made by individuals to State political parties.

(Sec. 202) Allows political parties to offset funds carried over from previous elections.

(Sec. 203) Set forth limitations on the use of funds not subject to the limitations of the Act.

(Sec. 204) Permits national and State political party committees (including any subordinate committee of a State committee) to exclude from expenditure limits any amounts expended by the committee for communications with members unless the communication expressly advocates the election or defeat of a specific candidate for election to Federal office.

(Sec. 205) Excludes from the definition of "contribution" State or local political party committee payments for specified volunteer and grassroots activities. Requires that all State and local party committees shall allocate their expenses for mixed activities based on a specified ballot composition method.

Title III: Disclosure and Enforcement - Modifies political committee reporting requirements, including requiring: (1) certain reports to be made available within 24 hours; (2) making reports available on the Internet; (3) certain reporting by secondary campaign committees; (4) additional post election reporting; and (5) certain information on aggregate contributions.

(Sec. 302) Revises Federal Election Commission (the Commission) rules and procedures, including provisions concerning: (1) judicial interpretation standards; (2) requiring written responses to certain questions; (3) oral arguments before the Commission; (4) publication of an index to advisory opinions; (5) treating commercial loans not as contributions; (6) abolishing the Ex-Officio membership of the Clerk of the House on the Commission; (7) granting the Commission the authority to waive reporting requirements, if consistent with the purposes of the Act; (8) solicitations by corporations or labor organizations; (9) protections against force and reprisals; (10) banning a candidate or political committee from accepting any cash contributions from any individual which, in the aggregate, exceed $100; and (11) partnership contributions.

Title IV: General Provisions - Sets forth provisions concerning: (1) effective date; (2) severability; and (3) Supreme Court review of constitutional issues.