Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate without amendment (05/17/2005)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

527 Reform Act of 2005 - (Sec. 2) Amends the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to include in the definition of political committee any applicable 527 organization. (Thus subjects such organizations to the requirements of the Act. A 527 organization, as defined by section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code, is an organization, not controlled by or involving a particular candidate for office, whose function is to influence or attempt to influence the selection, nomination, election, or appointment of any individual to any federal, state, or local public office or office in a political organization, or the election of presidential or vice-presidential electors, whether or not such individual or electors are selected, nominated, elected, or appointed.)

Excludes from the definition of 527 organizations certain kinds of committees, clubs, associations, or other groups of persons (excepted organizations), unless such a group makes disbursements aggregating more than $1,000, and meets other specified criteria, with respect to candidates for federal office.

(Sec. 3) Sets forth rules for allocation and funding for certain expenses relating to federal and non-federal activities.

(Sec. 4) Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit the charges made for the use of any television broadcast station, or by a cable or satellite television service provider, to any legally qualified candidate for public office, or by a national committee of a political party on behalf of such a candidate, in connection with the campaign for such office, from exceeding the lowest charge (at any time during the 365-day period preceding the date of use) for pre-emptible use for the same period of time for the same period.

Provides that, notwithstanding such lowest unit charge requirement, a licensee shall not preempt the use of a broadcasting station by an eligible candidate or political committee of a political party who has purchased and paid for such use, except in circumstances beyond the licensee's control.

Directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), during the 45-day period preceding a primary election and the 60-day period preceding a general election, to conduct necessary audits to ensure that each broadcaster concerned to whom this paragraph applies is allocating television broadcast advertising time accordingly.

(Sec. 5) Amends the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1978 to exclude communications over the Internet from its coverage.

(Sec. 6) Increases limits for contributions by persons and multicandidate committees (PACs) to any candidate, his or her authorized political committee, or other political committee.

Raises from $5,000 to $7,500 the limit on aggregate contributions by an individual to a committee other than a political committee established and maintained by a State committee of a political party.

Raises the aggregate annual limits on PAC contributions from: (1) $5,000 to $7,500 for contributions to any candidate for federal election and his or her authorized political committees; (2) $15,000 to $25,000 for those to the political committees maintained by a national political party, which are not the authorized political committees of any candidate; and (3) $5,000 to $7,500 for those to any other political committee.

Revises requirements for the indexing of such limits.

Exempts from such contribution limits any transfers from Leadership PACs to national party committees.

Eliminates the number and frequency restrictions on solicitations by corporations and labor organizations.

Increases from $1,000 to $10,000 the threshold amounts of annual aggregate contributions any committee, club, association, or other group of persons, or any local committee of a political party must receive, and expenditures it must make, in order to be considered a political committee subject to the requirements and restrictions of the Act.

Increases from $5,000 to $10,000 the threshold amounts of annual aggregate contributions any local committee of a political party must receive, or exempt payments it may make, in order to be considered a political committee subject to the Act. Increases from $1,000 to $10,000 the threshold amounts of annual aggregate contributions a local committee may make without becoming subject to the Act.

(Sec. 9) Makes special rules for actions brought to challenge the constitutionality of any provision of this Act. Grants Members of Congress the right to intervene in such actions or bring actions themselves for declaratory or injunctive relief.