(Senate - March 20, 2002)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.


[Pages S2096-S2161]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, the 
Senate will now resume consideration of H.R. 2356, which the clerk will 
report by title.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (H.R. 2356) to amend the Federal Election Campaign 
     Act of 1971 to provide bipartisan campaign reform.

  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, the time 
until 1 p.m. shall be equally divided between the two leaders or their 
  The Senator from Nevada.
  Mr. REID. Before the Republican leader leaves, it would be to 
everyone's interest to have the vote start at 12:50. All other 
provisions of the unanimous consent agreement would be in effect.
  Mr. LOTT. I think that is the wise thing to do. I appreciate the 
cooperation on that; is that a unanimous consent request?
  Mr. REID. It is.
  Mr. LOTT. We would have no objection to that. So it is 12:50.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
  The Senator from Kentucky.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I yield to the distinguished Senator from Texas such 
time as she may desire.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Texas.
  Mrs. HUTCHISON. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Kentucky for 
leading the effort to point out some of the flaws in this campaign 
finance reform bill. This has been a long process. Everyone knows how 
hard it is to get a bill into final form. Frankly, we are being asked 
to vote cloture on a bill that we have not debated since it came from 
the House. There are some flaws in this bill. I don't think it is 
unreasonable to request the ability to have some amendments to try to 
correct the flaws.
  Most people would like to see campaign finance reform. There are 
flaws in the current system. However, this bill does not fix all of 
them. It does some harm, in place of good. To have no amendment capable 
of changing it is a very bad process that will result in a bad bill.
  Last year I proposed several reforms that were in a bill I 
introduced. I am glad to see included in the current legislation a 
provision that limits the amount of loans a candidate can repay, loans 
made to his or her own race. But there are several provisions I 
introduced that are not included in the bill.
  First, I believe an inordinate amount of campaign contributions can 
come from outside a person's home State or district. You can say: Make 
that an issue. Just tell everyone the majority of a person's 
contributions are coming from outside the State.
  But what we are doing in this bill is exacerbating the problem. In 
the bill I introduced last year, I said that 60 percent of campaign 
contributions should come from a Member or candidate's home State or 
district, because I do not think a group from outside the State should 
be able to drown out the people of the State or district. The bill that 
is before us today is going to allow outside groups, whose contributors 
we do not know, to have unregulated access to the system and limit the 
capability of parties whose contributors are made public. We are going 
to have situations, especially in a small State, where the people of 
that State can be totally drowned out by interest groups in Washington, 
  I think we are creating a monster by not putting in a limitation on 
how much you can raise outside the State. I think that could severely 
hamper the people of the State, especially a small State, from having 
their views, expressed through their contributions, able to be heard 
and not be drowned out by outside groups from another State or 
district. So that was not good in the bill, and I think the provisions 
that are in the bill make it worse.
  One of the provisions that is in the bill that I am very worried 
about allows unregulated special interest groups to raise and spend 
unlimited amounts of soft money without any real reporting 
requirements. I really do not know who the contributors are to a 
private group that decides to become politically active, which they 
have the right to do. It is their freedom of speech. Anyone can buy 
time for a television ad or newspaper ad or send out a flier. You do 
not have to know who the contributors are. But we have elevated the 
status of groups such as that by curtailing the ability of our 
political parties, which have played a vital role in getting out the 
vote and informing people about the nominees of that political party. 
We are limiting the amount of soft money that can go to the political 
parties while outside groups are not limited at all. I think that is a 
blow to the political system, and I think it is really against what the 
bill's backers would want.
  In addition, I think the bill tramples the principle of freedom of 
speech by restricting broadcast advertising for 60 days before an 
election. This is the part of the bill that I think is 
unconstitutional. How many times have we heard that a large portion of 
the voting public really doesn't focus on the campaign until 2 weeks 
before the election? A poll taken 2 weeks before an election is not 
really valid, and any candidate will tell you that, because so much can 
happen in that last 2 weeks. That is when the majority of the public 
begins to collect the data they have been getting in the mail to start 
studying it. They start to listen to what is being said on television, 
which is where most people get their news. Now people are just 
beginning to tune in, the heat is on, and we are restricting the 
capability for that broadcast message.
  I think this is an area of free speech with which we cannot afford to 
tamper, to lessen the capability to be heard in this medium. I think 
this is what will be thrown out in the end.

  I have to say I do not like the idea of voting cloture on a bill that 
has just come back from the House, has been amended in the House, and 
to say the Senate really should not have the ability to amend the bill 
because if we do that, somehow it will delay it further and we may not 
ever get it to the President. That goes against everything we stand for 
in a representative democracy where we have two bodies. Specifically, 
we have two bodies so you can make sure you cover all the bases because 
when one body passes a bill, the other one may see something that is 
different or they may find a mistake. We have seen that happen many 
times. To say: do not tamper with this bill that the House just passed, 
pass it intact, is an incredible statement, especially when the 
sponsors of a bill say they are trying to open the political system.
  We are closing the Senate in an effort to open the political system? 
Somehow that does not pass the logic test.
  I am going to vote against cloture. I think it is premature. If the 
bill is closed to debate, if cloture is invoked, I will certainly vote 
against a bill that I think has tremendous flaws in its treatment of 
fundamental rights in our country.
  I would like to see some reforms in our system. I introduced a bill 
that I thought had legitimate reforms. The few parts of my legislation 
that are included I appreciate. I think there are good parts of this 
bill. But I cannot in good conscience vote for a bill that I think will 
hamper free speech and will tilt the balance of power away from 
accountable political parties in favor of unaccountable interest groups 
from Washington, DC, whose supporters I do not even know, I have no 
idea who they are, and I will not be able to get that information in 
any reasonable manner under the bill that is being tested today on the 
Senate floor if we invoke cloture and the bill is passed without any 
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Kentucky.

[[Page S2097]]

  Mr. McCONNELL. Before the Senator from Texas leaves the floor, I 
would like to commend her for an outstanding statement. I listened 
carefully to all her words. I just would point out what a wise 
observation she made about the 60-day blackout period. This bill seeks 
to make people go register with the Federal Government and raise hard 
dollars in order to have the right to say anything about any of us 
within 60 days of an election--unless you own a newspaper. If you own a 
newspaper, you are exempt from everything.
  This bill, I say to my friend from Texas, sort of singles out various 
groups for preferential treatment. If you are a big corporation that 
owns a newspaper, you have no restraints. If you are a big corporation 
that doesn't own a newspaper, you have a bunch of restraints. So the 
effort here is to give some people more first amendment rights than 
others. That is among the things, in my judgment, that make this bill 
constitutionally flawed.
  I congratulate the Senator from Texas for her comments and 
  Mrs. HUTCHISON. I say to the Senator from Kentucky, I think that is 
the part that is going to go first under the constitutional challenge. 
We have been, for over 200 years in this country, protective of every 
media outlet, trying to assure that there is no outlet that will be 
closed--other than the person who yells ``Fire!'' in a crowded theater, 
who could do harm. But other than that, to pick one medium and say you 
are going to have severe restrictions and redtape and bureaucracy 
before anything can be heard on your medium, but the other medium would 
have no restrictions whatsoever, is beyond comprehension when you read 
the Bill of Rights. It is beyond comprehension.

  I can't imagine that our Founding Fathers would have envisioned we 
would even attempt something such as this. At least they had the 
foresight to put speech as our most important right and gave the 
Supreme Court the capability to check the Congress when they would 
violate such an important right.
  Mr. McCONNELL. It is as if the supporters of this bill and the owners 
of the newspapers who are so enthusiastically behind this bill think 
that newspapers have greater first amendment rights than any of the 
rest of us. The court decisions over the years have made it very clear 
that, while we do have freedom of the press--I support that, and the 
Senator from Texas supports that--everyone else has a right to speak at 
any time without undue interference.
  The Senator from Texas has pointed out one of the obvious flaws. 
There are others, all of which will now unfortunately have to go 
through the courts to be sorted out.
  I thank her for her statement. I thought it was an important 
contribution to our closing debate today.
  Mrs. HUTCHISON. I thank the Senator from Kentucky for continuing to 
look at these bills in great detail. We have tried to offer amendments 
that might clear these constitutional challenges. I know the Senator 
from Kentucky has tried to do that without success. That is why we are 
here today. But our Founding Fathers, who probably never envisioned 
television, had the foresight to know that freedom of speech was 
inviolate under our Constitution. They gave us the clear language of 
the Bill of Rights, and they gave us a third branch of government--the 
Supreme Court--to protect us.
  Thank you, Mr. President. I yield the floor.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I reserve the remainder of my time.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Who yields time?
  If neither side yields time, the time will be equally divided on both 
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, Parliamentary inquiry: Does that happen 
automatically? If there are no speakers, the time runs equally on both 
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator is correct.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum, and 
I ask that the time be equally divided under the quorum.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
ordered. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. WELLSTONE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
  Who yields time?
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, how much time does the Senator desire?
  Mr. WELLSTONE. Fifteen minutes.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. I yield 15 minutes to the Senator from Minnesota.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Minnesota.
  Mr. WELLSTONE. Mr. President, I thank my colleague.
  I wish to speak today about the campaign finance reform bill. This is 
a step in the right direction, for sure.
  When this bill came to the floor in 1995, I was an original cosponsor 
with Senator Thompson. First of all, there are a couple of ways in 
which it is weaker than before. One of the ways has to do with raising 
the individual spending limits to $2,000.
  It is interesting that during the last election 4 citizens out of 
every 10,000 Americans made contributions greater than $200. Only 
232,000 Americans gave contributions of $1,000 or more. That was one-
ninth of 1 percent of the voting-age population. By bumping the 
spending limits up, I think we just simply further maximize the 
leverage and the influence, and, frankly, the power of the wealthiest 
citizens in the country. I regret that. I oppose it. But it is part of 
the bill.
  There was an amendment I had in the bill which would have changed a 
word or two in the Federal Election Commission Code that would have 
allowed States to voluntarily move toward a public system, a system of 
public financing, or partial public financing--a kind of clean money/
clean election effort. I think we received 36 votes for that amendment. 
I would like to have seen the sponsors of the legislation support it 
because I think we could have passed it. I think it would have 
strengthened the bill.
  Frankly, I think you would have a lot of energy back in the States--
in the States of Minnesota and Nebraska--where people could say: 
Listen, if we in our State want to have some kind of public or partial-
public financing, it would have to be an agreed upon spending limit 
applied to Federal races, let us do it.
  I think it would have been wonderful to see the energy back at the 
State level and see people have more of a chance to organize. I dearly 
would have liked to have seen that amendment agreed to.
  However, I think we need to have some victories. I think that passing 
this legislation--I thank both Senators McCain and Feingold for their 
effort--will whet people's appetite for more. I think we need victories 
in the reform area. That is why I support this legislation far more 
than any other reason. I don't like to increase spending limits. I 
would like to have seen limits on public financing if States wanted to 
move forward with that. I certainly will be introducing that bill 
separately. I certainly will have another vote on that. I think we can 
get to 50 votes. Ultimately, I would like to see a system of clean 
money/clean elections. But I believe overall, even with some 
misgivings, that their piece of legislation represents a huge step 
  Let me point out again by way of analysis that the problem is 80 
percent of the money is hard money. No one should have any illusion 
that if we pass this legislation we are getting big money out of 
politics. This legislation is the first step. It is not the last step. 
It is important that we have a victory. It is important that people in 
the country can say now we can do more. I hope that will be the 
direction in which we go.
  I want to, however, talk to what I think is the strength of this 
bill, which has to do with the prohibition on soft money, getting 
unaccounted for money contributions--$200,000, $300,000, $400,000, 
$500,000 or whatever--out of politics. Of course, what the political 
parties said, at least initially what some people said is we can't give 
up all of that soft money; it will weaken political parties. I don't 
think so. I think it would be wonderful to see both political parties 
have to get back to more rational politics. I think it would be 
wonderful to see both political parties have to rely on smaller 
contributions. I think it would be wonderful to see both

[[Page S2098]]

political parties having to be more connected to the ordinary citizens, 
which I mean in a positive way, not in a pejorative sense.
  The most controversial provision of this legislation was an amendment 
I submitted on the floor of the Senate. I would like to speak about 
this amendment. This was one of the toughest fights I have had in the 
  When you see an editorial in the New York Times in which you are 
characterized as not being a reformer, and having offered an antireform 
amendment, it is hard to take because, for me, ever since I have been 
in the Senate, after the 1990 election, reform has been at the top of 
my agenda.
  I do not know how many amendments I have brought to the floor dealing 
with this whole question of how you get money out of politics. I do not 
know how many battles I have fought. I cannot recount them all. As I 
said, I was pleased to be one of original two cosponsors of this 
  But when this bill came to the floor of the Senate, my concern was 
that we would have a prohibition of the soft money going to the 
political parties and to corporations and unions but there would be no 
prohibition of soft money going to all kinds of other groups and 
organizations that would proliferate and would basically raise soft 
money and go on television with these sham issue ads, in which case I 
was not even sure the legislation would be a step forward.
  If we had less of this money going to the parties but more of it 
going to all kinds of independent groups and organizations--``Americans 
For This'' and ``Americans For That''--that could raise $200,000, 
$300,000, $400,000, $500,000 at a crack and put it into these sham 
issue ads, I do not think we would be any better off.
  So the amendment I offered to this bill said we would also have the 
same prohibition on soft money applied to all of these independent 
groups that applied to all of these sham ads. This is not to say that 
any organization cannot raise money and put on ads 60 days before an 
election. But what we do say is, you have to abide by the same spending 
limits as everybody else. That was the amendment.
  I say to colleagues in this Senate Chamber, I do not think I have 
ever done this more than once in the last 11\1/2\ years--I hope not 
because it will come off a little self-serving--but I am really proud 
of that amendment, and I feel vindicated because--do you what want to 
know something?--in the House of Representatives, there were many 
Members who wanted to make sure we did not create this huge loophole, 
who wanted to make sure the prohibition of soft money would apply to 
these sham issue ads as well. That was part of the reason they 
supported this legislation.
  So by having the same feature, the same provision in both bills, we 
did not have to make this change in the House It kept this bill out of 
a conference committee. I remind my colleagues of that. We did not have 
to go to conference committee. We were able to get the necessary number 
of votes in the House of Representatives. The bill came back to the 
Senate, and we are where we are.
  This is one of the two major provisions of this campaign finance 
reform bill. I point out to Senators, on both sides of the aisle, in my 
view, this is one of the critical features because, again, I am pleased 
to go after the soft money. I wish we did not raise the hard money 
contributions. I still think we have a lot of work to go after big 
money in politics. But if we were going to have a prohibition on the 
soft money to the parties, and to the unions and corporations, and we 
were not going to be doing anything about all kinds of other groups and 
organizations that could then raise all this money, in huge sums, and 
then put on these sham issue ads, then we would not have been any 
better off. We would have had a huge loophole.
  I am proud of the fact that I brought that amendment to the floor. I 
regret how tough a fight it was, although I do not mind tough fights. 
It was a victory. I certainly regret some of the characterization of 
that amendment. I would remind any number of different newspapers, as a 
matter of fact, subsequent to that battle in the Senate, many papers 
have now editorialized for that amendment. It is one of the critical 
provisions in the bill. It made it possible for us to pass it in the 
House because many Representatives were saying: Wait a minute, if you 
have this loophole, we are going to weaken the parties and we are going 
to enhance the strength of all these different interest groups 
everywhere. So it made it possible to pass it in the House. It meant 
that the House bill and the Senate bill--because certainly Congressmen 
Meehan and Shays wanted this feature in the bill--were in identical 
form. It meant we did not have to go to conference committee. It meant 
we got the bill before us. And it means we are going to pass the bill 
before us today.

  So I am really proud of that work. For me, this has been 11 years of 
fighting over this issue. I do not think there is anything more 
important we can do than to pass this legislation. I am sure we will 
get cloture, if we have a cloture vote. I am sure this bill will pass 
by the end of the day. I am sure this bill will be a significant reform 
and a significant step forward. It will not be a great leap sideways.
  I am sure people in the country will feel better about the fact we 
have passed some reform legislation. I am also sure no one in Minnesota 
and no one in the United States of America should believe we have now 
created a level playing field, where you do not have to be a 
millionaire to run, where you do not have to depend upon big money to 
win, where you get a lot of the big money out of politics and you get 
more ordinary citizens back into politics.
  We are not there yet. This bill does not get us there. But do you 
know what? It is a step forward. It is a victory for the citizens in 
the country. I think it is a victory for good government. It is not 
Heaven on Earth, but it makes the political Earth a little better on 
  I am very pleased we are finally at this point. For me, there have 
been many years of struggle on this question. And I will finish where I 
started, and I will say this. I apologize, in a kind of a self-
aggrandizing way--I am fiercely proud of the fact that this 
controversial provision and amendment was an amendment I brought to the 
Senate. We won it in a tough fight. There was plenty of attack over it. 
We needed to plug that loophole. We needed to make sure the soft money 
did not flow to all these different interest groups that would 
basically then take over all the campaigns. I am honored to be a part 
of this reform bill.
  I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, first of all, I commend our colleague from 
Minnesota for his typical eloquence. I, too, think he offered a very 
valuable amendment and one that, as he has explained, ran the risk of 
sinking the legislation, but that did not make the amendment any less 
worthy. For oftentimes, in a situation where a proposal makes all the 
sense in the world, for a variety of other reasons it may make it 
difficult to continue the process.
  But his point about treating some organizations differently than 
others is based on sound logic. I commend him for his efforts and his 
participation in the debate on this subject matter and for his 
longstanding commitment to the issue of campaign finance reform.
  Today is, in fact, one of those historic days. It may not look that 
way at this particular moment in the Chamber where every seat is not 
occupied, but we are coming down to the final hours of what has been a 
very lengthy, contentious, and highly charged debate, going back years 
in this country. It will come to a culmination, I am told, possibly as 
early as this afternoon. We will vote, finally, on a package dealing 
with campaign finance reform.
  It is an issue I have supported over the years, since arriving in the 
Congress, for that matter, in the other body, where I served for some 6 
years before coming to the Senate 21 years ago.
  The issue of campaign finance reform--in the wake of Watergate in the 
mid-1970s, which spawned the underlying legislation that dealt with 
Presidential races and campaign finance issues--has been an ongoing 
discussion and debate for many years and one I have associated myself 
with as both a Member of the other body and a Member of this body.

[[Page S2099]]

  The action we are going to take later today is going to rewrite one 
of our Nation's Federal campaign finance laws in a very fundamental 
way. As has been stated over and over again, the Senate will approve 
legislation addressing what the American people believe is maybe the 
single most egregious abuse of our campaign finance system, and that is 
the raising and spending of unlimited and unregulated so-called soft 
money in our Federal elections.
  It is not the only problem in our campaign finance laws. It is not 
the only answer. But it is the answer around which a majority of 
Members here could coalesce. I would have preferred a system that has 
been used at the Presidential level, which I think has worked very 
well. And every American President, regardless of party, has embraced 
it, going back to the late 1970s: Ex-Presidents Ronald Reagan, George 
Bush, Sr., the father, as well as President Clinton, and President 
Bush, the son. All have embraced the principle of matching campaign 
contributions, public support, with limits, prohibitions, and 
disclosure on the amounts spent on campaigns. To their credit, every 
Republican candidate and Democratic candidate have done so.

  While it is extremely expensive to run for President, in the absence 
of that structure, I think we would have watched the cost in 
Presidential campaigns double, triple, maybe quadruple what it is 
  Today, there is not a majority of Members of this body or the any 
other body who would support a similar structure for congressional 
races, Senate or House. So no matter how good the idea may be, if you 
can't muster 51 votes here and a majority in the House, then the idea 
is only that: it is a good idea, but it lacks the ability to build the 
necessary majority support for the idea to become law.
  This is the formula we have been able to coalesce around, to either 
ban, or place specific and real limits, on soft money in our Federal 
elections. While others may wish we had a different formula, it seems 
to me that not to do anything because you are unable to get your 
formula adopted would be a huge mistake.
  I strongly support this approach, although I might have preferred 
  The exploding use of soft money that permeates our campaign system 
is, of course, having, in the minds of many, a corrupting influence, 
suggesting that large contributions by donors to officeholders, 
candidates, and political parties provide those donors with preferred 
access and influence over public policy.
  Whether or not that is the case is immaterial, I have never 
suggested, I have never known of a particular Member whom I thought 
cast a ballot because of a contribution. In the minds of most people--a 
sad commentary--maybe not most, but many people, that is the case. That 
is what they think happens. So it then becomes a fact to them. Whether 
or not the reality lines up with that perception is something else. But 
if in the minds of Americans, our public citizens at large, in whom we 
must maintain the confidence of an electoral democratic process, our 
campaign financing system is so corrupted by large contributions, that 
is a stark reality with which we have to contend.
  That is what our distinguished colleagues from Arizona and Wisconsin, 
Senators McCain and Feingold, and their supporters have had in mind 
over the years.
  It is not unreasonable that the public perception of even the 
appearance of corruption erodes public confidence in the integrity of 
our electoral process and the independence of our democracy. If the 
McCain-Feingold/Shays-Meehan legislation does nothing else but 
eviscerate the soft money loophole, it will be considered the most 
effective reform in decades. I am convinced this legislation is 
narrowly tailored to strike the appropriate and constitutionally sound 
balance between the two competing values scrutinized by the Supreme 
Court in the historic case of Buckley v. Valeo: Protecting free speech 
and limiting ``the actuality and the appearance of corruption.''
  It has been decades since Congress took similar comprehensive action 
with enactment of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971. The one 
thing we cannot afford to do is wait any longer. Now is the time to 
enact the McCain-Feingold/Shays-Meehan legislation. The American people 
have shown an incredible amount of patience in waiting for this law to 
be enacted.

  I predict this debate will find its place in history. The debate, 
going back to the end of March and early April of 2001, will go down as 
one of the most significant, worthwhile debates in the recent history 
of this institution. Everyone had a chance to offer whatever amendments 
they wanted to on the bill. It was free flowing. It was actually an 
ongoing debate and discussion about ideas. The Senator from Minnesota, 
during that period, offered his amendment. We had many other ideas 
being offered by a number of Senators that had a chance for full 
discussion and airing. We then had the opportunity to vote those 
  I compliment the Democratic leader, Tom Daschle, for his willingness 
and his leadership in providing the opportunity for every Member to 
have full input in the rush of passage. This issue was of paramount 
importance to the continued health of our democracy. The majority 
leader's handling in the winding-down process of the campaign finance 
debate exemplified the Senate at its best. The Senator from Nevada, Mr. 
Reid, played a very important role as well in seeing to it that 
everyone had a chance to be heard as we went through that historic 
debate last year.
  Now, as we prepare for the final passage, the unrestricted 
opportunity to offer and debate amendments, the unrestricted 
opportunity for all parties to complete negotiations for a technical 
corrections bill, and the opportunity for all Members to be heard are 
the hallmarks of the world's greatest deliberative body. We should all 
be proud to be Members of it, as we finalize this product.
  At the same time, I also acknowledge the influence and the passion 
the Senator from Kentucky has brought to this issue. He is the ranking 
member of the Rules Committee, the former chairman. I have said on 
other occasions, he embraces an unyielding belief in how the financing 
of our campaigns should be accomplished. There are concerns about the 
constitutionality of certain provisions, whether or not this is the way 
we ought to be regulating speech in this country. I disagree with 
Senator McConnell with respect to his conclusions that most or some of 
these provisions are unconstitutional with respect to first amendment 
right to free speech and association. However, I admire people who have 
strong beliefs and are willing to fight for them. Whatever else one may 
say about the substance of this debate, we all admire the commitment 
and strength of Senator McConnell and his commitment to his ideas and 
how hard he has fought for them.
  Certainly Senators Feingold and McCain, Congressman Shays, and 
Congressman Meehan deserve the lion's share of credit for pursuing this 
issue. They have been unyielding in their determination in the face of 
a lot of criticism, a lot of people pushing in the other direction. 
They stuck with it. As a result, we are about to adopt historic 
legislation that will bear their names. Whatever else they may 
accomplish--and they have in many other areas--I know for Senators 
Feingold and McCain, the accomplishment of campaign finance reform will 
culminate one of their finest hours of public service. They have 
rightly received the acknowledgment for their efforts in bringing this 
bill to its final conclusion.
  I support this legislation. I thank the Democratic leader and whip, 
Senator Reid, the two sponsors of the bill in the Senate, and those who 
have opposed it. This has been one of the finer debates in which I have 
participated in my service in the Senate, the culmination of which is 
not going to alter the course of history, but it is going to bring a 
significant, profound, and worthwhile change in how we finance our 
campaigns for public office at the Federal level.
  For all these reasons, I am privileged and honored to be associated 
with campaign finance reform legislation and commend those who have 
been engaged in this debate in helping us to arrive at this moment.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Nevada.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, the Senator from Connecticut, in his usual 
way, passed a lot of accolades to everyone

[[Page S2100]]

except himself. This was one of the most difficult to manage bills I 
have seen on the floor. Senator Dodd managed that bill as well as I 
have ever seen a bill managed during the time I have been in the 
Senate. I thank him for his compliments to the leader and to me. We 
just basically stood and watched him do all that he did to get to the 
point where it passed. It was extremely difficult. I thank him.
  Based on a conversation I had this morning on the floor with the 
Republican leader, I ask unanimous consent that time beginning at 12:30 
today be equally divided and controlled as follows: Senator Lott or a 
designee from 12:30 to 12:40; Senator Daschle or a designee from 12:40 
to 12:50.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
  Mr. REID. Senator Dodd, who would normally manage the bill, has other 
obligations. The majority leader has asked that the time be controlled 
and designated by the Senator from Wisconsin, Mr. Feingold, whose name 
is associated with this important legislation.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
  The Senator from Wisconsin.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Nevada. I 
strongly agree with him with regard to the outstanding job the Senator 
from Connecticut did in managing this bill. It was truly masterful and 
essential, given the open and difficult nature of the process. I thank 
him for his kind words.
  How much time remains on our side?
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. There are 44 minutes at this time, 
not counting the time for the leadership just prior to the vote.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Thank you, Mr. President.
  I am about to yield to one of the Senators who was very helpful on 
this issue. I have been through many of the turning points on this 
issue over 7 years. One of the clear turning points was the group of 
Senators who arrived after the 2000 election. None has been more loyal 
and helpful in the process than the Senator from Missouri. I am 
grateful for her support on this issue.
  I yield 10 minutes to Senator Carnahan from Missouri.
  Mrs. CARNAHAN. Mr. President, today marks the final stage for 
congressional action on campaign finance reform legislation. That we 
have reached this point is a testament to the leadership of my 
colleagues, John McCain and Russ Feingold. I thank them for their 
dedication. The American people are grateful to them for helping to 
restore our democracy.
  Our Founding Fathers gave us a tremendous gift: the experiment in 
self-government, an experiment that embodies faith in mankind, a 
revolutionary idea of governance.
  To those who say Americans have deviated from this course, to those 
who say Americans have become apathetic or disinterested, I say 
Americans cherish their democracy as never before.
  Dating back to the birth of our Nation, numerous observers have 
visited America's shores to witness firsthand the wonders of this 
Government. In ``Democracy in America,'' Alexis de Tocqueville 
commented on the trust vested by the American people in their elected 
officials. He said:

       The electors see their representatives not only as a 
     legislator for the state, but also as the natural protector 
     of local interests in the legislature; indeed, they almost 
     seem to think that he has a power of attorney to represent 
     each constituent.

  Certainly, De Tocqueville identified a sacred trust--a trust still 
held and cherished by the American people. We, as elected officials, 
must not jeopardize that trust. Voters understand the danger of money 
in politics. Voters understand that the so-called special interests can 
have an insidious effect on good government. They have seen Enron reel 
and topple. Between 1989 and 2001, Enron contributed nearly $6 million 
to Federal parties and candidates. It is fair for our constituents --
many of whom lost their savings when Enron collapsed--to ask what Enron 
got in return. Now voters are calling for our Government to take action 
to prevent special interests from having the ability to whisper in the 
ear of elected officials simply because their campaign coffers have 
been filled.
  The clarion call for action can no longer be ignored. We must have 
systemic change. The legislation before us today cleans up our system 
and strengthens our democracy. Banning unlimited contributions 
eliminates the very worst aspect of our campaign finance system: huge 
contributions that distort the democratic process.
  Banning soft money will not make our system perfect, but it will 
cleanse our politics and make it possible for the voices of ordinary 
Americans to be heard. No longer will wealthy special interest groups 
have an advantage over average, hard-working citizens. By diminishing 
the role of money in politics, this bill will help to ensure that 
elected officials spend less time fundraising and more time doing the 
job they were elected to do.
  This bill will strengthen democracy by strengthening the faith that 
Americans have in their elected officials and Government. No one 
understands the connection between campaign finance reform and love of 
country better than my colleague, John McCain. His service and his 
sacrifice for the Nation stand as an inspiration for all of us. His 
dedication to the cause of reform is a continuation of that service.
  Vaclav Havel once said that ``democracy is like a horizon, always 
approaching.'' Democracy has always been a work in progress.
  In fact, I am reminded of a story once told about 
President Eisenhower, who had a painting hung in his office--the Oval 
Office. It was a painting of the signing of the Declaration of 
Independence. The strange thing about the painting was that it was not 
completed. It was only two-thirds complete. There was some raw, 
unfinished canvas in one corner. Someone asked him: ``Why did you hang 
such a picture?'' He said: ``I found it in the basement of the White 
House. The painting had been commissioned many years earlier, but the 
painter had died before the work was completed.'' But Eisenhower hung 
it anyhow because he said it reminded him that democracy is an 
unfinished work and that there is room in the picture for all of us. 
Campaign finance reform reminds us that democracy is an unfinished 
work, and the passage of this bill will ensure us that there is room in 
the picture for all of us.

  Thank you, Mr. President.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Who yields time?
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, I yield 5 minutes to one of our most 
steadfast supporters of this bill from the time we began, from the time 
we were sworn in together as Senators, the Senator from California, 
Mrs. Boxer.
  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I say to Senator Feingold, thank you very 
much for your work on this bill that we are about to pass. You and 
Senator McCain were steadfast, and you never gave up. You focused and 
you fought, and every time there was back sliding, you refused to give 
up. I think it is a model for all of us, and it is a model for young 
people to see that if you have a goal and you stick with it, and it is 
right, you are going to win in the end--eventually.
  Having said that, I just hope this is the start of going back to one 
of the original ideas of Senators Feingold and McCain, which was really 
to limit campaign spending. There are a couple of wonderful things 
about the bill on which we are about to vote for which I want to say 
thank you.
  No longer will Federal candidates have to go and ask for unlimited 
sums of money for our parties and be put in a position where, even if, 
of course, we are not going to give special privilege to the people 
giving it, it has that appearance of a conflict of interest. And the 
American people have every right to question what we do if they look 
and see the large sums of money we receive. I think the Enron scandal 
brought this home. I think people felt terrible that they had taken 
these sums. That was the system. They may have done absolutely nothing 
to help a company that had gone astray, but it looks bad.
  I say to Senators Feingold and McCain, thank you for that provision.
  Soft money is out of the picture for Federal candidates, and that is 
a good thing for us. We still have to raise, however, large sums of 
money. In the case of California, it is an obscene amount of money 
because of the cost of television, the cost of mail, the cost of

[[Page S2101]]

grassroots organizing in a State of 34 million people--we are talking 
about sums required in excess of $20 million. Believe me, when I say 
$20 million, that is on the low side of what you really need to spend 
in order to get your message across in light of vicious attacks that 
will come.
  Another good thing about McCain-Feingold: Those vicious attacks that 
have come from large soft money contributions will not be able to come 
60 days before your election. That is a big plus because that is what 
we find--that candidates at the end simply cannot respond to this 
barrage of activity.
  So I feel personally grateful, going into an election cycle, that in 
2004 candidates will not have this burden to raise hundreds of 
thousands of dollars from one source in soft money. That will not be 
allowed. I think that is good for the candidate. I think that is good 
for the country, it is good for the legislative process. We will not be 
hit by these last-minute ads with unregulated soft money at the end, to 
which we will be unable to respond.
  I want to work on this further. We still have a big problem. One 
thing got knocked out of the bill, which was ensuring that the lowest 
rates would be available to us on television. That got knocked out of 
the bill. I am still forced, and so are my colleagues from these high-
cost States, to have to scramble to raise funds from individuals to get 
our message out on TV.

  Unfortunately--although I always run a grassroots campaign, as many 
of my colleagues do--in these large States, even if one works 24 hours 
a day, morning, noon, and night, one cannot meet all the voters, the 
millions of voters. We have to rely on TV and radio. It is very costly. 
We will still have to do that, a few thousand dollars at a time, which 
means we are going to be very busy.
  Until we can limit campaign spending, we are going to be in this 
terrible situation. We all know, including Senator Feingold, this bill 
is not the be-all or the end-all, but it is a strong start, and I am 
proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with my colleagues on this one. I 
hope we get an overwhelming vote and can celebrate the fact that, after 
all these many years, we are moving to get control of a system that is 
out of control.
  I thank the Chair. I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Reed). The time of the Senator has 
  Who yields time? The Senator from Wisconsin.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from California. I 
could not agree with her more. This is a modest step, it is a first 
step, it is an essential step, but it does not even begin to address, 
in some ways, the fundamental problems that exist with the hard money 
aspect of the system.
  I pledge to work with Senator Boxer and everybody else to continue 
the efforts to accomplish more.
  Mr. President, how much time do we have remaining on our side?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wisconsin has 32 minutes.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum and 
ask unanimous consent that the time be charged to both sides.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The clerk 
will call the roll.
  The senior assistant bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I yield 45 minutes of my time to the 
distinguished senior Senator from Texas.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Texas.
  Mr. GRAMM. Mr. President, this issue has been talked about at great 
length, and has been the focus of attention in Washington, DC, but I do 
not believe it has been or is the focus of attention on Main Street, 
  We are coming to the end of the debate where it appears this bill 
will be passed by the Senate in the same form it was passed by the 
House, then sent to the President, and signed into law.
  I wish this morning to talk about the issue that is before us and to 
explain why I am very strongly opposed to the bill. I think it is a 
case study in the power of special interest. I thank Senator McConnell 
for his leadership on the issue.
  I will begin with another observation. I congratulate Senator McCain 
and Senator Feingold. If there is anything we know about democracy, it 
is that majority rule does not exist in practice. In a democracy, 
intensity determines the outcome of debate on public policy. It is the 
willingness of often a small number of people who care passionately 
about something, who have overriding and burning interest, their 
willingness to stay with that issue and to fight for it day after day, 
week after week, month after month, and to ultimately wear down those 
who do not care equally.
  Anyone who does not understand that does not understand American 
democracy. We are here today because of the intense desire of a 
relatively small number of people to see this bill become law. I 
congratulate Senator Feingold and Senator McCain. I believe they are 
both wrong, but they are not wronghearted. In my opinion, they are 
wrongheaded on this issue even though they both believe that what they 
are doing is in the interest of America. As Thomas Jefferson said long 
ago: Good men with the same facts often disagree.
  Why am I so strongly against this bill? First of all, I am not 
running again. I am about to close out my public life and exit the 
public stage, as Washington expressed it.
  I am profoundly opposed to this bill, first because it is clearly 
  Elected officials take an oath to support and defend the Constitution 
against all enemies, foreign and domestic. In the early days of the 
Republic, the oath was taken very seriously. Officials took it as a 
charge to themselves, given their individual capacity. I went to Korea 
when the first real election in history had occurred, and they swore in 
a new President. It really came home to me how different our system is. 
When he swore on behalf of the people of Korea, he swore an oath to the 
people. Under our system we do not swear any oath to the people. I took 
no oath to the people of Texas. The oath I took was to uphold, protect, 
and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. 
That was the oath.
  In the early days, each individual who took that oath took it upon 
themselves to make a judgment, to determine what was and what was not 
constitutional. Since they had put their hand on the Bible, they took 
constitutionality issues very seriously. I am sure John Marshall, when 
he introduced judicial review in his famous Supreme Court rulings that 
had a profound, positive impact on America, never foresaw the day would 
come when Members of Congress might put their hands on the Bible and 
swore to uphold, protect, and defend the Constitution and then say: It 
is not up to me to make a determination as to whether something is 
constitutional; that is up to the courts.
  Long ago, 24 years ago, when I took the oath, I did not say I swear 
to uphold, protect, and defend the Constitution based on what the 
courts may some year in the future decide. I swore to uphold, protect, 
and defend the Constitution given my ability to read and understand 
that document.
  On that basis alone, I oppose this bill. This bill is as blatantly 
unconstitutional as any bill which has ever been written, any bill 
which has ever been adopted by the Congress of the United States.
  I want to mention two areas where it is clearly unconstitutional. I 
am a free man and an American, and if I discovered that living in 
College Station, TX, was a new Thomas Jefferson--and I am waiting for 
another one to come back--and I wanted to sell my house and raise money 
to tell the country about it, do I not have that right?
  When the Founders wrote the first amendment, they were not concerned 
about commercial speech. They were concerned about free speech, and 
they wrote: Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of 
religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof or abridging the 
freedom of speech or of the press or the right of the people to 
peaceably assemble and to petition the Government for the redress of 
  Does anybody doubt that my right to sell my property and tell the 
Nation another Thomas Jefferson is in our midst is guaranteed under the 
first amendment of the Constitution of the

[[Page S2102]]

United States? How dare anybody tell me I cannot sell my property or 
mortgage my future, or disinherit my children in order to tell the 
world there is another Thomas Jefferson.
  The Founding Fathers would be amazed that any such proposal could 
ever be considered seriously. They would be astounded it could happen.
  I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will use the flaming letter of 
the Constitution to strike down this bill.
  The second problem with this bill has to do with equal justice under 
the law. If I am the New York Times, I am a for-profit company. My 
stock is on the New York Stock Exchange. I am driven by the same 
motives--many of our colleagues would say greedy motives--as every 
other for-profit institution in America. Does anybody doubt the New 
York Times, the Washington Post, or the Dallas Morning News is a for-
profit business? If they doubt it, they should have been on the 
Commerce Committee when the head of the Washington Post testified in 
favor of legislation to prevent any telephone company from getting into 
the communication business to compete with the Washington Post.
  The New York Times is a for-profit enterprise, and so is the New York 
Stock Exchange. They are both equally committed to making money. They 
are both driven by the bottom line.
  They are both good investments today. Yet under this bill the New 
York Times has freedom of speech. They can editorialize all they want 
in editorial space that would cost hundreds of thousands, and perhaps 
millions of dollars, for the New York Stock Exchange to purchase. They 
can routinely state their views on the editorial page and, quite 
frankly, through their news reporting, and they do it every single day 
on the front page and on the editorial page. They have a right to do 
it. But why should the New York Times have a larger say in the election 
of the President of the United States than the New York Stock Exchange?
  When did God decree freedom of speech existed only if one owns a 
newspaper or a television station or if they are a commentator? What 
about people who work for a living and who want to be heard?
  How can we write a law that treats the New York Stock Exchange 
differently from the New York Times?
  What this bill provides is unequal speech, privileged speech. So I am 
opposed to this bill because it is patently unconstitutional.
  Let me try to explain, as best I can in the time I have, how all of 
this came about, in my opinion, and what this is all about. First of 
all, you have heard the endless hollering about political influence. 
Political influence arises from the fact people want to influence the 
Government. In fact, the Founders understood that and they wrote it 
into the first amendment of the Constitution that the right to petition 
the Government would not be abridged.

  People want to influence the Government for two reasons, it seems to 
me. One, the Government spends $2 trillion a year. Most of it, it 
spends without competitive bidding. The Government grants privileges 
worth billions of dollars, grants special favors routinely, even sets 
the price of milk to benefit people who have assets of $800,000 by 
stealing from schoolchildren who are poor. That is the Government, and 
people want to influence it.
  The second reason people want to influence Government is because they 
love their country and they want to affect its future. I assume no one 
is interested in preventing that kind of influence. This bill does 
  Let me set that aside because that is not what we are debating. Does 
anybody believe if we stop this massive flow of money into the process, 
that the Government is going to stop setting the price of milk? Does 
anybody believe if we stop this soft money corruption of the political 
process, that the Government is not going to give away $2 trillion this 
year? By limiting the ability of people to petition their Government, 
we do not eliminate political power; we simply redistribute it. We take 
it away from one group; we give it to another.
  The proponents of this bill would have Members believe that by 
banning soft money we are reducing political influence. We are not 
reducing political influence at all. We are redistributing political 
influence. Who are we taking it away from? We are taking it away from 
people who are willing and able to use their money to enhance their 
free speech guaranteed by the Constitution. Who are we giving it to? We 
are giving it to the people who have unequal free speech under this 
bill. We are giving it to the media. We are giving it to the so-called 
public interest groups. What a misstatement of fact. These are the same 
people, the Common Causes and the Ralph Naders who won't tell you where 
they get their money.
  Under this bill, Ralph Nader can come to my State and denounce me as 
he has on many occasion. I wear it as a badge of honor. But he will 
never have to tell anybody under this bill where he gets his soft 
  We have had ads run in favor of this bill by groups spending soft 
money. They are not talking about banning their ability to spend it. 
They are talking about banning everybody else's ability to spend it. 
What blatant hypocrisy. But there it is.
  What this bill does is not reduce political influence but 
redistribute it, take it away from working people who commit their own 
money to enhance their speech and give it to the media and the special 
interest groups that use the media to magnify their speech.
  Is it not amazing when you list those who support this bill, they all 
fall into the category of the people who gain political power from the 
passage of this bill? The New York Times never tires of editorializing 
in favor of this bill. But they are perhaps close with the Washington 
Post as the biggest beneficiaries of this bill, because their speech 
will still ring while the speech of others will be muted. So a one-eyed 
man is king in a world of the blind.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. GRAMM. I am happy to yield to the Senator.
  Mr. McCONNELL. The New York Times and the Washington 
Post editorialized on this subject an average of once every 5\1/2\ days 
for the last 5 years.

  Mr. GRAMM. But they have done more than editorialize. They have 
engaged in a type of McCarthyism. Let me explain.
  Every day we read in the paper that the Senator from Kentucky or the 
Senator from Texas or the Senator from Rhode Island or the Senator from 
Wisconsin get so much money from Arthur Andersen or Enron or U.S. 
Steel. Yet, verifiably, none of us ever received money from Arthur 
Andersen or Enron or U.S. Steel or any other company. Those who say we 
did, know we did not, because it is illegal. Corporations cannot 
contribute to campaigns.
  Yet all one has to do is open the daily paper to find that almost on 
any issue now, as this has turned into a great symphony, almost on any 
issue that is being debated, if you care about something, everybody who 
agrees with you who has ever contributed to you is listed--but not as 
individuals. They are listed by what profession they are in or what 
company they work for.
  It is McCarthyism to say that all the accountants who contributed to 
me--and God knows if there is a living CPA who has not contributed to 
me, shame on you; shame on you--every CPA in America should have 
contributed to me. I understand debits and credits. I have spent a 
political lifetime talking about balancing the books. If you are a CPA 
and you have not contributed to me, you may be guilty of malpractice.
  This is the point. To say that the people in my State who work for 
Arthur Andersen were representing Arthur Andersen when they contributed 
to me is totally false and it is exactly the guilt-by-association 
process that the media has denounced over and over again. Yet in the 
most effective way, they promoted this bill. They have committed 
McCarthyism routinely. Routinely. I defy them to go to any accounting 
firm in America--and there isn't one where there are not a lot of 
people who have supported me--and find where there was a directive from 
the company to give me money. Everybody knows that is a felony. That is 
  Yet long ago the Washington Post, the New York Times, and virtually 
every other newspaper in America stopped saying a Senator received 
contributions from employees of Arthur Andersen. They say he received 
funds from Arthur Andersen.
  It is not just editorializing every 5 days. It is changing the very 

[[Page S2103]]

of words, and distorting the very English language to create this 
conception that somehow the whole system is corrupted by free speech, 
all the while knowing they will be the biggest beneficiaries of 
limiting other people's free speech.
  The Dallas Morning News, I am proud to say, the most important paper 
in my State--maybe I should say the Houston Chronicle--has always 
endorsed me. But in any election I probably have 80,000 or 100,000 
individual donors and they contribute and give me the ability to tell 
my side of the story. So if the newspaper or the television station or 
somebody who has the ability to express an opinion has an opinion 
different than mine, I have an opportunity to tell my side of the 
story. Under this bill, that ability is limited, and that is profoundly 
wrong and unconstitutional.

  The problem, it seems to me, goes even further because in the end we 
are tilting the balance of power to a very small group of people. It 
was the involvement of people in contributing their money that 
destroyed the smoke-filled room, that ended the back-room deal, that 
literally brought politics into everybody's living room. This bill is a 
movement back to the smoke-filled room. This concentrates political 
power in fewer and fewer and fewer hands. This is fundamentally anti-
democratic. It violates what the Founding Fathers understood as being 
  The Founders knew the country was not peopled by angels because they 
were not angels. The Founders understood that people had their own 
special interests, that people could have corrupt views. So they 
provided the maximum number of people with influence so the evil of the 
few was offset.
  As I often say, I love the issues that are hotly debated. Because if 
politicians know they are going to catch hell no matter what they do, 
they will normally do the right thing. It is when nobody is paying 
attention on one side and everybody on the other side is organized that 
bad things happen.
  I have heard my colleagues say: I don't want these outside groups 
involved in my election. Pardon me? Since when was it their election? 
When I am running for public office, it is not my election. It doesn't 
belong to me. It belongs to the people of Texas. Often, when I ran, 
there have been mean groups that have come to the State and said bad 
things about me.
  This election does not belong to me. It does not belong to my 
opponent. It belongs to the people--and not just the people of Texas 
because I am a United States Senator. I cast votes that affect people 
who live everywhere. My service has affected people who live in every 
State in the Union, every town in every State in the Union. They have a 
right to be involved in my campaign. They don't have a right to vote, 
but they have a right to speak.
  Many of my colleagues have said: I don't want those groups involved. 
There is an inconvenience in free speech--if people aren't saying what 
you want them to say. But is it not dangerous to end their ability to 
speak? If this bill really stood--and I do not believe it will--I think 
you would have a concentration of power in the media and in these 
special interest groups that use the media--Common Cause, Nader--it 
would be harder and harder for people to get their view out if their 
view differs with the established power structure. More and more 
decisions about who wins elections would be made by editors and by 
special interest groups.
  There will be more smoke-filled rooms--I don't guess people smoke 
anymore, but whatever it is they do in these rooms, there will be more 
of it. You will have more athletes elected, you will have more 
celebrities elected.
  The problem is, this new Thomas Jefferson may not be a star. He may 
not even be attractive. He might not be extraordinarily articulate. The 
original Thomas Jefferson was a very poor speaker, from all we 
know. But his ideas were revolutionary. In fact, I think if you had to 
choose the most important man of the last thousand years--you would 
have to give it to two people: Thomas Jefferson for political freedom; 
and Adam Smith for economic freedom. The two of them together had the 
revolutionary idea of our time.

  I am afraid, under this bill, that we will not discover the next 
Thomas Jefferson. I am afraid, under this bill, that other things will 
be more important. As you narrow the vision of a great country, you 
narrow its future. The Bible says, ``Where there is no vision, people 
  I wonder what will occur when the American people are ready to be led 
in another direction, but the power structure does not want to go 
there. How are the people ever going to hear the other side of the 
  These are very important issues. We have never debated an issue more 
important than this. Yet there is no interest in this issue because, as 
a result of all these years of distorting the English language, keeping 
up a drumbeat, gradually politicians have been worn down. Now people 
can say: I can violate the Constitution, I can endanger the future of 
America, or I can get a bad editorial in the New York Times. Of course 
they decide they do not want the bad editorial in the New York Times.
  So that is where we are. I am relatively confident this bill will be 
struck down by the Supreme Court. What a paradox it will be, what a 
happy day it will be for me and for the Senator from Kentucky, since 
this bill has no severability clause in it, if it is struck down, only 
the parts struck down die. What a great triumph for freedom it would be 
if all of the parts of the bill that limited free speech were struck 
down as unconstitutional, and only the part of the bill that enhances 
free speech by simply updating for inflation the limits on individual 
contributions remained. Could it happen? It has happened before.
  My colleagues on the other side of the aisle are going to vote for 
this, in large part because they believe this tilts the playing field 
toward them.
  It may very well be that it will not. It may very well be that, in 
the end, we did not fulfill our oath, but our Constitution is a 
powerful document, and when we pass a law and the President signs it 
because of the pressures of the moment and the consensus in the media, 
then it has to stand the test of the Supreme Court. They are only 
across the street. But across the top of their building is written, 
``Equal Justice Under Law.'' This bill destroys equal justice under the 
law. And anyone who could sit under that roof with a good conscience is 
going to feel called upon to take the Constitution seriously and will 
strike down this law. In doing so, they will live up to the high 
expectations of the founders.
  Let me conclude by congratulating the Senator from Kentucky. It is 
fun to be in front of television cameras. It makes you feel important. 
It gives you sort of a notoriety. People recognize you. It doesn't last 
very long, but they do. And it is awfully easy to stand up and defend 
things that are popular. It is very difficult to defend ideas that are 
unpopular, to be attacked every day in the media because of the 
position you take.
  There are not many people who are tough enough to do that. There are 
probably only three or four--five people in the Senate, and I am being 
  A lot of people get into politics because they want to be loved. 
Then, when an issue comes along where your principles are on one side 
and love is on the other, it is hard.
  I have watched and I have read those editorials vilifying the Senator 
from Kentucky. I know it has been hard, and I just want to say that I 
don't know whether they will ever build a monument to the Senator from 
Kentucky, but he is already memorialized in my heart. I will never 
forget the fight he has made on this bill. I thank him.
  The Constitution does not work by itself. It requires a few good men. 
The Senator from Kentucky is one of those good men.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum, and 
ask that the time be equally divided.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

[[Page S2104]]

  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, unfortunately, he has left the floor, 
but I just wanted to thank the distinguished Senator from Texas for his 
brilliant speech outlining the deficiencies of the bill, which will 
pass later today. I am extraordinarily grateful for his overly generous 
comments about my work on this issue. I assure him that the vote today 
is not the end. There is litigation ahead. We will have announcements 
about the litigation team in the near future. I share the hope of the 
Senator from Texas that the unfortunate parts of this bill, which he 
outlined so skillfully, will indeed be struck down in the courts. I can 
assure him that we are going to give it our best shot and that we will 
have an extraordinarily talented legal team spanning the illogical 
divide in this country to take this case forward and to give it our 
very best effort and to protect the first amendment, which he outlined 
so skillfully in his comments.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the time 
under the quorum call about to begin be equally charged against both 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, I yield myself such time as I need.
   Mr. President, on September 7, 1995, 6\1/2\ years ago, the senior 
Senator from Arizona and I introduced the first version of the McCain-
Feingold campaign finance reform bill. It was a different bill from the 
bill we are about to pass today, but it was a different world then. The 
Senate that year was controlled by the Republican party. The majority 
leader was Bob Dole. The occupant of the White House was a Democrat, 
Bill Clinton, still in his first term. Still far in the future, 
unimaginable to any of us then, were an impeachment trial, an 
impossibly close Presidential election, and of course, September 11.
  The world of campaign finance was much different, too. Still to come 
was the 1996 Presidential campaign with campaign finance abuses that by 
now we refer to in shorthand--the White House coffees, the Lincoln 
Bedroom, the Buddhist temple fundraiser, Roger Tamraz. Still ahead were 
the extraordinary revelations of the Thompson investigation concerning 
fundraising abuses by both political parties. Still in the future was 
the explosion of phony issue ads by outside groups and by the political 
parties--hundreds of millions of dollars spent to influence elections 
through a loophole that assumes that the advertising is not meant to 
influence elections.
  Most amazing, as I look back on these many years, is the growth since 
then of the soft money outrage, which has become the central focus of 
our campaign finance reform effort over the past several years. When we 
first introduced our bill--I have to be honest about this--soft money 
was still in, if not its infancy, then, at the most, it was in its 
  When we first introduced the bill in 1995, banning soft money was on 
our list of provisions, but we listed it, actually, as the sixth 
component of the bill, coming after, believe it or not, the problem of 
reforming the congressional franking privilege. I noted in that speech, 
with some emerging outrage, that the political parties had raised--I 
kid you not--``tens of millions of dollars'' in 1995 alone, a figure 
that, of course, is absolutely nothing compared to what we see today.
  The soft money loophole surely came of age in the 1996 elections, and 
has only kept growing since then. In the 1992 election cycle, the 
parties raised a total of $86 million. In 1996, that number more than 
tripled to $262 million. And in 2000, soft money receipts nearly 
doubled again to $495 million, nearly half a billion dollars.
  As the world of campaign finance has changed, so has the McCain-
Feingold bill. In late 1997, in the wake of the Thompson investigation, 
we reluctantly concluded that we needed to first focus our efforts on 
closing the biggest loopholes in the system: the soft money and the 
phony issue ads. But narrowing the bill, obviously, did not make it 
easy to pass. As those two loopholes have grown in importance, and more 
and more money has flowed through them into our elections, the 
commitment of the major players in the political system to protect them 
has only increased.
  Indeed, there was a time when the opponents of campaign finance 
reform called soft money ``sewer money'' and proposed banning it in 
their own alternative bill. Now, instead, they champion soft money as 
essential to the health and stability of the political parties and that 
it is somehow now protected by the first amendment, even though they 
wanted to eliminate it and called it ``sewer money'' before.
  But a few things have not changed a bit since Senator McCain and I 
began this journey together. One is our commitment to bipartisan 
reform. Both Senator McCain and I mentioned this in our first speeches 
in 1995. We knew then that a partisan effort on this issue would be 
doomed to failure.
  In my speech, I noted that we were both speaking to Members of both 
parties about our bill, and that ``we are not dividing up the Senate 
because this has to be a product of the Senate.'' This had to be a 
product of the whole Senate, both parties.
  That hope was put to the test last year when this body engaged in an 
extraordinary 2-week floor debate on campaign finance reform, with an 
open amendment process and a vote on final passage for the first time 
since 1993. We had 27 rollcall votes in that debate. Thirty-eight 
amendments to the bill were offered and 17 were adopted. This bill is 
truly the work product of the Senate as a whole. That is a major reason 
why it will soon be headed to the President for signature.
  Another thing that has not changed since 1995, of course, is the need 
for reform. If anything, it has increased as much as the amount of soft 
money contributed to the parties has increased. In 1995, I noted that 
the public had reason for concern when big money was being poured into 
legislative efforts such as the telecommunications bill and regulatory 
reform legislation. Since then, the list of legislative battles where 
money has seemed to call the shots has gotten longer and longer: the 
bankruptcy bill, product liability legislation, the tobacco wars, 
financial services modernization, the Patients' Bill of Rights, China 
MFN. I could, obviously, go on and on.

  I have called the bankroll on this floor more than 30 times since 
June 1999. These days, major legislation almost never comes to this 
floor without interests, often on both sides, that have made major soft 
money contributions to the political parties. We need to look no 
further than the work we do on this Senate floor to see the appearance 
of corruption--the appearance of corruption--that justifies banning 
soft money.
  A few years ago an advocacy group unveiled a huge ``FOR SALE'' sign 
and held it up for an afternoon on the steps of the east front of the 
Capitol. We have seen similar images for years in political cartoons. A 
constituent once wrote to me that perhaps Senators should wear jackets 
with corporate logos on them like race cars. We laugh at these images, 
but inside we cringe, because this great center of democracy is truly 
tainted by money. Particularly after September 11, all of us in this 
Chamber hope the public will look to the Capitol and look to the Senate 
with reverence and pride, not with derision. Our task today is to 
restore some of that pride. I believe we can undertake that task with 
our own sense of pride, because we know it is the right thing to do, 
and we know it has to be done.
  Another thing that has not changed since we first introduced the 
McCain-Feingold bill in 1995 is the determination of the opposition to 
defeat reform. Early in 1996, when we were approaching our first vote 
on the McCain-Feingold bill and the first filibuster against our bill, 
a coalition began to meet to plot our defeat. The Washington Post

[[Page S2105]]

described the coalition as ``an unusual alliance of unions, businesses, 
and liberal and conservative groups.''
  I called them at the time--and continue to call them--the Washington 
gatekeepers: the major players in politics and policy in this town for 
whom campaign money is the currency of influence.
  The National Association of Business PACs even began to run ads 
against House Members who cosponsored the bill, and they threatened to 
withhold financial support in the next election. Even before our bill 
had seen its first debate, the status quo had organized to kill it. And 
their efforts have continued unabated throughout the last 6\1/2\ years.
  The opposition has plainly made our task more difficult, but it also 
now makes our victory more satisfying. Because as we stand on the verge 
of enacting this major accomplishment, we in the Congress who have 
supported this effort know we have acted not out of self-interest, and 
not for the special interests but for the public interest. This bill is 
for the American people, for our democracy, and for the future of our 
  When a previous effort to reform the campaign finance system failed 
in an end-of-session filibuster in late 1994, then-Majority Leader 
George Mitchell said this on the floor:

       The fact of the matter is, Mr. President, every Senator 
     knows this system stinks. Every Senator who participates in 
     it knows this system stinks. And the American people are 
     right when they mistrust this system, where what matters most 
     in seeking public office is not integrity, not ability, not 
     judgment, not reason, not responsibility, not experience, not 
     intelligence, but money.

  This bill will not fix every problem in our campaign finance system. 
The Presiding Officer and I have talked about this throughout the years 
of his steadfast support for our efforts. This bill will not 
miraculously erase distrust and suspicion of the Congress overnight. It 
will not completely end the primacy of money in politics that so 
disturbed Senator Mitchell. But the bill is a step in the right 
direction. It is a step in the right direction.
  After so many years of effort, and so many disappointments, the 
public has reason to be gratified by what we are about to do, and to 
look with hope to what we can accomplish together when the monkey of 
soft money is finally lifted off our backs.
  As elated as we are about finally finishing this long battle for 
reform, I cannot leave the floor without noting that the war is not 
over. We must be vigilant as the Federal Election Commission 
promulgates regulations to implement the legislation. And, of course, 
we face a certain court challenge by opponents of reform who will argue 
that it violates the Constitution.
  I assure my colleagues of two things: First, we have had one eye on 
the eventual court challenge ever since we started this process. This 
bill has been carefully crafted to take account of the Supreme Court's 
decisions in this area. Can I guarantee that every provision will 
survive a Court challenge? Of course not. But I can tell you that we 
have done our very best to design these reforms in a constitutional 
  Second, we plan to be active participants in the legal fight that 
will undoubtedly end in the Supreme Court of the United States, perhaps 
as early as a year from now.
  We will be similarly active in pressing the FEC to promulgate 
regulations that fulfill--that fulfill, not frustrate--the intent of 
the Congress in passing this bill. The Senator from Arizona and I did 
not fight for 6\1/2\ years to pass these reforms only to see them 
undone by a hostile FEC. The role of the FEC is to carry out the will 
of the Congress, to implement and enforce the law, not to undermine it.
  I call on each of the Commissioners, regardless of political party or 
personal views on our reform effort, to be true to that role and to the 
oaths of office they took.
  I urge my colleagues to join with us in overseeing the crucial work 
of the FEC and to participate in its rulemaking proceedings where 
  In addition, even after we have enacted this law, there will be other 
reforms to do. We need to look at the cost of broadcast advertising and 
consider whether those having a license to use the public airwaves 
ought to be required to provide free airtime to promote democratic 
discourse during election campaigns.
  In my opinion, we need to again consider the possibility of public 
funding of congressional elections, following the very successful 
experience with clean money systems in Maine and Arizona.
  Finally, we must remain vigilant to guard against the next abuse of 
the campaign finance system when it comes, as it surely will.
  I thank all of my colleagues for their patience and their support. I 
know this battle has been difficult for many of them. The pressure to 
preserve the status quo was intense. Inertia is a powerful force 
against change. We have all compromised at least a little in order to 
achieve this final result. Many Members have cast difficult votes. They 
have sometimes followed Senator McCain and me down a path without 
knowing exactly where it would lead. I am grateful for the trust they 
have shown in us, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
  Before I close, I pay special tribute to my partner in this effort, 
the Senator from Arizona. When Senator McCain called me shortly after 
the 1994 elections and asked me to join with him in bipartisan reform 
efforts, I could never have imagined we would be standing here together 
on this day on the verge of a great victory for the American people. He 
just didn't tell me how long it would take. I truly believe his courage 
and dedication, demonstrated in so many ways over so many years, are 
the reasons the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 will soon become 
the law of the land.
  My respect for him has grown with every challenge we have faced 
together. He is a great legislator, a great leader, and, above all, a 
great friend.
  Our work on this bill, John McCain, has been the highlight of my 
professional life. Your friendship means more to me than you will ever 
know. Thanks, John.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
  Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, I think I am the last Senator on this 
side of the aisle who served on the conference committee that produced 
the bill that was declared unconstitutional in Buckley v. Valeo. In the 
8 years I served as assistant Republican leader on the floor, many 
times I was involved in debates concerning actions to try to get back 
to the subject of campaign reform.
  On May 26, 1983, I introduced the constitutional amendment to allow 
Congress to regulate and limit expenditures and contributions in 
Federal elections.
  In 1986, I put in the Record a campaign finance study which showed 
very strong public opposition to publicly funded congressional 
campaigns, and I have maintained this stance against publicly funded 
campaigns for Congress since.
  In 1986, Senator Hollings introduced a constitutional amendment, and 
I cosponsored that with him, again trying to limit expenditures in 
Federal elections.
  In 1987, I was part of the debate on S. 2, which would have provided 
publicly funded Senate campaigns. And it was my argument then that we 
should have full disclosure of soft money and that the issue ad 
sponsorship and subsidized mail rates for 501(c) nonprofits should be 
regulated, as well as limiting the PAC influence on our elections.
  In June of 1987, I introduced S. 1326, which required unions, 
corporations, PACs, and all parties to report all attempts to influence 
Federal elections, including voter registration and get-out-the-vote 
drives. It would have required notice and disclosure of independent 
expenditures and prohibited coordination of independent expenditures, 
but it would have increased contribution limits for individuals facing 
wealthy opponents.
  I am pleased to say that at that time I was ranking member of the 
Committee on Rules, in 1987, and that Senators McConnell and McCain 
cosponsored S. 1326.
  In this Congress, I voted to send the Senate campaign finance bill to 
conference committee and stated at the time it was my hope that a 
conference would produce a fair and balanced bill. This bill has not 
gone to conference. Instead, now we have a bill that tilts the balance 
of power away from accountable political parties towards

[[Page S2106]]

nonprofit interest groups whose donors are often shielded from 
disclosure. These nonprofits often exist side by side: 501(c)(3) and 
501(c)(4) corporations use tax-deductible contributions to support 
their overhead expenses, which allows them to spend more money on issue 
ads which are not regulated by this bill.
  As ranking member of the Rules Committee in 1987, I tried to 
eliminate all soft money. That legislation, I believe, would have 
provided substantial new disclosure requirements to rein in the 
nonprofit groups which now overwhelm the political process.
  In terms of this legislation, I have reached the conclusion that it, 
too, is unconstitutional. If the bill that was reviewed in Buckley v. 
Valeo was unconstitutional, this one surely is. It does not provide a 
level playing field. It does not deal with the pernicious problem of 
501(c)(3) and (c)(4) nonprofit corporations. I will not put it in the 
Record now, but Senator Kasten at one time made a study of the 
influence of those corporations, and he has been gone for a long while. 
Their influence has grown. This bill just gives them more and more 
power over the election process.
  In my opinion, we should stop picking at the edges of this issue and 
pass a constitutional amendment to solve the problems created by the 
Supreme Court in the Buckley case.
  I shall vote against this bill.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Carper). The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. NICKLES. Mr. President, we are concluding a great debate that has 
lasted for years. I compliment the primary sponsors of this 
legislation, Senators McCain and Feingold, for their tenacity, 
perseverance, and stubbornness in making this event happen. They have 
been very committed to their cause, and I compliment them for that. I 
like to see my colleagues and friends who have very strong beliefs work 
to enact legislation to implement those beliefs. They have done that 
today. They will be successful today. I congratulate them and 
compliment them.
  I also compliment my friend from Kentucky, Senator McConnell, as well 
as Senator Gramm, for their tenacity in opposing this particular 
legislation. I happen to agree with them on the substance of the issue. 
It is great to see a deliberative body, a body that is able to have 
friendships that are very strong and opinions that are very strong, 
express itself and do so in the form of debate and with significant 
discussion. We have done that. We have done it, frankly, over the 
course not just of this legislative session, but over 2 or 3 years.
  Looking at the substance of this legislation, we have had a great 
debate. We have had good leadership. We have had very dedicated 
individuals who have committed a great portion of their legislative 
career either promoting or opposing this legislation. It has been good 
for the body. It has been a good debate on strong issues--strong issues 
because we are dealing with the Constitution.
  When we are sworn to take the office of a U.S. Senator, we are sworn 
to uphold the Constitution. It is not done lightly. It is done by every 
Member of the Senate.
  The Constitution says that Congress shall make no law respecting 
establishment of religion or prohibit the free exercise thereof or 
abridging the freedom of speech.
  Our forefathers believed so strongly about this particular section, 
it is the first amendment. If you read the papers at the time, some of 
our forefathers thought that wasn't necessary; it was almost a given. 
Others said: No, we need to make sure we have the fundamental freedoms 
of religion, speech and assembly. Let's make it the first amendment, 
even though it is self-evident. So they did. This was the first 
amendment to the Constitution.
  Now we are going to be telling some groups: Wait a minute you can 
influence ads or have involvement in campaigns, but if you want to say 
Senator Gramm from Texas is the best Senator ever, you have to do that 
in a particular way.
  Well, you can only do that with certain kinds of money, but not other 
kinds. Maybe you think he is the worst Senator and you want to run an 
ad that says that. Some groups are going to have a hard time doing 
that. They are going to have to abide by a host of new legalities. We 
are infringing on free speech, in my opinion; though that will 
ultimately be contested in court.
  I happen to have faith and confidence in the judicial branch. It will 
be a very interesting argument before the Supreme Court, and I have no 
doubt that my colleagues from Arizona, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Texas, 
and perhaps from Oklahoma, will witness that argument before the 
Supreme Court. It may be one of the most exciting and interesting hours 
of debate before the highest court in the land. I look forward to that. 
I won't dwell on it much further. I think the bill has a constitutional 
problem. I think we are, in some ways, infringing and impeding free 
  I want to talk about a few other components in the legislation. In 
some ways, I think the bill was improved from the way it left the 
Senate. When this bill left the Senate, it had a provision that said 
politicians get lower broadcasting rates--the so-called Torricelli 
amendment. I opposed that amendment vigorously, but I lost on the floor 
of the Senate. I am pleased to say the provision was removed in the 
House. I didn't think we should pass campaign reform, act as if we are 
doing great things, then have people find out that politicians get 
preferential rates over others.
  I find the bill faulty when it says we are going to ban soft money, 
but with an effective date that is after the next election. If we are 
going to do it, shouldn't it be immediate? Now you are going to see a 
little splurge of spending, with groups trying to raise all the soft 
money they can. I also find the bill to be faulty from the standpoint 
that it will limit soft money going to local parties, but not soft 
money and other funding going to interest groups that will certainly 
try to influence elections. My guess is that we will hamper or reduce 
the influence and effectiveness of national parties. However, now you 
will soon have a lot of special interest groups that will grow in their 
influence, that will raise a lot more money, that will enhance their 
get-out-the-vote efforts, et cetera. So you are going to have a 
multiplication of special interest groups, where their power will grow, 
where they will be outside the national party effort, but they will be 
independent--maybe--and they will be very much trying to influence 
  So instead of having, more or less, two major political parties, you 
may have a multitude of special interest groups with a lot of money 
trying to influence elections. We will have to see. I think you can win 
elections if you have the best candidates, no matter what the rules 
are. So it is in the interest of both parties to recruit the best 
candidates, and may the best candidates win.
  One other comment where the bill falls short, and where I tried to 
fix this on the floor and was not successful. Unfortunately, we didn't 
make sure that all political contributions were voluntary. It bothers 
me to think we are going to have campaign reform and still have 
millions of Americans who are compelled to contribute to campaigns 
against their will, with which they don't agree, which they are opposed 
to; that is still the law of the land. It should not be, but it is. We 
could have fixed it and we did not. So to have, in this day and age, 
people who are compelled to contribute to organizations who make 
contributions to political parties against their will, I think is 
wrong. And then to say, yes, they can file for a refund, and maybe get 
some of it back eventually, after the election, after the money has 
been used for the purpose with which they disagree, is not a 
satisfactory solution. Nobody should be compelled to contribute unless 
they agree to it in advance, including any political cause with which 
they disagree. They should not be compelled to contribute to an 
organization or political party unless they agree with it. We didn't 
fix that in this legislation, unfortunately. I hoped we could pass 
legislation that I could be supportive of and which would meet the 
constitutional test. I don't believe this particular bill does.

  I don't think this bill is the end of the world, as some have 
indicated. We will let the courts decide whether or not it is 
constitutional. The bill has some positive provisions. I think indexing 
or updating the hard money

[[Page S2107]]

amount, allowing individuals to contribute more is a positive change. 
So I compliment our colleagues for that. It has some other sections 
dealing with running against a millionaire candidate, and so on. I 
think those are good sections as well. So it is not all wrong. I do 
hate to pass anything that would curb an individual's or group's 
ability to participate in the election process.
  Regretfully, I will be voting against this bill--again, with no angst 
or anxiety against the proponent. I compliment them for their efforts 
and their success today.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wisconsin is recognized.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, I yield to the Senator from Arizona such 
time as he may require.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Oklahoma for his 
kind remarks about those of us who support legislation that he opposes. 
It is typical of his generosity and spirit. I thank him very much.
  I also want to thank my friend from Wisconsin, about whom I will 
speak later on today. As always, he contradicts Harry Truman's old 
adage that ``if you want a friend in Washington, go out and buy a 
dog,'' because he is a very dear friend, and it has been one of the 
great privileges of my life to get close to him. It is a privilege 
knowing a truly honest man.
  Mr. President, we have reached, at long last, the point when 
meaningful reform in our campaign finance laws is within our reach; in 
fact, it appears to be imminent. Although some of the measure's 
detractors have argued that the American public doesn't care about this 
issue, I think the outpouring of public support proves otherwise.
  In an online poll conducted by Harris Interactive, 65 percent of 
those polled favored campaign reform to ban soft money. While my 
colleague from Texas, who spoke earlier, was correct in saying that we 
are determined, he is incorrect in asserting that we are a determined 
minority. In a CNN/Time poll last March, 77 percent of Americans 
described the current way in which candidates for Federal office raise 
money for campaigns as either ``corrupt'' or ``unethical.''
  There has been some shrill media opposition to this bill, 
particularly in the weeks since the House approved it by a vote of 240 
to 189. The support for campaign finance reform that is reflected in 
newspapers around the country, I think, more accurately reflects the 
public sentiment on the issue. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent 
that several articles be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the articles were ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

               [From the Washington Post, Feb. 17, 2002]

          Bush 2000 Adviser Offered To Use Clout to Help Enron

                           (By Joe Stephens)

       Just before the last presidential election, Bush campaign 
     adviser Ralph Reed offered to help Enron Corp. deregulate the 
     electricity industry by working his ``good friends'' in 
     Washington and by mobilizing religious leaders and pro-family 
     groups for the cause.
       For a $380,000 fee, the conservative political strategist 
     proposed a broad lobbying strategy that included using major 
     campaign contributors, conservative talk shows and nonprofits 
     to press Congress for favorable legislation. Reed said he 
     could place letters from community leaders in the opinion 
     pages of major newspapers, producing clips that Reed would 
     ``blast fax'' to Capitol Hill.
       ``We are a loyal member of your team and are prepared to do 
     whatever fits your strategic plan,'' Reed wrote in an Oct. 
     23, 2000, memo obtained by The Washington Post. ``In public 
     policy,'' he wrote, ``it matters less who has the best 
     arguments and more who gets heard--and by whom.''
       The memo offers a glimpse into the relationship between 
     Enron and the influential conservative, who was first 
     recommended to the company in 1997 by Karl Rove, now a senior 
     adviser to President Bush. Reed, head of the Altanta-based 
     consulting firm Century Strategies, is the former executive 
     director of the Christian Coalition and current chairman of 
     the Georgia Republican Party.
       Reed has drawn criticism for his 1997 work on one Enron 
     issue, a Pennsylvania deregulation matter, but Century 
     Strategies Vice President Tim Phillips said yesterday the 
     firm's relationship with Enron continued until October 2001, 
     when it ended by ``mutual agreement.''
       Phillips said Enron never finalized the specific lobbying 
     job outlined in Reed's memo, but he declined to answer 
     questions about what tasks Reed did carry out for the Houston 
     company. Reed did not return phone calls.
       Last month Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, 
     asked for a federal investigation into whether Rove arranged 
     the 1997 Enron contract to avoid paying Reed from Bush 
     campaign funds. Others have questioned whether the Bush 
     camp had hoped to ensure Reed's allegiance during the 
     early days of the campaign.
       Enron has offered little information about its dealings 
     with Reed, one of many prominent political figures and 
     commentators the company cultivated ties with before it 
     collapsed in bankruptcy late last year. Rick Shapiro, the 
     Enron vice president to whom Reed addressed the memo, 
     declined to comment.
       Reed's influence has escalated over the last decade. He 
     claims credit for helping Bush win several key presidential 
     primary victories, and he has served as an adviser to members 
     of Congress. Since 1997, when Reed opened Century Strategies, 
     his consulting clients have included political candidates and 
     corporations with interests in Washington. He dropped 
     Microsoft Corp. as a client in 2000 after charges that he had 
     lobbied Bush on behalf of the software company while bush was 
     governor of Texas.
       The seven-page memo to Enron illustrates for the first time 
     how Reed pitches his services to major corporations and how 
     he draws on alliances he forged during ideological battles 
     fought alongside conservative religious leaders. It also 
     shows how political consultants have increasingly brought 
     tactics once seen only in campaigns into the legislative 
       Enlisting Reed's aid would have been in character with 
     Enron's strategy of aligning itself with high-visibility 
     political figures and pundits. Those who have accepted pay 
     from Enron for their advice and other help include Bush 
     economic adviser Lawrence B. Lindsey, Weekly Standard editor 
     William Kristol, economist Paul Krugman, CNBC commentator 
     Larry Kudlow, U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick 
     and incoming Republican National Committee chairman Marc 
       Reed referenced his previous Enron work in the October 2000 
     memo, noting Enron had seen his ``capabilities at work in the 
     1997 effort in Pennsylvania,'' where Reed helped Enron build 
     support for electricity deregulation. ``Since that time, we 
     have built a formidable network of grass-roots operatives in 
     32 states,'' he wrote.
       Reed offered to mobilize that network in an effort to 
     deregulate the electricity market. At the time, Enron was 
     seeking open access to the nation's power grid so it could 
     compete with traditional utilities.
       Reed's memo stresses that his firm's ``long history of 
     organizing these groups makes us ideally situated to build a 
     broad coalition'' benefiting Enron. He said Enron's arguments 
     for deregulation were less important than commanding 
     attention by enlisting the aid of elected officials' friends 
     and supporters.
       ``There are certain people--a friend or family member, key 
     party person, civic or business leader, or major donor--whose 
     correspondence must be presented to the [elected] official 
     for his personal reading and response,'' Reed wrote.
       Such prominent figures could act as surrogates for Enron 
     while pressing lawmakers to rewrite statues, Reed said.
       ``We have the capacity to generate dozens of high-touch 
     letters from an elected official's strongest supporters and 
     the most influential opinion leaders in his district,'' he 
     wrote. ``Elected officials and regulators will be predisposed 
     to favor greater market-oriented solutions if they hear from 
     business, civic, and religious leaders in their 
       Reed's memo said his organization had a record of 
     harnessing the ``minority community'' and the ``faith 
     community'' to support his clients.
       Reed proposed two lobbying strategies, one costing $177,000 
     and the other $386,500.
       ``I will assume personal responsibility for the overall 
     vision and strategy of the project,'' he wrote. ``I have 
     long-term friendships with many members of Congress.''
       Reed proposed sending 20 ``facilitating letters'' to each 
     of 17 members of the congressional commerce committees that 
     handle deregulation. Under the proposal, Enron would pay 
     Reed's firm $170,000 for generating the letters, each signed 
     by a third party.
       Reed asked Enron to pay his firm $25,000 to generate 
     letters to the editors of newspapers, each signed by a 
     prominent figure. ``These op-eds and letters are then blast 
     faxed to elected officials, opinion leaders and civic 
     activists for use in their own letters and public 
     statements.'' He said his firm had recently ``placed'' 
     opinion pieces in The Washington Post and the New York Times.
       A $79,500 telemarketing campaign would have cold-called 
     citizens and offered to immediately patch them through to 
       ``For one recent client, we generated more calls to a U.S. 
     Senate office than had been received since impeachment'' of 
     President Bill Clinton, he wrote. ``The result was a major 
     victory for the client.''
       Finally, Reed said he had enjoyed ``great success'' in 
     using conservative news-talk programs to spread his clients' 
     message to ``faith-based activists.''
       ``Our public relations team has extensive experience 
     booking guests on talk radio shows, and has excellent working 
     relationships with many hosts,'' he wrote, proposing a 
     $30,000 fee.
       ``We look forward to working with Enron,'' he said.

[[Page S2108]]

               [From the Washington Post, Mar. 19, 2001]

                Why This Lobbyist Backs McCain-Feingold

                         (By Wright H. Andrews)

       As a Washington lobbyist for more than 25 years, I urge 
     Congress to make a meaningful start on campaign finance 
     reform and pass the McCain-Feingold bill. While many 
     lobbyists privately express dismay and disgust with today's 
     campaign finance process and are in favor of reforms, most 
     have not expressed their views publicly. I hope more 
     lobbyists will do so after reading this ``true confession'' 
     by one of their own.
       I am not an ivory-tower liberal, nor do I naively believe 
     we can or should seek to end the influence of money on 
     politics. I have engaged in many activities most reformers 
     abhor, including: (1) making thousands of dollars in personal 
     political contributions over the years, (2) raising hundreds 
     of thousands of dollars, including ``soft money,'' for both 
     political parties and (3) counseling clients on how to use 
     their money and ``issue ads'' legally to influence elections 
     and legislative decisions. Why, then, does someone like me 
     now openly call for new campaign finance restraints, at least 
     on ``soft'' money and ``issue'' advertising? Quite simply 
     because, as a Washington insider, I know that on the campaign 
     finance front things have mushroomed out of control. In the 
     years I have been in this business I have seen our federal 
     campaign finance system and its effect on the legislative 
     process change dramatically--and not for the better.
       I believe that individuals and interests generally have a 
     right to use their money to influence legislative decisions. 
     Nevertheless, I know that lobbyists, legislators and the 
     interests represented increasingly operate in a legislative 
     environment dominated by the campaign finance process, and 
     its excesses are like a cancer eating away at our democratic 
       There is no realistic hope of change until Congress 
     legislates. I readily admit that I will continue, and expand, 
     my own campaign finance activities--just as will most of my 
     colleagues--until the rules are changed.
       Right now there is an ever-increasing and seemingly 
     insatiable bipartisan demand for more contributions, both 
     ``hard'' and ``soft'' dollars. The Federal Election 
     Commission has reported that overall Senate and House 
     candidates raised a record $908.3 million during the 1999-
     2000 election cycle, up 37 percent from the 1997-1998 
     cycle. The Republican and Democratic parties also raised 
     at least $1.2 billion in hard and soft money, double what 
     they raised in the prior cycle. Soft-money donations from 
     wealthy individuals, corporations, labor groups, trade 
     associations and other interests have shown explosive 
     growth. In addition, millions of dollars in unregulated 
     ``non-contribution'' contributions are being plowed into 
     the system through ``issue ads.''
       Today's levels of political contributions and expenditures 
     are undercutting the integrity of our legislative process.
       Ironically, congressional lobbyists in general are better, 
     more professional, more ethical and represent more diverse 
     interests than in the past. Our elected officials today also 
     are generally honest, hard-working and well-meaning. But 
     millions of Americans are convinced that lobbyists and the 
     interests we represent are unprincipled sleazeballs who, in 
     effect, use great sums of money to bribe a corrupt Congress.
       Many citizens believe that using money to try to influence 
     decisions is inherently wrong, unethical and unfair. While 
     supporting reforms and recognizing citizen's concerns, I 
     disagree; I find little problem with political interests 
     seeking to influence elected officials through contributions 
     and expenditures at moderate levels, provided this is 
     publicly disclosed and not done on a quid-pro-quo basis. The 
     First Amendment allows every individual and interest to use 
     its money to try, within reason, to influence Congress. And 
     influence comes not just from political contributions; it 
     also comes from using money, for example, to hire lobbyists, 
     purchase newspaper ads and retain firms to generate ``grass-
     roots'' support.
       I nonetheless think the time has come to temper this right. 
     We have reached the point at which other interests and rights 
     must come into play. Campaign-related contributions and 
     expenditures at today's excessive levels increasingly have a 
     disproportionate influence on certain legislative actions. 
     Unlimited ``soft'' money donations and ``issue ad'' 
     expenditures in particular are making a joke of contribution 
     limits and are allowing some of the wealthiest interests far 
     too much power and influence.
       Moreover, the ability of legislators to do their work is 
     being reduced by the demands of today's campaign finance 
     system. Many, especially senators, now must devote enormous 
     amounts of time to fundraising.
       Any significant new campaign finance limits that Congress 
     adopts will have to survive certain challenges in the Supreme 
     Court. If Congress carefully crafts legislative restrictions, 
     the court will, I believe, uphold reasonable limits by 
     following reasoning such as it used in the Nixon v. Shrink 
     Missouri Government PAC case, in which it noted that ``the 
     prevention of corruption and the appearance of corruption'' 
     is an important interest that can offset the interest of 
     unfettered free speech.
       Some lobbyists continue to support the present campaign 
     finance system because their own abilities to influence 
     decisions, and their economic livelihoods, are far more 
     dependent on using political contributions and expenditures 
     than on the merits of their causes. Others feel strongly that 
     virtually no campaign contribution and expenditure limits are 
     permissible because of the First Amendment's protections. And 
     some, like me, believe additional restraints on campaign 
     finance are required and allowable if properly drafted.
       As to those in the last category, I invite and encourage 
     them to work with me in Lobbyists for Campaign Reform, a 
     coalition to urge Congress to pass meaningful campaign 
     finance reforms, starting with the basic McCain-Feingold 

                [From the Washington Post, Mar. 5, 2002]

                               Just do It

       The Senate has already voted once in favor of campaign 
     finance reform legislation; now it's time to step up again 
     and finish the job. Last month House reformers won passage of 
     their version of the bill, fighting off ``poison pill'' 
     amendments to produce legislation that the Senate could 
     accept without a conference. Since that vote, even two 
     senators who oppose the bill have acknowledged that it's time 
     to move ahead on this issue: Sens. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) and 
     Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said they won't support a filibuster to 
     block the measure. But Kentucky Republican Sen. Mitch 
     McConnell, a leading opponent, continues to seek delay. Today 
     he is expected to ask Senate Republicans to help him hold up 
     consideration of the bill until he can win approval of a 
     package of what he describes as technical amendments. But 
     Republicans shouldn't go along. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) 
     says it's time to bring the measure to a vote, and he's 
     right. Stop the foot-dragging. Majority Leader Tom Daschle 
     ought to bring the House bill to the floor as soon as 
     possible. Senators should approve it, rejecting any 
     amendments that would force a conference, and the president 
     should sign it. The bill, as we've said before, doesn't solve 
     every problem or close every loophole. Some needed reforms 
     aren't addressed; other problems will doubtless arise as time 
     goes on. But this measure takes on the trouble that's 
     dragging down the system right now: the exponential growth of 
     unregulated ``soft-money'' donations from corporations, 
     unions and wealthy individuals. This flood of money, nearly 
     $500 million in the 2000 election cycle, eats away at public 
     trust by creating the sense that those big-money donations 
     aim to buy access. It creates an atmosphere in which at least 
     some businesses feel obliged to contribute in order to 
     protect their interests. It blows away the limits that the 
     1974 campaign finance law attempted to impose on the 
     influence of the wealthiest donors.
       This is a system that needs changing. The bill would do 
     that by banning soft-money contributions to national parties 
     and taking federal candidates out of the business of 
     soliciting big soft-money gifts for political parties. A 
     majority of both houses is on record in support of these 
     reforms. It's now up to the Senate to make sure the effort 
     doesn't falter. End the delaying tactics. Just do it.

               [From the Washington Post, Feb. 11, 2002]


       We don't see it in quite the same apocalyptic terms as 
     Speaker Dennis Hastert, who likened this Wednesday's House 
     vote on campaign finance reform to Armageddon. But the vote 
     is plenty important. Lawmakers can wash some $500 million in 
     big-money contributions out of the federal system: the cash 
     from corporations, unions and wealthy individuals that was 
     supposed to be banned from individual campaigns but that 
     parties and officeholders have learned to use for the benefit 
     of specific candidates. These are the funds that often come 
     from players who give to both sides in a contest, 
     contributions clearly aimed at buying access to 
     officeholders. It's long been clear that this corrupting 
     flood should be stanched. The House has recognized it twice 
     before, when members passed essentially the same legislation 
     that will be before them on Wednesday. Now they need to 
     summon the courage to do it again, when it counts.
       It's because the vote actually matters that it might feel 
     like the end of the world to Mr. Hastert. He and other 
     Republican leaders are putting on the pressure, warning 
     Republican members that the GOP stands to lose its majority 
     in the House if this reform becomes law. Of course Rep. Tom 
     Davis of Fairfax, who chairs the Republican House campaign 
     committee, has been arguing the opposite, pointing out that 
     his party has a big lead in raising the $1,000 contributions 
     that would remain legal and taunting Democrats that they're 
     the ones who would be hurt by reform. The truth is that 
     incumbents on both sides of the aisle are addicted to the big 
     bucks and, like all addicts, they'll say anything to 
     safeguard their supply--including pretending to favor reform 
     while they look for a hundred different ways to derail it. 
     But most legislators also know that their dependence on big-
     money lobbyists hurts democracy and curdles public attitudes 
     toward government. Reform will prevail if members who 
     supported it before stay the course. ``There are a hundred 
     ways to defeat this bill.'' Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) 
     told reporters last week. ``But only one way to win.''
       He ought to know: He's been down this road before. 
     Reformers have been trying unsuccessfully to rein in the soft 
     money system for many years. The bill he and Rep. Martin 
     Meehan (D-Mass.) sponsored passed the House in 1998 and 1999. 
     In both those years

[[Page S2109]]

     the leadership tried to block a vote. Both times supporters 
     began the unusual maneuver of gathering signatures for a 
     discharge petition to require the measure to be brought 
     before the House; leaders compromised when the petitions 
     looked likely to succeed, and voluntarily scheduled votes. 
     This year Speaker Hastert threw up the barricades again, only 
     this time he didn't move until supporters actually obtained 
     the required 218 signatures, a majority of the House. Local 
     Republican Reps. Connie Morella, Wayne Gilchrest and Frank 
     Wolf deserve credit for signing the petition despite the 
     opposition of their own party leaders. Now the bill will come 
     to the floor under a complicated rule that allows 
     consideration of two substitute measures and a series of 
       The procedure may be complex, but the goal is simple: Pass 
     the Shays-Meehan bill in a form that will allow the Senate, 
     which has already passed a companion measure, to accept it 
     without a conference committee. A vote that leads to any 
     other outcome is a vote to kill campaign finance reform. That 
     means members must reject the alternative proposed by Rep. 
     Robert Ney (R-Ohio) and unfortunately cosponsored by 
     Democratic Rep. Al Wynn of Prince George's County. That bill 
     purports to cap soft money contributions rather than ban them 
     outright, but it is sham reform. Its limits are so high that 
     it would have permitted 80 percent or more of the soft money 
     donations made in the last campaign cycle. Members must also 
     reject ``poison pill'' amendments that would derail the bill 
     in the Senate. And no one can get away with claiming that he 
     or she is voting against Shays-Meehan because amendments 
     approved in the Senate have made the reform bill too weak. 
     The alternative to this bill is no real reform at all. And 
     that's not an alternative that anyone, least of all voters, 
     should accept.

                    [From USA Today, Feb. 15, 2002]

                        Campaign Reform, at Last

       Thanks, Enron.
       Twenty-seven years after Watergate-era reforms sought to 
     curb the clout of megabuck money in politics, Congress 
     finally voted Thursday to close a loophole that has allowed 
     the law to be flouted since 1988.
       Following on last year's Senate passage of a similar bill, 
     the victory is sweet. But it required a bitter, uphill fight 
     against House leaders who shamelessly fought to keep a half-
     billion-dollar stream of ``gifts'' pouring in.
       Ironically, reformers probably have the corporate 
     scoundrels at Enron to credit for their success. For more 
     than a decade, Republicans and Democrats, the House, Senate 
     and White House took turns killing campaign reform. Twice in 
     the late 1990s, House-passed reforms were blocked by Senate 
     filibusters. Last year, the House sidetracked a Senate-passed 
     reform bill.
       This time, defenders of the seamy status quo were counting 
     on an about-face by colleagues who previously had postured as 
     reformers, confident changes would never become law.
       Enron made that politically impossible. The company clearly 
     enjoyed exceptional clout in energy-policy decisions and 
     appointments, even though the $6 million Enron and its 
     executives showered on federal politicians during the past 
     decade didn't place it at the top of the list of generous 
     special pleaders.
       Still, Enron's outrageous abuse of investors and employees, 
     coupled with its exceptional political charity--greasing the 
     treasuries of 95% of the Senate and 67% of the House--made it 
     a poster child for the sordid intersection of money and 
       The long-overdue reform would largely prohibit what's 
     called ``soft money''--dollars from corporations, labor 
     unions and wealthy individuals that are given to political 
     parties, then funneled into federal campaigns to avoid 
     Watergate-era contribution limits. They made up the bulk of 
     Enron's giving.
       Reform still faces hurdles: repassage in the Senate over a 
     filibuster threat and President Bush's equivocations. Even if 
     the victory stands, those determined to keep buying what's 
     euphemistically called ``access'' to politicians--access that 
     ordinary folk don't have--are already testing new evasions.
       The ultimate answer is public financing, allowing qualified 
     candidates to run without pandering themselves to monied 
     interests. Four states are trying that now.
       But closing the outrageous loophole for special interests 
     is a vital first step in restoring democracy to the 
     democratic process.

  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, following the cloture vote, assuming the 
outcome of the vote is what I hope and believe it will be, I will again 
seek recognition to offer further comments on what I consider to be one 
of the most critical legislative measures on which I have had the 
privilege to work. Today's vote, as reflected in these and other 
countless newspaper articles and editorials, is about curbing the 
influence of special interests. Now is the time to enact real reform 
and return the power to the people and restore their faith in the 
  Mr. President, next to me--the next speaker--is a person who played a 
very key and vital role in the formulation of this legislation. A lot 
will be written about how this 7-year odyssey came to an end. One of 
the chapters in that book will be the time when Senator Thompson, the 
Senator from Tennessee, and Senator Feinstein, the Senator from 
California, engaged in delicate operations. The bill was basically dead 
when they began those negotiations. I won't go into the details of 
them. But through a near miraculous turn of events, because of the 
dedicated efforts of Senator Thompson and Senator Feinstein, we reached 
an agreement on crucial parts of the bill, and we were able to move 
forward. I will be grateful to my friend from Tennessee for many 
reasons, but that is only one of them in the long list of debts that I 
owe him. I thank my friend from Tennessee, who will speak next.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Tennessee as 
well. He was there from the very beginning. He has been incredibly 
helpful on the floor and in negotiations. I yield him such time as he 
may require.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Tennessee is recognized.
  Mr. THOMPSON. Mr. President, I thank my colleagues from Wisconsin and 
Arizona. Their leadership in this matter has been noted many times. It 
cannot be stressed too much.
  It is another indication that people who are intent on doing 
something they believe is good for the country can, if they are willing 
to spend a few years on it, take something that has apparently little 
support and wind up having substantial support.
  We are about to see that happen, and Senator McCain and Senator 
Feingold are to be congratulated for leading the fight, taking the 
slings and arrows, and doing something that I think is going to wind up 
benefiting our political system, this institution, and, most 
importantly, what we are supposed to be about more than anything else, 
benefiting the Nation.
  It has been pointed out that there are problems with this 
legislation. It is pretty extensive. No doubt the opponents of this 
legislation are correct in that. I know of no legislation of this type 
that is not complex and without problems.
  It has been pointed out there will probably be some unintended 
consequences. No doubt that is correct.
  It has been pointed out that people will start from day 1, after this 
is over, looking for loopholes, looking for the soft spots. ``You 
cannot do anything about money,'' they say. And there is no doubt 
people will be looking for loopholes.
  They even say that certain portions are unconstitutional. They are 
probably correct about that. Fortunately, we have a clause that will 
not cause the rest of the bill to fall. I believe the major portions of 
the bill and the more important parts of the bill are constitutional, 
according to decisions the Supreme Court has already made.
  I am willing to concede those points. Those points are not unusual or 
indigenous to this bill. They are things we see all the time. Once we 
get through the meat grinder, the legislative process, we rarely come 
with a perfect piece of legislation. This has an awful lot of good in 
it, and it is going to do some good.
  The argument that we will have to change it in another 20 years does 
not concern me that much. We had legislation that worked in this area 
for about 20 years, and it did a pretty good job. Then we had to change 
it, and that is what we are doing now. There is nothing wrong with 
that. There is nothing to be afraid of with regard to that.
  We have to keep in mind the history--where we have been--to know 
where we are going. It is true that loopholes developed in the law. 
That is what we are about today. It has been said of the last law that 
was passed in 1974, major legislation, that it was a failure. I 
disagree. That law was a public financing system for Presidential 
elections, and it was pretty much an even playing field. The candidates 
spent about the same amount of money. There was not any scandal, 
Democratic or Republican, during that period of time. Sometimes the 
incumbent won, sometimes the challenger won. To me, that is the United 
States of America. That situation prevailed for approximately 20 years.
  In the 1990s all that changed. We had an administration that was 
willing to

[[Page S2110]]

take chances with the law and legal interpretations that no one, until 
that point, was willing to take. We had a regulatory environment in 
which decisions were made that were inconsistent, contradictory, 
complex, and hard to understand.
  If we put all that together, we wind up with the result we have 
today. But we should not denigrate the fact that we can legislate in 
this area to some good effect.
  I have spent a lot of time in this Chamber talking about reasons we 
should not regulate in many areas. I believe the government closest to 
the people is the best. I believe in our principles of federalism. I 
believe State and local governments should step up and assume the 
responsibilities they traditionally have had in this country for 200 
years. I believe all of that. But surely the most conservative of us 
must recognize that there are certain areas which are within the 
Federal province.

  Certainly national defense comes to mind. Recently we have been 
working on our national parks and what is happening to them. Those are 
responsibilities the Federal Government has taken on. We have taken on 
the responsibility of our infrastructure and items of that nature.
  I believe the election of Federal officials falls into that category. 
If we as a body cannot take a look at our system, why it is working and 
not working, and legislate in that area, I do not know in what area we 
can properly regulate. I have no problem stepping up to the plate, as 
we did in 1974, and saying we are going to place some limitations on 
contributions and we are going to have a system of Presidential 
campaigns where we are not going to have millions and millions of 
dollars of soft money pouring in from unions and corporations 
throughout this Nation. It worked for a good period of time, and we are 
about to do something that is going to work for another good period of 
  It is important that we keep in mind the nature of the problem we are 
trying to address. We are not federalizing something that does not 
pertain to the Federal Government. We are not creating some new 
regulatory scheme. We probably cannot get all the regulations under the 
current system in this Chamber. They are complex. They are confusing. 
They are extensive. We already have that system.
  Explain to me the rules that pertain to what the State parties can do 
vis-a-vis the national parties. They can trade money back and forth, 
percentages for this, percentages for that. It would take the brain 
power of a nuclear scientist to figure it out. That is the current 
situation. So we should not be bashful about stepping up, recognizing 
the problem, and believing we can do something about it. It is our 
responsibility to do something about it.
  What is that problem? The problem simply is this: We have gone from a 
situation in this country where we financed our Federal campaigns with 
small contributions and a lot of people to a system where we are more 
and more dependent on huge entities giving tremendous amounts of money 
and a future that points toward fewer people being involved in the 
  We have gone from a situation where the maximum contribution 
solicited was $1,000 to a situation where those raising the money would 
consider themselves foolish if they spent too much time on raising 
those hard dollars when they can pick up the phone to these big outfits 
and raise it many times that. You are not a player anymore unless you 
have $20,000, $30,000, $40,000, $50,000, or $100,000.
  The same entities pick up our expenses for the convention. There is a 
tremendous amount of money now coming into play that was not there a 
short time ago. We have a system now that benefits the politicians and 
benefits the parties, and we try to make folks think it is our 
birthright. It has not always been that way. It is a recent creation, 
and it is not a good creation.
  Why is it not good? It is not good to have legislators or Presidents 
be too dependent on people for whom they are supposed to be making laws 
that affect their lives. When the very people who have legislation 
before you are coming to you with greater and greater amounts of money 
for your political campaign, that creates a potential conflict of 
interest that we simply do not need. It does not look good. The 
American people think, the average Joe on the street thinks, that with 
that much money being paid to that few people, they are expecting 
something for it.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Time has expired. Twenty-six seconds remain in 
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senator 
from Tennessee have 30 additional seconds.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. THOMPSON. I appreciate that, Mr. President. I will wind up by 
saying we have a chance to address this constant scandal waiting to 
happen. We are making headway to do something that will reduce the 
cynicism in this country that will help this body, that will help us 
individually, and will trade increased hard money limits for the 
reduction of soft money, a tradeoff that will help challengers reach a 
threshold credibility when they want to challenge us in these races.
  So I commend my colleagues for this legislation. There is much more 
good in this than ill, and I think it will help this institution and 
ultimately this country.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wisconsin.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. I thank my colleague from Tennessee for all his support 
and his excellent statement.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. DASCHLE. Mr. President, I want to add my voice to the many this 
morning who have spoken with some relief and satisfaction and 
confidence about the outcome of the vote. There are many who can take 
credit for the success we are about to experience, but none more than 
the colleague who is sitting to my left, Senator Feingold. He and 
Senator McCain have been extraordinary in their persistence and their 
willingness to negotiate, to compromise but yet to hold fast to the 
principles that make this legislation worthy of its passage and 
historic in its nature.
  We are concluding one of the most important debates we will have had 
in this Congress. Thomas Paine, the famed revolutionary, once offered 
an explanation for why corrupt systems often last so long. He said:

       A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a 
     superficial appearance of being right and raises, at first, a 
     formidable cry in defense of custom.

  That is certainly true of the way we pay for campaigns in this 
country. Our reliance on special interest money to run political 
campaigns is such an old habit that for a long time it had the 
superficial appearance of being right. But not anymore. The American 
people understand that special interest money too often influences who 
runs, who wins, and how they govern.

  While there is still a vocal minority who deny it, a clear majority 
of this Congress and an overwhelming majority of the American people 
know our current campaign finance system is broken. Now is the time to 
fix it.
  Almost 1 year ago, the Senate passed the McCain-Feingold campaign 
finance reform bill. At the time, we had 2 solid weeks of debate and we 
passed a good, strong bill. Opponents of reform in the House used every 
argument and excuse, every imaginable ploy, to stop the bill from 
becoming law.
  For a while, it looked as if they had won, but 1 month ago the 
reformers turned the tide. The House passed the Shays-Meehan bill, and 
the President has indicated he will sign it. Now it falls to the 
Senate, which started this process, to finish it, and today with this 
vote we will.
  I am a realist. I know this bill does not address every flaw in our 
system, and I know there are those who are already looking for ways to 
work around this bill. But as Senator Feingold has often said, it does 
show the public we understand the current system does not do our 
democracy justice.
  It curbs some of the most egregious injustices. It bans soft money, 
the unlimited, unregulated contributions to political parties. It curbs 
issue ads, those special interest ads that clearly

[[Page S2111]]

target particular candidates in an attempt to influence the outcome of 
an election. It calls for greater disclosure and increases penalties 
for violation of the law.
  Often those who are the loudest and decry the abuses of our current 
system are the staunchest defenders of that system.
  If you really are outraged by the abuses, you need to fix the system 
that invites them. If you want to fix the system, now is the time to do 
it. There are those who have argued and will continue to argue that in 
an attempt to make things better we will only make things worse. But 
since its founding, the goal of America has been to strive for that 
more perfect union our Founders envisioned.
  To say we should not attempt to make things better begs the question: 
``Is what we have now good enough?'' Is it ``good enough'' that half of 
the government has to recuse itself from an investigation of a failed 
company because it spread around so much money to those who were 
involved, to so many people in that community? Is it ``good enough'' 
that in every election the amount of money spent goes up and the number 
of people voting goes down? Is it ``good enough'' that the current 
system is more loophole than law?
  If we look at the rising tide of money in politics, the influence 
that money buys and the corrosive effect it has on people's faith in 
government, the answer, then, is clearly no.
  Ours is a government ``of the people, by the people, and for the 
people.'' It is not a government of, by, and for some of the people.
  With this vote, we stand on the verge of putting the reigns of 
government back into the hands of all people. We owe that in large 
measure to the stewardship and commitment of our colleagues, Senators 
McCain and Feingold. Time and again, they have refused to compromise 
their principles in the face of incredible pressure, but time and again 
they have acted in the national interest rather than their respective 
partisan interests. So I thank them for their service to our Republic 
and to the Senate.
  It has taken us a long time to get to this point. The last time 
Congress strengthened our political system by loosening the grip of 
special interest money was 1974, more than a generation ago. Congress 
may not have another chance to pass real campaign reform for yet 
another generation, long after most of us will have left.

  Passing this bill will likely have a profound impact on each of us 
for the rest of our time here, and none of us can be absolutely sure 
what that impact will be. But we know this: The status quo is not 
acceptable and today it will end. The currency of politics should be 
ideas, not dollars. It is time for us to start putting the currency 
back into circulation.
  After years of debate and months of delay, let us do this one final 
thing. Let us take the power away from special interests and give it 
back today to the American people where it belongs. We can do that 
today. The time is now.
  I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent the order for the 
quorum call be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                             Cloture Motion

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The hour of 12:50 has arrived. Under the 
previous order, the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture.
  The senior assistant bill clerk read as follows:

                             Cloture Motion

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with the 
     provisions of rule XXII of the Standing Rules of the Senate, 
     hereby move to bring to a close the debate on Calendar No. 
     318, H.R. 2356, a bill to provide bipartisan campaign reform:
         Russell D. Feingold, Tom Daschle, Tim Johnson, Byron L. 
           Dorgan, Bob Graham, Daniel K. Inouye, Joseph R. Biden, 
           Jr., Patty Murray, James M. Jeffords, Jeff Bingaman, 
           Debbie Stabenow, Max Baucus, E. Benjamin Nelson, Harry 
           Reid, Richard J. Durbin, Jon Corzine, Thomas R. Carper.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. By unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum 
call has been waived.
  The question is, Is it the sense of the Senate that debate on H.R. 
2356, an act to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, shall 
be brought to a close?
  The yeas and nays were ordered under rule XXII. The clerk will call 
the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 68, nays 32, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 53 Leg.]


     Nelson (FL)
     Nelson (NE)
     Smith (OR)


     Smith (NH)
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Corzine). On this vote, the yeas are 68, 
the nays are 32. Three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn 
having voted in the affirmative, the motion is agreed to.
  The Senator from Wisconsin.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, is it correct that there are now going 
to be 3 hours of debate on the bill equally divided?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is correct.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, we are enormously gratified by the vote 
on cloture. We know that some Members who don't even support the 
underlying bill thought it was appropriate and correct to bring the 
debate to a close at this point. We thank all of our colleagues for 
such a tremendous showing of support to bring this issue to a 
  With that, I am very pleased to yield 7 minutes to one of the 
strongest supporters of this legislation and a tremendous ally, the 
Senator from New York.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I congratulate my colleagues, the 
Senators from Arizona and Wisconsin, as well as our majority leader, 
for the great job they have done. We even reached more than two-thirds. 
So if they ever change the law, go back to the old filibuster law, we 
will still have an ability to win this vote. My hat is off to both 
Senators for their focus, their steadfastness, and for their great 
victory today.
  I rise in strong support of this bill on the campaign finance system. 
It has been a long time in coming, but we are now on the verge of 
making history. With this vote, we are one giant step closer to a new 
era of campaign finance, a new era of voter confidence in our 
government, and a new era of better and stronger democracy.
  Again, I thank everyone, particularly Senators McCain and Feingold, 
and Senator Daschle, for their unyielding leadership and their 
dedication to seeing these reforms enacted. It takes more than you can 
even imagine to get something such as this done. Senators, you did it. 
Our Nation owes you our thanks.
  We all know that soft money is slowly but inexorably poisoning the 
body politic. One hundred years ago, we outlawed corporate 
contributions to campaigns; we thought we did. Twenty-five years ago, 
we outlawed unlimited giving to campaigns, or believed we did then, 
too. But today soft money makes a mockery of all three of these rules. 
The $450 million in soft money raised by the two parties in the last 
election doubled the amount given in the 1996 election. It had no 
limit, but the size of the donors' bank account was obviously intended 
to influence Federal elections.

[[Page S2112]]

  We have to restore the system of regulated contributions. If we 
don't, the cynicism and distrust and lack of engagement that are 
already so pervasive will continue to spread. Our citizens are 
increasingly tuned out from our democratic process. Voter turnout for 
the 1998 election was 36 percent, the lowest turnout for a 
nonpresidential election in 56 years. In presidential elections, 
turnout has declined 13 percent since 1960.

  We all know that banning soft money won't cure all of this by itself, 
but it will help restore the impression and the reality that politics 
is more than a game played by and for only those who can afford to 
  This bill creates new requirements that will ensure the integrity of 
our campaign system. It bans national parties from raising and spending 
soft money. It bans Federal candidates and officeholders from raising 
soft money. It bans State and local parties from using soft money to 
pay for TV ads and election activities that mention specific 
candidates. It bans corporate and union funding of sham issue ads prior 
to elections, and it requires disclosure of individual and group 
donations for these ads.
  Opponents of campaign finance reform claim this bill will harm 
grassroots politics because the spending limits will force the national 
parties to focus on national candidates and not on the local 
candidates. The bill's opponents have it wrong. Campaign finance will 
strengthen our grassroots political system by breaking the parties' 
reliance on a handful of very wealthy contributors and forcing them to 
build a wider base of small donors and grassroots supporters 
  In addition, the bill includes a narrow exemption so that local 
political parties can raise a limited amount of soft money.
  There are some who believe this infringes on the first amendment. I 
cannot believe the Founding Fathers thought that the right to put the 
same commercial on 5,112 times was intended to be protected by the 
first amendment. No amendment is absolute--not the first, not the 
second, not any of them. This seems to me to be a reasonable 
  In fact, I hope the Supreme Court will reconsider Buckley v. Valeo so 
that we can go further in terms of reform because this bill takes us 
almost as far as you can get given the constraints of Buckley. And that 
seems to me to be one of the worst decisions rendered by the Supreme 
Court in the last 25 years.
  We take an important step by voting for campaign finance reform. I 
hope we will complete the job, either this week or next month, of 
strengthening our electoral system by passing electoral reform as well.
  Chairman Dodd has been heroic in his efforts to get the bipartisan 
bill finalized and back to the Senate floor. I will do everything I can 
to help him meet that goal. Once we have enacted this legislation and 
election reform--one that shuts down loopholes in financing of 
campaigns and the other that modernizes the actual voting mechanisms; 
one limiting some influence from the top, the other increasing 
influence at the bottom--we will have brought our democracy into the 
21st century and made it stronger and more vital than it has been in 
  The first step, today's step, is to vote for campaign finance reform. 
I urge my colleagues to join me in doing what we all know is the right 
thing: to support this bill and to remove soft money from our 
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  The Senator from Iowa.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I have permission from Senator McConnell 
to yield myself 10 minutes.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that following the 
Senator from Iowa, I be recognized for 10 minutes, as authorized by the 
Senator from Wisconsin.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Iowa.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I rise to explain my opposition to this 
bill but also to point out that I voted for cloture because it is quite 
obvious that we have reached closure on this bill, and we might as well 
get to final passage and move on.
  I could just as well vote yes and look like a reformer, but looking 
at it cynically and looking at the history of the 1974 legislation, 
previous reform attempts have evolved into a money machine for 
politics. Congress meant to reform the process in 1974, but it has been 
proven that legally money is going to find its way in to support 
political speech. I could find a way to rationalize voting yes on this 
bill to look like a reformer.
  Still, down the road there are going to be people who are very astute 
at finding a way within the law to spend money in the support of 
political speech. Because the democratic process in the United States 
is so central to our way of life, there should not be any impediments 
whatsoever put in the way of getting political ideas adequately 
explored, particularly during a Presidential election. I am not going 
to look like a reformer. I am going to vote no on this legislation. And 
the reason is this: I see people get worked up about the fact that 
candidates spend large sums of money in their campaigns--I will use 
myself as an example. Every sixth year my campaign might spend roughly 
$2.3 million to get reelected. My campaign does. My junior partner from 
Iowa has generally spent about $6.5 million. But whether it is $2.5 
million or $6.5 million, it is all spent to promote ideas. That is what 
our form of government is all about--the expression of ideas and the 
implementation of ideas. What is wrong with that? But to do so, I might 
spend, let's say, $2.3 million, to be reelected.

  Now, why do people get all worked up about $2.3 million, when you 
watch the Super Bowl commercial on Super Bowl Sunday, and one 30-second 
commercial costs about $2.3 million? Are we ready to say that it is OK 
on one Sunday afternoon out of a year that it is OK for commercial free 
speech, for people to spend $2.3 million for a 30-second ad, and it is 
wrong for a candidate and his supporters for a whole year of an 
election to spend approximately that amount of money? No.
  I think political speech is even more important than commercial free 
speech, and that we ought to do everything we can to perpetuate more 
political free speech than we do, instead of trying to curb it.
  It is quite obvious that I think we should not pass this legislation. 
The American people deserve an open system--one that shines in the full 
light of day on campaign contributions, and that ought to be the ruling 
force--not the amount of money.
  At the same time, we should make it easier for citizens to become 
engaged in the electoral process. However, the campaign finance bill 
before us contains fatal flaws. The one I am going to mention has been 
talked about so much that I almost do not need to repeat it. That is 
the most egregious problem with this legislation--the provision that 
limits the free speech of some organizations 60 days before an 
election. Whether it is an individual or an organization, why curb 
discussion of any political issue in America? Groups from across the 
political spectrum would be prohibited from communicating their views 
if they even refer to a candidate for Federal office. I don't think we 
should put a damper on any organization speaking at any time in the 
United States about political ideas, but especially 60 days before an 
election. Limiting political discourse at election time solves nothing 
and it curbs the advancement of democracy.
  It also goes against the grain of one of our most fundamental rights, 
the right of freedom of speech. Political speech is what the authors of 
the Bill of Rights were talking about, although it has been expanded 
way beyond political speech, to even cover commercial speech.
  But I also believe that the complete ban on soft money in this bill 
goes too far. Political parties raise this money to finance voter 
registration drives, get out the vote activities, and communications 
about issues that parties stand for. These are essential functions of a 
political party. They are also activities that increase voter 
  Effective limitations on soft money are necessary to reduce real and 
perceived corruptions in the system, but a complete ban would undermine 
the role of national political parties. Who is going to fill the void 
in the process if we tie the hands of the parties? The

[[Page S2113]]

Democrats have always relied upon labor unions to man phone banks and 
get people to the polls. That would not change the result of this bill. 
The Republicans, however, don't have an external organization to fall 
back on. Republicans rely on the party to build and mobilize their 
grassroots network. This bill takes the Republicans' organizational 
ability and cuts it off at the knees, but it leaves the other party 
untouched. They have legitimate ideas that ought to be explored, but so 
do we. That is hardly a balanced approach.

  A big reason why soft money spending has increased in the first place 
is the limitations on campaign contributions by individuals. The cap on 
individual donations has been frozen at the same level since 1974. This 
made the individual contributions work less and less over the years.
  I am pleased that this bill increases the individual contribution 
limit amount and indexes it for inflation. It is high time we put more 
emphasis back on individuals by individual citizens instead of 
corporations or unions.
  On the other hand, the new prohibitions on soft money will simply 
cause an increase in spending on other areas. For instance, spending on 
issue ads can impact a campaign but is not regulated. Some have 
advertised the new restrictions as getting the money out of politics, 
but they don't get the money out of politics--or they don't get rid of 
the money in politics. They only shift it from one place to another.
  In fact, this point is illustrated by an article that appeared in 
Roll Call, February 21, entitled ``House Democrats Make Plans to 
Circumvent Campaign Reform.'' This article described a promise that was 
made, apparently, by the House minority leader to a group of Democratic 
Members. He assured them that he would help raise money for certain 
outside groups aligned with the Democrats, despite the new fundraising 
restrictions that he supported. These groups can then turn around and 
use this money to run unregulated issue ads to the benefit of Democrat 
candidates. This example belies the contention that a soft money ban 
will solve the problem of money in politics.
  The best method of combating the influence of money in politics is to 
require full disclosure of campaign donations. I don't care even if it 
is to the penny. We can try to regulate ethical behavior by 
politicians, but the surest way to cleanse the system is to let the Sun 
shine in. We must allow the voters to hold candidates accountable.
  I have been a longtime advocate of comprehensive disclosure 
requirements. In fact, this bill contains several positive reforms. It 
increases the number of times candidates have to report contributions 
to the FEC, and it makes report information more accessible to the 
public. This bill also increases penalties for campaign finance law 
violations and provides for tough new sentencing guidelines. These are 
precisely the sorts of reforms of which we should be doing more. 
However, some of the purported reforms in this bill simply won't work 
and may even be counterproductive. I am not the only one to spot the 
problems in this bill.
  Recent editorials in the two largest newspapers in the State of Iowa 
highlight many of the same concerns I have just outlined.
  Many attempts were made in both the House and the Senate to fix the 
problems with this bill, but to no avail.
  If this bill passes in its current form, I believe we will have lost 
an important opportunity to enact a balanced and sensible package of 
real reforms to our campaign finance system. Therefore, I must 
reluctantly vote against the final passage of this bill.
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to print several editorials 
and an article in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

          [From the Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette, Feb. 22, 2002]

              Not Much ``Reform'' in Campaign Finance Bill

       How much reform will actually emerge from campaign finance 
     legislation now being fine-tuned in Washington?
       One has to wonder, given comments by Rep. Jim Nussle, R-2nd 
     District, to the Gazette editorial board Monday. On the 
     morning of its final vote, Nussle observed, he felt ``Shays-
     Meehan no longer looked like Shays-Meehan.''
       One provision ``that was snuck in, in the middle of the 
     night'' said the reforms don't apply to the 2002 election. 
     ``If it's so bad, and so corrupting and so illegal and so 
     rotten, then let's get rid of it,'' Nussle said. But that 
     stayed in, so that makes me suspicious.
       ``The other thing that makes me suspicious is that you can 
     borrow against soft money. You can borrow hard money with 
     your soft money, and after the election, pay off your debt of 
     hard money, with soft money. That was another exception.'' 
     Soft money refers to unlimited and unregulated donations to 
     national political parties. hard money, which falls under 
     federal regulation, involves contributions by individuals to 
     candidates or a party committee. ``Now all these parties are 
     going to be borrowing money,'' Nussle said.
       That didn't get much attention, Nussle continued, ``because 
     Shays-Meehan has now become a slogan. You either vote for 
     Shays-Meehan or you're against campaign finance reform.''
       The final version of Shays-Meehan allows either party to 
     build or buy a building, ``even though only one party is 
     going to do this,'' Nussle continued: ``You can't do that 
     now. You can't do any of those activities now, but they're 
     all made exceptions as part of this bill.''
       Nussle believes in full disclosure. That's the Gazette's 
     long-held view. (He also said he doesn't use, raise or need 
     ``soft money.'')
       Nussle claims to be one of only 13 in Congress who fully 
     disclose contributions, ``following the letter of the law.''
       ``I've always thought that maybe it should be the 13 of us 
     who write the bill and not the other 400-500 and whatever 
     that would be, because, quite honestly, unless you're willing 
     to follow the law, you don't have much standing to complain 
     about the law.'' Good point.
       Reform? Change? No way. This legislation is only so much 
     post-Enron chest-thumping--an attempt to appear to be doing 
     something. Money, meanwhile, will just find new routes to 
     intended targets. Had Congress enacted real measures to 
     better assure that voters know who's contributing to who, at 
     least then you'd have a basis on which to judge candidates.

                     [From the Des Moines Register]

                     Campaign ``Reform'' Won't Work

       While members of the U.S. House of Representatives engaged 
     in what Speaker Dennis Hastert called political 
     ``Armageddon'' over campaign finance last week, most 
     Americans were riveted by a scandal unfolding at the Winter 
       It's worth considering how the two events are alike, and 
     how they are different. While both politics and sports would 
     be ruled by merit, not money, the question is who makes the 
       What drew extra attention to the Olympics was the 
     allegation of misconduct in the judging of the figure-skating 
     competition. But putting aside the issue of possible 
     corruption, the question is whether medals should be awarded 
     by a panel of judges or by applause meters. Obviously, 
     experts should make the call.
       In the case of American-style democracy, however, the 
     applause meter is supposed to rule, but a lot of people 
     believe the meter is broken by the corrupting influence of 
     campaign money. Legislation designed to fix it was passed by 
     the House in the small hours of the morning Thursday.
       But it no cure, and could make matters worse.
       The Shays-Meehan campaign finance ``reform'' is advertised 
     as preventing ``special interests' from buying influence in 
     Congress. It would, among other things, ban ``soft money'' 
     given to national political parties to evade the limits on 
     contributions to individual candidates.
       Like previous efforts to ``reform'' campaign financing, 
     this one would simply channel the money into a different 
     pocket. Just as the post-Watergate cap on individual 
     contributions led to political-action committees and soft 
     money. Those with the will and the wallet to influence the 
     political process will find a way around this legislation, 
     too, if it becomes law.
       Meanwhile, the bill adds to the already burdensome 
     regulatory bureaucracy that terrorizes the poor candidate who 
     does not have an army of lawyers and accountants to figure 
     out the rules. For incumbents with big treasuries, however, 
     there is much to like in this bill: It doubles the amount an 
     individual may give to a candidate for federal office, and it 
     would prohibit ``special interest'' groups from putting 
     ``attack ads'' on TV within two months of election day.
       Besides raising obvious constitutional questions, this bill 
     is wrong in principal. If people desire to spend their own 
     money on a political candidate or a cause, they have that 
     right under the First Amendment. ``Special interest'' include 
     ordinary people in groups, whether it's the National Rifle 
     Association or the National Abortion Rights Action League.
       The law stops short of banning independently wealthy 
     individuals from using their own money to get themselves 
     elected. Why shouldn't someone with the same resources be 
     able to put his or her money on someone else?
       It is naive to believe it possible to legislate good 
     behavior by politicians. Instead, let the democratic applause 
     meter do its work: Give citizens quick and easy access to 
     campaign-finance reports, and if they don't like what they 
     see, they can boo the rascals off the ice.

[[Page S2114]]

                    [From Roll Call, Feb. 21, 2002]

          House Dems Make Plans to Circumvent Campaign Reform

                         (By Alexander Bolton)

       As comprehensive campaign finance reform nears its expected 
     enactment, House Democratic lawmakers have already adopted 
     strategies for redirecting the flow of large contributions to 
     outside groups aligned with their party, a move they hope 
     will help them regain control of the Chamber.
       House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) has assured 
     African-American members of his caucus that he will raise 
     money for groups such as the National Association for the 
     Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Southwest Voter 
     Project to pay for their voter registration and get-out-the-
     vote operations.
       Reform legislation sponsored by Reps. Chris Shays (R-Conn.) 
     and Marty Meehan (D-Mass.) that passed the House last week 
     bans soft money but allows federal lawmakers to raise funds 
     in $20,000 increments for outside organizations as long as 
     those groups are ``nonpartisan.'' The loose restrictions 
     would allow party leaders to direct hundreds of thousands of 
     dollars for such groups.
       Though the NAACP is officially nonpartisan, many 
     Republicans believe it is closely allied with the Democratic 
     Party. One GOP operative said Gephardt's plans are a cynical 
     attempt to exploit legal loop-holes for political gain.
       ``It's disgusting they're crying for reform when they're 
     already cutting deals with tax-exempt organizations like the 
     NAACP that were playing politics in the 2000 election,'' said 
     Matt Keelan, a prominent Republican fundraiser who has 
     approximately 20 clients in the House.
       Keelan and many other Republicans are still steamed over an 
     NAACP-funded ad from the 2000 campaign that reminded black 
     voters of the racially motivated murder of James Byrd Jr. 
     They feel it was an implicit attack on then-Gov. George 
     Bush's commitment to civil liberties, and one of the reasons 
     Bush garnered few votes from the black community.
       Other Democrats say they will also raise funds for outside 
     groups to turn out the party's base on Election Day.
       ``I would formulate voter education and registration 
     projects that would be funded by people like myself,'' said 
     Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.). ``We can go to all the people 
     that we know. There's no limit on nonprofit organizations.''
       ``The Democratic Party has to do that as well,'' Hastings 
       Gephardt pledged to raise the funds for outside groups last 
     week during a private meeting with Reps. Jim Clyburn (D-
     S.C.), Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), Earl 
     Hilliard (D-Ala.) and Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-Mich.), 
     who were wavering in the support for the Shays-Meehan 
       A representative from the NAACP also attended the meeting.
       Republicans say the ability of outside groups to continue 
     campaign activities on behalf of the parties is one of the 
     reasons Shays-Meehan is unfair.
       ``The bill still does not create a level playing field,'' 
     said Rich Bond, former chairman of the Republican Party. ``An 
     inherent advantage has been given to outside groups that are 
     predominantly Democratic.''
       Clyburn, a onetime opponent who voted for the bill, said he 
     switched his position because of Gephardt's assurances. Clay 
     and Kilpatrick also voted for the bill.
       However, some lawmakers were not convinced that outside 
     groups could replace the party's grassroots activities, 
     activities that will be curtailed by a soft-money ban.
       ``I've been involved in too many elections in my lifetime 
     to leave questions unanswered to the point where I have to 
     just take people at their word,'' said Thompson, referring to 
     Gephardt's promise. ``The opportunity for [minority] 
     participation and the opportunity for [minorities to 
     participate in] elections in the South has been hard fought 
       ``I was not satisfied enough with what was on the table at 
     the time to change my vote,'' he added. ``There were not 
     enough specifics to give me comfort.''
       Thompson's spokesman, Lanier Avant, said that state parties 
     do not have the resources to mobilize voters.
       ``We have no confidence in the state parties to fund those 
     efforts,'' Lanier said. ``We need the national soft 
       ``We'll see if [Gephardt] comes through on his word to 
     redirect his money to the NAACP,'' he added.
       Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.), a supporter of Shays-Meehan 
     and member of the Congressional Black Caucus, said that 
     anxiety over minority voter turnout was unfounded.
       ``I believed all along those activities would not be harmed 
     or undermined,'' said Ford.

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan is recognized.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, our Federal election finance laws are 
totally broken and a sizeable majority of the Members of Congress know 
the time has come to fix them. Enough is enough. We have had enough of 
the soft money loophole--with its contributions of unlimited dollars 
that fuel campaigns despite laws which are intended to strictly limit 
contributions to candidates. We have had enough of the candidate ads 
disguised as issue ads and paid for with money outside the statutory 
limits. And, we have had enough of the solicitations by our elected 
officials and the officers of our national political parties, 
soliciting huge sums of money by offering insider access to government 
  In the 1970s, we passed laws to limit the role of money in Federal 
elections. Our intent was to protect our democratic form of Government 
from the corrosive influence of unlimited political contributions and 
the appearance of corruption which can be created when large sums of 
money are solicited by and for officeholders and candidates.
  We wanted to ensure that our Federal elected officials are neither in 
reality not in perception beholden to special interests who are able to 
contribute large sums of money to candidates and their campaigns. Our 
election laws were designed to protect the public's confidence in our 
democratically elected officials.
  For many years those laws worked fairly well. The limits they set 
seemed clear. Individuals weren't allowed to give more than $1,000 to a 
candidate per election or $5,000 to a political action committee, or 
more than $20,000 a year to a national party committee or $25,000 total 
in any one year. Corporations and unions were prohibited from 
contributing to campaigns, except through regulated and limited 
political action committees.
  That is the law on the books today.
  Yet over the past few years, we have see almost geometric growth of 
contributions of hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions of 
dollars, from individuals, corporations, and unions, and even 
contributions from foreign sources. How is that possible, we ask.
  Our pretty good law--setting limits on the size and source of 
contributions--had gaping holes punched in it, the largest of which is 
the soft money loophole. That is the loophole that allows parties to 
raise unlimited amounts of money from individuals as well as 
corporations and unions so long as they use the money for activities 
that don't expressly, explicitly advocate the election or defeat of a 
candidate. That's why you have a $1.3 million contribution to the 
Republican National Committee from just one company or a $450,000 
contribution from one couple to the Democratic National Committee.
  Yet, the Supreme Court in Buckley was clearly aware of the likelihood 
of persons trying to evade the limits by giving huge sums to the 
parties to help candidates. This is apparent in the Court's discussion 
in upholding the $25,000 overall limit under current law. In describing 
the legitimacy for the overall $25,000 limit, the Court called it ``a 
modest restraint,'' serving to ``prevent evasion of the $1,000 
contribution limitation by a person who might otherwise contribute 
massive amounts of money to a particular candidate through the use of 
unearmarked contributions to political committees likely to contribute 
to that candidate or huge contributions to the candidate's political 
party.'' Those words precisely described a potential evasion of the 
intended limits on contributions to candidates by giving to parties. 
The Court explicitly said it was constitutional to stop it. But that 
evasion of our intent is exactly what is happening today with the soft 
money loophole, and that is exactly what this bill will stop.
  So the Supreme Court saw clearly the possibility of efforts to get 
around the $1,000 contribution limit per election, and it ruled in 
Buckley that Congress had properly sought to prevent that by imposing 
the $25,000 overall cap on contributions from any individual in any 
calendar year. What the Court did not see, and what we did not see at 
the time, was the end run around contribution limits by using the soft 
money loophole.
  The Federal Election Committee's recent figures show the tremendous 
growth in soft money fundraising. It reports that during the year 
2001--a nonelection year--Democratic national party committees reported 
$69 million in soft money contributions or 26 percent more than in 
1999; Republican national party committees reported $100 million in 
soft money contributions or 68 percent more than in 1999. The FEC 
states that soft money contributions have more than doubled for both 
national parties since 1997. The loophole

[[Page S2115]]

has destroyed the law. There are no effective limits.

  How do the parties attract large soft money contributions? Often they 
offer access--access to decisionmakers in return for tens or hundreds 
of thousands of dollars. The parties advertise the sale of access for 
huge sums. It's blatant. Both parties do it--openly.
  Large contributors to the DNC got to attend one of dozens of coffees 
with the President in the White House. Large contributors to the 
Republican Party were entitled to have breakfast with the Republican 
congressional leadership and lunch with the Republican Senate and House 
committee chairman of the contributor's choice. There are dozens and 
dozens of examples like this. The record is chock full of them, and 
should anyone want specific examples, I refer them to the six volume 
report in 1997 by the Governmental Affairs Committee on the state of 
our campaign finance system. That investigation collected ample 
evidence of soft money contribution of hundreds of thousands even 
millions of dollars destroying the contribution limits in federal law 
and creating the appearance of corruption in the public's eye.
  Look at one case that surfaced in our 1997 hearings--the case of 
Roger Tamraz, a large contributor to both parties, who became the 
bipartisan symbol for what is wrong with the current system. Roger 
Tamraz served as a Republican Eagle in the 1980s during Republican 
administration and a Democratic trustee in the 1990s during the 
Democratic administration. Tamraz was unabashed in admitting his 
political contributions were made for the purpose of obtaining access 
to people in power. Tamraz showed us in stark terms the all too common 
product of the current campaign finance system--using unlimited soft 
money contributions to buy access. And despite the condemnation of 
Tamraz's activities, when asked at the hearing to reflect on his 
$300,000 contribution to obtain access, Tamraz said, ``I think next 
time. I'll give $600,000.''
  Do these large money contributions create an appearance of improper 
influence by big contributors? In Buckley v. Valeo, the Supreme Court 
answered for the American people--it found an appearance of corruption 
created from the size of the contribution alone without even looking at 
the sale of access. The Court in that case upheld contribution limits 
as a reasonable and constitutional approach to deterring actual and 
apparent corruption of federal elections in the Buckley case. Here is 
what the Court said:

       It is unnecessary to look beyond the Act's primary 
     purpose--to limit the actuality and appearance of corruption 
     resulting from large individual financial contributions--in 
     order to find a constitutionally sufficient justification for 
     the $1,000 contribution limitation. Under a system of private 
     financing of elections, a candidate lacking immense personal 
     or family wealth must depend on financial contributions from 
     others to provide the resources necessary to conduct a 
     successful campaign. To the extent that large contributions 
     are given to secure political quid pro guos from current and 
     potential office holders, the integrity of our system of 
     representative democracy is undermined. Of almost equal 
     concern is . . . the impact of the appearance of corruption 
     stemming from public awareness of the opportunities for abuse 
     inherent in a regime of large individual financial 
     contributions. Congress could legitimately conclude that the 
     avoidance of the appearance of improper influence ``is also 
     critical . . . if confidence in the system of representative 
     government is not to be eroded to a disastrous extent.''

  The Court went on to say:

       And while disclosure requirements serve the many salutary 
     purposes discussed elsewhere in this opinion, Congress was 
     surely entitled to conclude that disclosure was only a 
     partial measure and that contribution ceilings were a 
     necessary legislative concomitant to deal with the reality 
     or appearance of corruption inherent in a system 
     permitting unlimited financial contributions, even when 
     the identities of the contributors and the amounts of 
     their contributions are fully disclosed.

  The Buckley Court repeatedly endorses the concept that contributions 
without limits, alone, are enough to create the appearance of 
corruption and to justify the imposition of limits.
  For instance, the Buckley Court said:

       Not only is it difficult to isolate suspect contributions 
     but, more importantly, Congress was justified in concluding 
     that the interest in safeguarding against the appearance of 
     impropriety requires that the opportunity for abuse inherent 
     in the process of raising large monetary contributions be 

  Selling access in exchange for contributions would only take the 
Court's concerns and justification for limits a step further.
  What do these unlimited soft money contributions allow the parties to 
do? They allow them to pay for ads which they claim are ads about 
issues, but in reality, they're ads clearly intended to help elect or 
defeat candidates.
  In Buckley, the Supreme Court held that we could put limits on 
electioneering-type communications under specified circumstances. The 
Court said that Congress could limit contributions for those 
communications that ``in express terms advocate for the election or 
defeat of a clearly identified candidate for federal office.'' In one 
of the most famous footnotes of a Supreme Court case, the Court tried 
to describe what it meant by its finding, citing what has come to be 
known as the seven magic words and phrases: ``communications containing 
. . . words . . . such as: `vote for,' `elect,' `cast your ballot for,' 
`Smith for Congress,' `Vote against,' `defeat,' `reject.' '' So long as 
these types of words are not used in a communication, a television ad 
for instance, the Court held, the communication would not be subject to 
contribution limits.
  Over time, the parties have developed ads which avoid these types of 
words but which by anyone's estimation are promoting the election or 
defeat of a candidate.
  Listen to this ad from the Republican National Committee on behalf of 
then Presidential candidate Bob Dole.

       Mr. Dole. We have a moral obligation to give our children 
     an America with the opportunity and values of the nation we 
     grew up in.
       Voice Over. Bob Dole grew up in Russell, Kansas. From his 
     parents he learned the value of hard work, honesty and 
     responsibility. So when his country called, he answered. He 
     was seriously wounded in combat. Paralyzed, he underwent nine 
       Mr. Dole. I went around looking for a miracle that would 
     make me whole again.
       Voice Over. The doctors said he'd never walk again. But 
     after 39 months, he proved them wrong.
       A Man Named Ed. He persevered, he never gave up. He fought 
     his way back from total paralysis.
       Voice Over. Like many Americans, his life experience and 
     values serve as a strong moral compass. The principle of work 
     to replace welfare. The principle of accountability to 
     strengthen our criminal justice system. The principle of 
     discipline to end wasteful Washington spending.
       Mr. Dole. It all comes down to values. What you believe in. 
     What you sacrifice for. And what you stand for.

  That ad was called an ``issue ad'' and paid for with the unlimited 
contributions of soft money to the Republican National Committee. That 
is viewed as permissible under current law because that ad does not 
explicitly ask the viewer to vote for or support Bob Dole. It just 
spends its whole time extolling him before election day. If it added 
words at the end that say what the ad is all about, ``Vote for Bob 
Dole,'' it would be treated as a candidate ad, not an issue ad, and 
would be subject to the hard money limits; that is, it could only be 
paid for with contributions subject to limits. Any reasonable person 
who hears that ad knows it is an ad supporting the candidacy of Bob 
Dole. It is not an ad about welfare or wasteful government spending. It 
should have to be paid for with regulated or hard money contributions. 
But that is not the case today. It will be the case when we pass 
  The Democrats avail themselves of the same loophole. In the 1996 
Presidential campaign, the Democratic National Committee ran ads on 
welfare and crime and the budget which were basically designed to 
support President Clinton's reelection. At our hearings on the campaign 
finance system, Harold Ickes was asked about these DNC ads and the 
extent to which the people looking at the ads would walk away with the 
message to vote for President Clinton. ``I would certainly hope so,'' 
he said. ``If not, we ought to fire the ad agencies.''
  To get around the reasonable limits of the 1974 law, parties and 
candidates seized on the Buckley Court's seven magic words by arguing 
if any election activity was not expressly for the election or defeat 
of a candidate--that is it did not include those seven magic words--
then it was outside the scope of the law's limits. In a terrible irony 
then, the Buckley case unwittingly contained the seed--the seven magic 
words test--for undermining the law.

[[Page S2116]]

  The McCain-Feingold bill will address the subterfuge of sham issue 
ads, and does so in a clear, direct manner that will not subject it to 
concerns of vagueness, which need to be foremost in our minds when 
addressing matters of free speech. The bill would require any radio or 
television ad that refers to a clearly identified candidate that is 
broadcast within 60 days of a general election or within 30 days of a 
primary election to be treated as an ad seeking to influence the 
outcome of an election and therefore paid for with funds subject to 
contribution and disclosure limits. The bill would require any national 
party running such an ad to pay for that ad with hard money. Any 
nonparty group running such an ad that costs $10,000 or more a year 
would have to identify itself as the sponsor of the ad, disclose the 
cost of the communication and disclose the names and addresses of its 
donors of $1,000 or more.
  The bill does not prohibit such ads from being aired by nonparty 
groups with unregulated money; it only requires disclosure of the 
sponsoring group's major contributions if the group spends over $10,000 
on such ads. This is a very reasonable and modest limitation on 
political advocacy. It is very clear in order to withstand charges of 
ambiguity. And it addresses the reality. Any reasonable person knows 
when seeing these sham issue ads that they are really about electing or 
defeating the candidates named in them.
  The research by the Brennan Center confirms that for us.
  First, the Brennan Center found that of the 57,863 ads aired by non-
party groups in the final 60 days of the 2000 election where a 
candidate was mentioned, only 331--or less than 1 percent--were genuine 
issue ads ``primarily aimed at providing information on a policy 
matter.'' That means that 99 percent of the group-sponsored ads were in 
fact ads to promote or defeat the election of a candidate.
  Second, the Brennan Center study found that of the ads actually run 
by candidates and paid for with hard money specifically on behalf of 
their election or defeat, only 9 percent used the seven magic words and 
phrases identified by the Supreme Court. That is compelling evidence 
that the magic words identified by the Supreme Court are not a complete 
test of what constitutes electioneering ads. More is at work here than 
just the seven magic words identified by the Supreme Court.
  Some argue that if we only close the soft money loophole to political 
parties, the money we cut off to the parties will be redirected to 
special interest groups. I believe it will not happen that way because 
candidates and public officials running for reelection and their agents 
will not be allowed to solicit it, the parties will not be allowed to 
raise it, and the contributors will not be able to buy access to us 
with it. This bill would prohibit a candidate or office holder from 
soliciting soft money for private organizations running issue ads. Will 
contributors of these large sums want to buy access to the Sierra Club 
or the National Rifle Association? Dubious. Will they be able to buy 
access to us through these unlimited contributions to third parties? 
No. If that were to occur, then it would be in direct violation of the 
law. Under this soft money ban, public officials and candidates will be 
out of the soft money fundraising business, and that's a very important 
step we will be taking with this legislation. The official with power, 
and the candidate seeking to be in a position of power, won't be able 
to solicit huge sums of money and sell access to themselves for their 
campaign or for outside groups.

  We have been here before--trying to pass campaign finance reform, 
trying to stop the explosion of soft money. Three years ago I asked 
this body the question: ``Will it be different this time?'' It was not. 
But this time the answer is it will. We are going to pass this 
legislation, send it to the President, and respond to the vast majority 
of the American people who want it.
  In doing so, we are hopefully going to change politics in America. No 
one really knows which party in the end is going to be advantaged or 
disadvantaged by the changes we are making to the law today. But we 
know for certain that the body politic itself will be dramatically 
benefitted. That is because we will be taking the solicitation of big 
money by people in power and people seeking power out of American 
politics and with it will go the appearances of favoritism and 
  The political landscape will change when this bill takes effect. It 
will be filled with more people and less influence; more contributors 
and smaller contributions; more democracy and less elitism. This is a 
good decision by Congress for the country, and we have those persistent 
and hardy souls like Senator McCain, Senator Feingold, Congressman 
Meehan, and Congressman Shays to thank, as well as inspiring citizens 
like Granny D who walked across the country to make her case, and the 
members of the coalitions in each of our States, like the Michigan 
Campaign Finance Network.
  It is not often that we get the opportunity to legislate in a way 
that will so dramatically affect the core of how we operate. This is 
that time, and I am privileged to have worked for this bill's passage 
and to vote to send it to the President of the United States for 
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Mr. COCHRAN. Mr. President, will the Senator yield to me for just a 
brief time? I do not want to encroach on Senator McConnell's right to 
speak at this time, but will the Senator yield me 2 minutes?
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I am sure Senator Feingold would be happy 
to yield a couple of minutes if he were present. So on his behalf, I 
yield 3 minutes to the Senator from Mississippi.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Mississippi.
  Mr. COCHRAN. Mr. President, I am pleased Congress is making this 
effort to reform the campaign finance laws. When the last election 
resulted in a Senate that was evenly divided between Republicans and 
Democrats, it occurred to me there could not be a better time for the 
Senate to take up this legislation and try to write a bill that 
improved our Federal election finance laws. It is a subject with which 
we are all very familiar. It makes it very difficult, therefore, for 
the Senate to work on an issue such as this.
  We are all biased in one way or the other because of experiences we 
have had, but my experience was, as a candidate for Congress in the 
early 1970s, at a time when we had passed the first major reform of 
Federal election laws, that the 1972 elections were the first real test 
of the reforms. Some of the law had been ruled unconstitutional, but 
virtually every candidate had to report, for the first time, where he 
was getting the money he was spending in his election and how he was 
spending it. These reports had to be made to the Federal Election 
Commission. A copy had to be filed with the secretary of state in the 
State where one was a candidate.
  As to disclosure, people had a right to know where the money was 
coming from to support candidates, and how they were spending it, who 
they were giving the money to, if they were giving money to people, or 
if they were buying ads. Whatever was being done with the money, it had 
to be reported.
  What has happened over time is others have become so involved in the 
process--organizations, parties, other individuals, buying ads, getting 
involved, spending money, raising money, to influence the outcome of 
elections--the people have lost their right to know. It has been taken 
away from them by the way the law has worked in practice.
  So this is an effort to address that in a meaningful way, to require 
disclosure by groups that are buying ads to influence the outcome of 
elections, how they are raising their money, who is behind this.
  When one watches a TV ad, they do not know who bought it. If a 
candidate buys it, the people know. If a candidate for office buys an 
ad in the paper, there has to be a disclaimer showing who bought it. 
Everybody in the country now is involved, but nobody knows who these 
folks are because they use names such as the Good Government Committee.
  The whole point is, there is a lot that needs to be changed. This 
bill is an important first step in making some changes that are long 
overdue. I am glad I was able to support the cloture motion to bring 
the debate to a halt.

[[Page S2117]]

 We have had an opportunity to fully discuss it in the Senate. The 
House has taken its time for discussion. It has been a tough battle, 
but we have produced a bill now and it is time to pass it and send it 
to the President.
  The Court is going to have an opportunity to review it. If there are 
unconstitutional provisions, those will be struck down, and there may 
be some in this bill. It is not a perfect bill, but it is time to pass 
the bill because it accomplishes some actions that are long overdue and 
that will help the election process.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the time 
remaining between now and 2 p.m. be divided between Senators Cantwell 
and Jeffords.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Washington.
  Ms. CANTWELL. Mr. President, I campaigned on the issue of 
transforming our election process and said repeatedly I would make it a 
top priority in the Senate. It was a tremendous experience last year to 
participate in the debate on this legislation and assist Senators 
McCain and Feingold with the passage of this legislation from the 
Senate the first time. It took an extra year to get this bill through 
the House and send it to the President, but my wait has been nothing 
like that of the wait of the Senators from Arizona and Wisconsin who 
have endured repeated efforts through the years. I want to give them my 
heartiest congratulations for an extraordinary accomplishment that is 
truly in the public's interest.
  Campaign finance is at the heart of every issue we deal with in 
Congress. From energy, to health care, to gun control, to bankruptcy, 
political interest groups that use money to make their agenda heard all 
too often are larger than the public's interest in framing the debate. 
This legislation will move the debate closer to the public.
  This bill is about slowing the ad war. It is about calling sham issue 
ads what they really are. It is about slowing political advertising and 
making sure the flow of negative ads by outside interest groups does 
not continue to permeate the airwaves. Ninety-eight million dollars 
worth of these ads ran in the 2000 election by narrowly focused special 
interest groups based out of Washington, DC. This legislation will 
change that and again focus these debates more on the public agenda. 
This bill also stops the unlimited flow of corporate contributions, or 
soft money, that contributed to the volume of ad wars in the 2000 
  This bill forces all of us--candidates, parties, and groups that seek 
to influence the outcome of elections--to play by the same rules and 
raise and spend money in lower amounts.
  This is a banner day for Congress. This bill is a huge step forward 
in the right direction. There is much more work that needs to be done 
in reforming our political system. I am glad this day has finally come, 
and I urge my colleagues to support this very important legislation 
that has endured because of the hard work of two Senators.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. JEFFORDS. Mr. President, I rise today with a sense of pride that 
the Congress will soon pass comprehensive campaign finance reform. It 
has been a long time in coming, and the perseverance of Senators McCain 
and Feingold should be recognized as the reason we are here today. I 
would especially like to thank my colleague, Senator Snowe, for all her 
hard work and leadership in developing the language in this bill, the 
so-called Snowe-Jeffords provisions, which is a full and fair solution 
to the proliferation of electioneering communications.
  The last time Congress passed comprehensive campaign finance reform I 
was running for the House of Representatives for the first time. That 
campaign was waged between me and my opponent door-to-door, meeting the 
voters, standing on the street corner talking to the voters, or 
debating the issues at public forums. Our constituents knew who we 
were, what we stood for, and who was saying what about whom.
  Fast forward 28 years and today a campaign is waged on television and 
radio, many times by people and groups who the voters do not know. The 
Americana people deserve better from their candidates and campaigns. 
This bill, soon to be law, will make many needed changes to our 
campaign finance system and reconnect the electorate with their 
candidates for federal office.
  I am especially proud of the provisions in this legislation that 
reform the law concerning broadcast advertisements near an election 
that escape even minimal disclosure by not using the ``magic words.'' 
These electioneering communications are cleverly and clearly seen by 
the electorate to be trying to influence their vote, but the true 
nature of the sponsors and funding for these advertisements remain 
cloaked in the veil of secrecy. The American public deserves to know 
who is trying to influence their vote, and the Snowe-Jeffords 
provisions will provide them this necessary information.
  We will hear from some speakers during this debate that they are 
absolutely certain these provisions are unconstitutional and will be 
struck down by the court. I wish I could guarantee to my colleagues 
that these provisions will be found to be constitutional by the Supreme 
Court, but I am not so foolhardy as to predict the outcome of any case 
before the Supreme Court. I can, however, assure my colleagues that we 
have examined the important court decisions, talked to legal scholars, 
and reviewed the research on the topic to craft a provision that we 
believe will withstand constitutional scrutiny by the Supreme Court.
  A recently released study on the 2000 elections by the Brennan Center 
For Justice clearly demonstrates the need for the Snowe-Jeffords 
provisions, and the care we took in crafting these clear and narrow 
requirements. In the 2000 elections approximately $629 million was 
spent on television advertising for federal elections. This represents 
an all-time high. Even looking at the amount spent just on 
Congressional races, the $422 million spent in 2000 overwhelms the $177 
million spent just 2 years earlier. That gives you an idea of what is 

  The ``magic words'' standard created by the Supreme Court in 1976 has 
been made useless by the political realities of modern political 
advertising. Even in candidate advertisements, what many would say are 
clearly advertisements made to convince a voter to support a particular 
candidate, only 10 percent of the advertisements used the ``magic 
words.'' Parties' and groups' use of the magic words is even smaller, 
with as few as 2 percent of their ads using the magic words. By not 
using these ``magic words,'' these advertisements escape even the most 
basic disclosure and keep the public in the dark about who is trying to 
influence their vote.
  One of the most important findings of this comprehensive study of 
television advertising during the 2000 elections is that the Snowe-
Jeffords provisions are exceptionally well crafted and not too broad. 
Of the 50,950 group issue advertisements featuring federal candidates 
aired during the relevant time period, only 331 were about a genuine 
issue or bill pending before Congress. States another way, the Snowe-
Jeffords provision correctly identify 99.4 percent of the 
advertisements as electioneering in nature and subject to the 
restrictions of the provision. I do not know how the opponents of this 
provision can say, faced with this empirical data, that our provision 
is too broad in nature.
  It is important that the public know the background and facts behind 
the Snowe-Jeffords provisions. Material on this provision can be found 
  I ask unanimous consent that some additional material concerning the 
Snowe-Jeffords provision be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                Campaign Finance Reform--Fact & Fiction

(Based on findings from Buying Time 2000: Television Advertising in the 
                        2000 Federal Elections)

       1. Fiction: Shays-Meehan would cut out genuine issue 
       Of all the group ads that would have been captured had the 
     Shays-Meehan 60-day test

[[Page S2118]]

     been in effect in the 2000 general election, exactly three 
     unique ads, accounting for a tiny 0.6% of all spots, were 
     perceived as genuine issue advocacy.
       In 1998, the comparable statistic was two unique ads.
       Only 3% of all group ads perceived to be genuine issue ads 
     mention a candidate.
       Beyond that, the Shays-Meehan test closely tracks the 
     actual prevalence of electioneering ads: 79% of 
     electioneering ads by groups are captured by the 60-day test.
       2. Fiction: The ``magic words'' test adequately 
     distinguishes election-related speech from issue advocacy.
       Candidates, themselves, who are indisputably engaged in 
     electioneering, used magic words only 10% of the tie in 2000 
     (4% in 1998).
       97% of ads perceived to be electioneering did not use magic 
     words, in both 1998 and 2000.
       All political party ads were perceived to be 
     electioneering, even though political parties use magic words 
     only 2.3% of the time. (In 1998, 95% were electioneering, but 
     only 1.2% used magic words.)
       The magic words test is not nearly the bright line 
     adherents believe it to be: Numerous ads in 2000 were hard to 
     classify as express advocacy or not.
       3. Fiction: Genuine issue advocacy peaks closer to an 
     election, becasue that is when voters are most attuned to the 
       The number of genuine issue ads actually declines close to 
     the election, but electioneering spikes: about half (51%) all 
     genuine issue ads occur in the four-month period between 
     April and July, while only 19% occur in the two months before 
     an election.
       The percentage of group-sponsored political ads that 
     mention candidates increases from 12% during the first half 
     of the calendar year, to 50% in July and August, to 61% in 
     September, to 69% during the rest of the election cycle. (The 
     comparable statistics in 1998 were 34% in the first half of 
     the year, 62% in July and August, 82% in September, and 95% 
     during the rest of the cycle.)
       4. Fiction: Soft money is needed for party-building and 
     voter-mobilization activities.
       Only 8.5 cents of every soft money dollar is spent on 
     activities that might even remotely be considered voter 
     mobilization, while 38 cents on the dollar is spent on media 
     and issue advocacy.
       100% of all political party ads are perceived as 
     electioneering (93% in 1998).
       92% of all political party ads never so much as mention the 
     name of the political party (85% in 1998).
       The political parties are spending so much money on TV ads, 
     all depicting candidates, that they actually outspent the 
     candidates themselves in the 2000 presidential election--$81 
     million to $71 million.
       Party spending on House races ($43 million) was targeted 
     only to competitive races--a mere 48 races in all. A third of 
     all that spending ($14 million) was reserved for six House 
       5. Fiction: Soft money is used to enhance the prospects of 
     candidates of color.
       Less than 7% of spending by parties on advertising in 
     connection with House races went to races involving 
     candidates of color.
       Of the 42 races in which the Democratic Party aired 
     television ads, just three involved candidates of color. None 
     of those three were among the top recipients of party 
       6. Fiction: Shays-Meehan will unfairly trap unwary bit 
     players, like unsophisticated individuals and small 
     grassroots groups.
       At least 98.5% of the political advertising in 2000 was 
     sponsored by political parties, corporations, unions, and 
     major national organizations.

 Executive Summary of Buying Time 2000: Television Advertising in the 
                         2000 Federal Elections

                        summary of key findings

       1. Approximately $629 million was spent on television 
     advertising by all candidates, parties, and groups in the 
     2000 federal elections. This figure represents an all-time 
     record spent on political advertising. Even when looking at 
     just congressional races, the $422 million spent in 2000 far 
     exceeds the $177 million spent on political television ads in 
     the 1998 congressional elections.
       2. The magic words standard that some use to distinguish 
     express advocacy from issue advocacy has no relation to the 
     reality of political advertising. None of the players in 
     political advertising--candidates, parties, or groups--employ 
     magic words such as ``vote for,'' ``vote against,'' 
     ``elect,'' or anything comparable with much frequency in 
     their ads. Only 10% of candidates ads ever used magic words, 
     and as few as 2% of party and groups ads used magic words.
       3. Special interest groups increased their expenditures of 
     political advertisements nine-fold since 1998, breaking all 
     previous records. Conservatively estimated, special interest 
     groups spent about $98 million on political television ads in 
     2000--more than 58% of that spending went for electioneering 
     issue ads.
       4. Parties made record-breaking use of issue advocacy in 
     the 2000 elections. In addition to spending more on 
     television advertising relative to the presidential general 
     election than the candidates themselves, political parties 
     primarily aired issue ads rather than ads using magic words 
     in order to sidestep federal campaign finance laws limiting 
     the amounts and sources of contributions.
       5. All of the so-called party issue ads, bar none, were 
     electioneering in nature. None of these party ads qualified 
     as genuine issue ads. The proportion of party ads that were 
     positive in tone dropped since 1998, from 28% to 24%.
       6. Genuine issue advocacy by groups is overwhelmed in the 
     final 60 days of an election and is replaced by 
     electioneering issue ads. Approximately 86% of group-
     sponsored issue ads aired within 60 days of the 2000 general 
     election were electioneering issue ads rather than genuine 
     issue ads.
       7. A legislative proposal (the Snowe-Jeffords Amendment) to 
     establish a test for express advocacy based on whether an ad 
     identifies a candidate within 60 days of the general election 
     would be a substantial improvement over the magic words test. 
     If the Snowe-Jeffords 60-day bright-line test had been in 
     place in 2000, only a fraction (less than 1%) of ads subject 
     to financial disclosure would have been genuine issue ads.
       Preserving the integrity of the American campaign finance 
     system requires constant vigilance. Each election cycle 
     brings new innovations in campaign finance evasion as 
     parties, candidates and groups strive to bend the system to 
     their benefit. At times the existing rules and regulations 
     seem more like fiction than fact, and new reforms at the 
     federal level seem doomed before they are even proposed. 
     However, public opinion has started to catch up with those 
     who have for years taken advantage of the system in the 
     pursuit of electoral success. Regardless of refined legal or 
     policy distinctions in types of advertisements, the public is 
     keenly aware that most political ads are indeed 
     electioneering ads and that the political players are side-
     stepping federal campaign finance laws. The legal community 
     has begun to catch up, recognizing the futility of the magic 
     words test and taking steps to draft a more sophisticated 
     standard for regulating electioneering. Political scientists, 
     too, have drafted new laws and have responded to the dearth 
     of information about the nature and scope of electioneering 
     issue ads by conducting studies to shed light on this once-
     secretive tool.
       Combining the insights from these three communities adds to 
     the likelihood that public policy will emerge that is 
     grounded in common sense, legal expertise, and scholarship. 
     The shared effort of citizens, lawyers, and political 
     scientists working hand-in-hand with legislators creates room 
     for optimism about a system few deny is in dire need of 

  Mr. JEFFORDS. I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mrs. Carnahan). Under the previous order, the 
Senator from Kentucky is recognized.
  Mr. McCONNELL. How much time do I have?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Seventy-nine and a half minutes.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, I yield myself whatever time I may 
consume within that time period.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, I begin by citing the ultimate 
campaign reform: The first amendment to our Constitution. It says 
Congress shall make no law--no law--abridging freedom of speech or of 
the press. I refer to freedom of the press because it is the robust 
exercise of that freedom which has brought us today to assault the 
freedom of speech. Over the past 5 years, the New York Times and the 
Washington Post have joined forces to publish an editorial an average 
of every 5\1/2\ days on campaign finance reform.
  To buy that editorial space in the New York Times or the Washington 
Post, it would cost $36,000 and $8,000, respectively, for each 
editorial. Multiply that amount by the number of editorials of each 
paper, and it equals a total value of $8 million in unregulated soft 
money advertising that frequently mentions Federal candidates. Of 
course, that type of corporate, big media, soft money expenditure will 
not be regulated in this new law.
  Why is the press, the institution that has unlimited free speech, so 
interested in restricting the speech of everyone else? Let's take a 
closer look. The unconstitutional issue ad restrictions in this bill 
purport to limit advertising within proximity to an election. However, 
it does not, interestingly enough, apply to newspaper ads. So the 
already powerful corporations that control the news--and, in many 
instances, the public policy--in America will get more power and more 
money under this new law. One has to wonder why that blatant conflict 
of interest has not been more thoroughly discussed in a debate about 
the appearance of such conflicts.

  Outside groups such as Common Cause have devoted many years and 
millions of dollars to lobbying this

[[Page S2119]]

issue in the House and in the Senate. Why not? Their fundraising will 
explode if this bill passes. They no longer have to compete with party 
committees for soft dollars. Shays-Meehan permits every Member of the 
House and the Senate to raise soft money for these outside groups.
  The bill we are about to pass allows Members of the House and Senate 
to raise soft money for these outside groups. I am told this unlimited, 
undisclosed, unregulated soft dollar fundraising has, in fact, already 
  Although the facts about the provisions of this bill are almost 
always misrepresented, the driving mantra behind the entire movement is 
that we are all corrupt or that we appear to be corrupt.
  We have explored corruption and the appearance of corporation before 
in this Chamber. You cannot have corruption unless someone is corrupt. 
At no time has any Member of either body offered evidence of even the 
slightest hint of corruption by any Member of either body. As for the 
appearance of corruption, our friends in the media who are part and 
parcel of the reform industry continue to make broad and baseless 
  It has been reported that the reform industry spent $73 million from 
1997 to 1999 on this issue. Of course, that was all soft money. These 
are all soft dollar expenditures used to fuel negative perceptions of 
Federal officeholders and candidates. Scandal, or perceived scandal, 
sells papers and gets viewers. In the nonstop competition to be the 
next Woodward and Bernstein, the reform industry relentlessly works to 
raise questions in our minds.
  In short, I believe the appearance of corruption is whatever the New 
York Times says it is. Add to that, cash-strapped, scandal-hungry 
newspapers and unlimited foundation donations to the reform industry, 
and you are in full-scale corruption mode. The actual facts are rarely 
  I request that these two articles documenting the hypocritical 
actions of the reform industry be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

               [From the National Review, Feb. 12, 2000]

                       The Campaign-Finance Smear

                            (By Rich Lowry)

       No one has done more to create an ``appearance'' of 
     corruption in politics than campaign-finance reformers.
       A typical complaint of campaign-finance reformers is that 
     politics is too negative and dishonest.
       One might expect therefore that advocates of reform would 
     feel some obligation not to be so negative in the way they 
     depict politicians, or at the very least to be truthful when 
     they do decide to ``go negative'' against political 
       Alas, no one has done more to create an ``appearance'' of 
     corruption in politics than campaign-finance reformers who 
     ignore or distort facts to make reckless charges of 
       Consider The American Prospect, which has a heavy-breathing 
     editorial in its most recent issue decrying how corporations 
     have supposedly stolen away our democracy.
       ``By buying politicians,'' The American Prospect writes of 
     Enron, ``a favored corporation promoting a new kind of scam 
     simply purchased immunity from regulatory oversight.''
       Note that there is no ``seems,'' or ``appears,'' in this 
     sentence. It is an outright assertion of bribery, in the 
     cause of promoting corporate fraud.
       Given the gravity of this charge, it would be nice if there 
     were some evidence for it.
       What the Prospect offers is Wendy Gramm, who ``as chief 
     commodities regulator under Bush I, slipped in a midnight 
     rule-change after the 1992 election to exempt Enron's trades 
     from oversight.''
       ``She was rewarded,'' according to the Prospect, ``with a 
     seat on the Enron board and hundreds of thousands of dollars 
     in income.''
       Sounds pretty sinister. Except the Prospect conveniently 
     neglects to spell out what exactly was involved in this 
     ``Enron exemption.''
       Actually, it wasn't an Enron-specific matter but a ruling 
     that affected a whole new class of trades--nine other 
     companies lobbied for it--that was coming to the fore in the 
     early 1990s.
       Here's USA Today (apparently a more nuanced and 
     sophisticated source than the Prospect) on the rule: 
     ``Despite the appearance of a trade-off, even Gramm's critics 
     concede that the commission's ruling was a smart move. The 
     energy derivatives market was growing rapidly, and there were 
     worries that without an exemption, the Chicago Board of Trade 
     might sue anyone selling an energy derivative outside of its 
     centralized market.''
       I frankly don't know enough about derivatives to say with 
     any assurance whether the Gramm ruling was a mistake or not, 
     but it's obviously a subject of dispute. So, before 
     condemning Wendy Gramm for her venal motives, it would be 
     nice to hear some arguments about why she was wrong.
       The Prospect offers none.
       Maybe the Prospect thinks that the Chicago Board of Trade, 
     which opposed this move, was right. But wouldn't Gramm then 
     have simply been doing the bidding of another moneybags 
     interest out to protect its business, the Chicago Board of 
       This is why the campaign-finance reformers, on their own 
     terms, can always win the argument--there are well-heeled 
     interests on all sides of most disputes in Washington, so 
     someone can always be portrayed as selling out to some 
     interest or other.
       But the Prospect's treatment of Wendy Gramm is almost 
     responsible compared to the way it smears her husband: ``When 
     Enron needed another favor in 2000, her husband, Sen. Phil 
     Gramm of Texas, got yet another regulation waived.''
       As far as I can tell, this is a regurgitated charge that 
     Ramesh Ponnuru has already dissected on NRO: ``Public Citizen 
     had Gramm `muscling through' the offending provision. In 
     fact, Gramm had almost nothing to do with it.
       ``He didn't write it: It came to the Senate from the House, 
     where it was part of a bill that passed by a large margin. He 
     didn't usher it through the Senate: It was considered by the 
     Agriculture Committee, of which he was not a member, rather 
     than the Banking Committee, which he chaired. Indeed, Gramm 
     blocked the bill that included the provision for several 
     months because he objected to other provisions. He did, 
     however, eventually vote for the bill, like most congressmen. 
     It included the offending provision, which had hardly been 
     altered during the legislative process.''
       So, what's so amazing about the Prospect smear is that it's 
     a discredited one. The Washington Post, the Philadelphia 
     Inquirer, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution have already 
     run corrections for repeating this charge.
       I called American Prospect editor Robert Kuttner to try to 
     ask him if he's going to do the same. He didn't return my 
     call. But it will be interesting to see if the Prospect, 
     which makes such a fuss in its editorial about ``corporate 
     accountability,'' cares as much about journalistic 
     accountability. [Ed. note--someone from the Prospect has e-
     mailed saying that they will correct this.]
       All this really amounts to what campaign-finance reformers 
     call ``mud slinging.'' That's why I can't understand why 
     McCainiacs and other campaign-finance reformers say they want 
     to raise the level of public discourse, when they so 
     relentlessly run it down by imputing corrupt motives to 
     everyone in Washington.
       In the case the Prospect, however, this isn't quite 
     accurate--it wants to impute nasty motives not to everyone, 
     but to conservatives in particular.
       ``The ideology of deregulation,'' it writes, ``provided 
     cover for the cronyism.''
       This is rather extraordinary, to say in effect that a whole 
     way of looking at the world--a viewpoint based on philosophy 
     and ideas--is really only a cover for corruption. Not only is 
     this a stilted, cynical, and false charge, it is 
     ideologically loaded.
       Nowhere in its editorial does the Prospect excoriate the 
     Clinton administration for signing the Kyoto treaty, 
     something that meant a lot to Enron. That's because 
     regulation is presumed to be public spirited, even if an evil 
     corporation is pushing for it.
       Part of the liberal motive for campaign-finance reform is 
     clearly to try to systematically prevent American companies 
     from protecting themselves from government regulation. It 
     will be a corruption-free world, in short, only when liberals 
     get everything they want.
       Until then, smear away.

               [From the National Review, Mar. 11, 2002]

                       The Gaggers and Gag-Making

            hyprocrisy among the campaign-finance reformers

                         (By Bradley A. Smith)

       It's a common scene in Washington. Lobbyists representing 
     powerful, well-financed special interests sit behind closed 
     doors with members of Congress drafting legislation. Outside 
     Washington, their dollars finance TV ad campaigns in the 
     districts of wavering House members, hoping to pressure them 
     into supporting the bill. Highly technical and complex 
     legislation is then unveiled in the middle of the night, and 
     most members of Congress have no time to read it before 
     debate begins the next morning. Efforts by grassroots groups 
     to amend the bill to protect their members are rebuffed, and 
     though the bill contains provisions that even its sponsors 
     admit are probably unconstitutional, such objections are 
     shunted aside.
       You may think this is a description of a special interest 
     trying to benefit from some arcane budget bill, but in fact 
     it is a description of the Shays-Meehan campaign-finance-
     regulation bill that passed the House in the wee hours of 
     February 14. The passage of Shays-Meehan shows that those who 
     think campaign-finance reform will reduce the influence of 
     money in politics are mistaken.
       Supporters of campaign-finance regulation like to portray 
     themselves as an underfunded, scrappy grassroots coalition. 
     However, a study conducted last year for the

[[Page S2120]]

     American Conservative Union by election-law attorney Cleta 
     Mitchell found that groups dedicated to promoting campaign-
     finance reform spent over $73 million over the three-year 
     period from 1997 through 1999. By comparison, the Center for 
     Responsive Politics (CRP), one of the most prominent 
     campaign-finance-reform organizations, lists total political 
     spending by the ``mortgage banking'' industry at under $12 
     million, and by ``Health Services and HMOs'' at under $14 
     million, for the four-year period from 1997 through 2000. 
     Even the dreaded drug manufacturers contributed just $28 
     million over that four-year period, or 40 percent of that 
     spent in just three years by groups promoting campaign-
     finance regulation. Yet the campaign-finance regulators 
     always portray these industries as colossally and harmfully 
     big spenders.
       Actually, Cleta Mitchell's study understates the spending 
     by campaign-finance-reform groups. It does not include 
     spending by many of the groups' affiliated 501(c)(4) 
     committees, and misses some significant groups completely. To 
     give just one example, it does not include spending by the 
     National Voting Rights Institute (NVRI), which describes 
     itself as ``a prominent legal and public education center in 
     the campaign finance reform field.'' NVRI, which argues that 
     private campaign contributions violate the Constitution, is 
     frequently quoted in the New York Times and other major 
     papers. Meanwhile, the CRP overstates industry giving, as it 
     includes in its figures individual contributions by any 
     person employed by a company in the industry, and in certain 
     cases even contributions by the employee's spouse. Thus, if 
     the non-working spouse of an Enron employee earning $45,000 a 
     year gave $200 to the campaign of George W. Bush, the CRP 
     reports that as both an ``Enron'' contribution and a 
     contribution from the ``energy/natural resources'' industry.
       Arguably, money is the only thing that has kept the issue 
     of campaign-finance regulation alive. With public-opinion 
     polls consistently showing that campaign-finance reform is of 
     little interest to the public, most of the groups advocating 
     reform rely on six- and even seven-figure grants from giant 
     foundations such as Ford, Carnegie, and Joyce for funds. With 
     the notable exception of Common Cause (which has a budget of 
     about $10 million a year), these groups usually have a few 
     individual supporters. Such individual support as they do 
     have comes almost entirely in the form of large gifts from a 
     handful of politically liberal multi-millionaires, such as 
     George Soros and Silicon Valley entrepreneur Steven Kirsch.
       These groups respond that their money does not represent 
     ``special interests.'' But their scorekeeping belies this 
     claim. Surely if a $200 contribution by the wife of a mid-
     level Enron employee is ``special interest'' money, so are 
     the six-figure expenditures made to promote campaign-finance 
     reform by investment banker Jerome Kohlberg. Similarly, the 
     Pew Charitable Trusts, to take just one example, have given 
     considerably more in grants to advocate campaign-finance 
     regulation than Enron gave in soft money to advocate energy 
     deregulation. And these foundations and groups have other 
     interests that are advanced by silencing their opposition. 
     Pew, for example, also advocates environmental regulation and 
     funds Planned Parenthood. If it can quiet political 
     opposition from business and National Right to Life, it 
     benefits. While one might describe foundations such as Pew, 
     or organizations such as CRP, as disinterested entities 
     concerned with the public welfare, one might just as 
     accurately describe them as unaccountable organizations with 
     lots of money and no members. Even Common Cause, the one 
     reform group with a membership base, is small fry compared 
     with other groups. With some 200,000 members, it describes 
     itself as a ``citizen's lobbying organization.'' But it 
     describes the National Rifle Association, which has over 4.2 
     million members, as a ``special interest.'' Indeed, many 
     corporations represent hundreds of thousands or even millions 
     of individual shareholders and employees. Why aren't they 
     ``citizen lobbies''?

                     cynical campaign, cynical town

       Pro-reform organizations have used their massive war chests 
     to run one of the most cynical campaigns in the history of 
     cynical Washington. Even though corporations and unions are 
     prohibited from making contributions directly to candidates, 
     a casual observer looking at CRP's website without reading 
     the fine print would conclude that the largest direct 
     contributors to every member of Congress are corporations and 
     unions. This is because of the center's practice of 
     attributing contributions by individuals to their employers. 
     Another trick, in an apparent effort to inflate the 
     perception of corporate influence, is to lump together 
     contributions made over many years. Thus, organizations such 
     as Common Cause and the CRP routinely issue press releases 
     and studies showing huge corporate contributions, significant 
     portions of which occurred as much as a decade ago. In some 
     cases, more than half the Congress has turned over in the 
     intervening years. Yet another misleading tactic is to lump 
     together all contributions by ``industries.'' So a 1997 
     Common Cause report on the influence of the ``broadcast 
     industry'' listed total contributions from the ``industry'' 
     over a ten-year period. No allowance was made for the fact 
     that many of the contributions went to individuals no 
     longer--or perhaps never--in Congress or for the fact that 
     the ``broadcast industry'' is hardly monolithic: Affiliates 
     often quarrel with networks, networks with one another, radio 
     with television, and so on. The reform organizations also 
     frustrate any sense of perspective. In the current frenzy 
     over Enron, for example, it is not mentioned that Enron's 
     total soft-money contributions constitute a minuscule 
     fraction of 1 percent of total soft money raised over the 
     period cited.
       Meanwhile, virtually every legislative action can be and is 
     portrayed as a sellout or payback to some ``special 
     interest.'' So if Enron got a favorable regulatory ruling 
     over opposition from the Chicago Board of Trade, it was a 
     payback to Enron. But since the Board of Trade is also a 
     powerful interest, any ruling the other way would not have 
     been portrayed as a victory for principle or a defeat for 
     Enron, but as a payback to the Board of Trade. All roads lead 
     to corruption. That politicians might actually be acting on 
     convictions or keeping campaign promises is given no 
     credence. Few have worked harder to convince the American 
     people that their representatives are corrupt, and their 
     votes and participation meaningless, than the campaign-
     finance reformers. That they have done so on the flimsiest of 
     evidence only adds to the shame.
       The Enron scandal, which pushed Shays-Meehan over the top, 
     is a perfect example. Reformers gleefully argued that the 
     Enron bankruptcy proved that Shays-Meehan was necessary, with 
     no evidence that Shays-Meehan could have prevented it. Even 
     Rep. Shays admitted that Enron is going to have access ``by 
     the fact of who it is and what it does'' (its money aside). 
     Reform advocates misleadingly claim that over 250 members of 
     Congress have received ``Enron'' contributions, when in fact 
     they mean that those members have received contributions from 
     people who worked for or owned stock in Enron. They do not 
     mention that Shays-Meehan does not limit these contributions, 
     and in fact raises the ceiling on them.
       Then too, Shays-Meehan was supported down the homestretch 
     by a television ``issue advertising'' campaign funded by the 
     Campaign for America (CFA), a creation of Jerome Kohlberg. 
     These ads ran in the congressional districts of wavering 
     congressmen. In addition, CFA operated phone banks in 30 
     congressional districts. This campaign was paid for with 
     unregulated soft money. In a classic example of ``free speech 
     for me but not for thee,'' most of that spending would remain 
     legal under Shays-Meehan.
       However, the heart of the operation to pass Shays-Meehan 
     was not grassroots lobbying, but old-fashioned Washington 
     lobbying. Though supporters had been pushing the bill since 
     the 107th Congress first met in January 2001, and though the 
     sponsors had been gathering signatures on a discharge 
     petition to force the bill to the floor since July, they 
     still spent the evening before the opening of the House 
     debate, and part of the day on which the bill was being 
     debated, redrafting the legislation. According to press 
     reports, pro-reform lobbyists, including former McCain 2000 
     counsel Trevor Porter, Democracy 21's Fred Wertheimer, and 
     Don Simon of Common Cause, drafted key portions of the bill, 
     at times working out of offices in the Capitol. The final 
     version of the complex, 86-page bill was unveiled a few 
     minutes before midnight.
       The bill, as it emerged from this redraft, included a 
     highly technical provision allowing parties to pay off hard-
     money debts incurred before the 2002 elections (hard money 
     being limited contributions from individuals and PACs, which 
     may be used for any purpose) with soft money (unlimited 
     contributions from corporations, unions, and wealthy 
     individuals, which normally cannot be used to expressly 
     advocate the election or defeat of specific candidates). The 
     provision favored Democrats, who have plenty of soft money 
     but are short on hard money. Republican operatives cried foul 
     and charged that the provision was an intentional effort to 
     benefit the Democrats. The more likely explanation is that it 
     was simply an error caused by the haste of last-minute 
     drafting. But imagine the outcry these same ``reform'' groups 
     would have raised had lobbyists for any other interest helped 
     draft a bill, and accidentally included a technical error 
     beneficial to the bill's primary supporters in Congress. 
     Would the reformers have given the drafters the benefit of a 
     doubt? Never. The error briefly jeopardized the bill and drew 
     a veto threat from the White House, before supporters used a 
     parliamentary maneuver to change the language before the 
     final vote.

                         WHERE THE FAT CATS SIT

       Assuming it becomes law, the bill will not end the 
     influence of money in politics, but instead will drive such 
     influence further underground. A glimpse of the future may 
     have occurred at a dinner last October that raised $800,000 
     for the Brennan Center, a pro-reform group. Co-chaired by 
     pro-reform senators Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer, and 
     featuring Sen. John McCain, the dinner was underwritten by 
     corporate donors, who were solicited to attend. Sponsors 
     included over two dozen large law firms with Washington 
     lobbying practices, plus such corporations as Coca-Cola, 
     Philip Morris, and, naturally, Enron. If money is truly 
     corrupting, corporations hoping to curry favor with 
     officeholders might decide that support for such groups is a 
     wise idea, or officeholders might ``suggest'' that 
     corporations with business before their committees make 
     donations to such groups. Shays-Meehan limits the right of 
     federal officeholders to solicit money for

[[Page S2121]]

     political parties and other groups, but specifically allows 
     lawmakers to continue to solicit funds for entities such as 
     the Brennan Center.
       Beyond that, the bill will probably strengthen special 
     interests, benefit incumbents, and harm grassroots politics. 
     The limits on soft-money contributions mean that corporations 
     and unions may be pressured to do more independent spending 
     to help their legislative allies. This will give these 
     interests more control over the process, and will reduce the 
     historical role of parties in brokering diverse and often 
     competing interests. The limits on issue ads in the 60 days 
     before an election will mean that such ads will run earlier, 
     making campaigns longer and putting a greater premium on 
     early fundraising. This will benefit incumbents, even as it 
     requires them to spend more time raising funds. True 
     grassroots politics--spontaneous political activity by 
     individuals and groups--suffers from regulation and has been 
     on the decline ever since the Federal Election Campaign Act 
     was first passed in 1971. The added complexity of this bill 
     will probably kill off such activity altogether. Indeed, 
     Federal Election Commission chairman Davis Mason says that 
     the incredible complexity of the bill is likely to lead to 
     ``invidious enforcement, singling out disfavored groups or 
     causes'' and ``subjecting regulated groups to harassment by 
     political opponents.''
       However, the giant foundations that have financed the drive 
     for reform will remain untouched. So will the recipients of 
     their largesse, such as Democracy 21 and the Center for 
     Responsive Politics, and the lobbyists of Common Cause. Big-
     business lobbyists also emerge unscathed--indeed, 
     corporations may devote more resources to lobbying. But 
     groups that rely less on lobbying and more on campaign 
     support to candidates, grassroots organizing, and issue ads 
     to rally public support will suffer.
       But that, too, is a common Washington story.

  Mr. McCONNELL. With no basis in fact or reality, the media 
consistently and repeatedly alleges that our every decision can be 
traced back to money given to support a political party. I trust that 
every Member in the Chamber recognizes how completely absurd, false, 
and insulting these charges are. We have been derelict in refuting 
these baseless allegations. I doubt we will ever see a headline that 
says 99 percent of Congress has never been under an ethics cloud. That 
is a headline we simply will not see.
  Each Member is elected to represent our constituents. We act in what 
we believe is the best interest of the country and, obviously, of our 
home States. Does representing the interests of our State and our 
constituents lead to corruption or the appearance of corruption? These 
allegations are not an attack on us, they are an attack on 
representative democracy.
  What we are talking about today is speech: the Government telling 
people how, when, and how much speech they are allowed. This wholesale 
regulation of every action of every American anytime there is a Federal 
election is truly unprecedented.
  The courts have consistently upheld the free speech rights of 
individuals and of parties. Even in the most recent case of Colorado 
II, the Court made clear that parties are not to be treated any worse 
than any other organization in the protection of constitutional rights. 
This legislation falls far short of that charge. The Shays-Meehan bill 
weaves a bizarre web of restrictions and prohibitions around parties 
and candidates while simultaneously strengthening the power of outside 
groups and the corporations that own newspapers.
  This legislation is remarkable in its scope. Indeed, this legislation 
seeks no less than a fundamental reworking of the American political 
system. Our Nation's two-party system has for centuries brought 
structure and order to our electoral process. This legislation seeks, 
quite literally, to eliminate any prominence for the role of political 
parties in American elections. This legislation favors special 
interests over parties and favors some special interests over other 
special interests. It treads on the associational rights of groups by 
compelling them to disclose their membership lists to a greater extent 
than ever before contemplated. It hampers the ability of national and 
State parties to support State and local candidates. It places new 
limits on the political parties' ability to make independent and 
coordinated expenditures supporting their candidates.

  Many of these provisions are directly contrary to existing Supreme 
Court precedent.
  Let me repeat that. Many of the provisions in this bill that is about 
to pass the Senate are directly contrary to existing Supreme Court 
  Equally remarkable is the patchwork manner in which this legislation 
achieves its virtual elimination of political parties from the 
electoral process. It seeks to achieve a pernicious goal via a 
haphazard means, and the real loser under this legislation is the 
American voter, who no longer can rely on the support of a major 
political party as an indicia of what that candidate stands for.
  So let me walk you through how this legislation will affect all of 
us. First, let's look at the national parties. Shays-Meehan will 
eliminate nearly 50 percent of the fundraising receipts of the national 
parties. National parties will be forced to conduct their wide array of 
Federal and State party activities with only half the revenue. Shays-
Meehan will eliminate 90 percent of the cash on hand of the national 
parties. If Shays-Meehan were law in 2001, the total cash on hand for 
all six national party committees would have dropped from $66 million 
to $6 million.
  Let's go over that one more time. If Shays-Meehan had been in effect 
last year, the total cash on hand for the six national party committees 
would have dropped from $66 million down to $6 million: For the three 
national Republican committees it would drop from $56 million down to 
$19 million; and for the three national Democratic Party committees, 
from $10 million down to a debt of $13 million.
  So, on this chart behind me, you can see on the reality of what 
Shays-Meehan does. You can see that for the national party committees 
last year, the year 2001, their actual cash, both hard and soft. You 
can also see what kind of cash on hand they would have under Shays-
Meehan with the soft money eliminated.
  You see the Republican National Committee would have gone from $34 
million down to $16 million; the Democratic National Committee from $2 
million down to a $10 million debt; the National Republican Senatorial 
Committee from $12 million down to $7.5 million, the Democratic 
Senatorial Committee from $4.1 million down to a debt of $50,000, the 
Republican Congressional Committee from $9.6 million to a debt of $4.3 
million, and the Democratic Congressional Committee from $3.5 million 
down to a debt of $3 million.
  What does that all mean? That means this bill eviscerates the 
national party committees. It singles out six national committees out 
of all the committees that may exist in America and takes away a huge 
percentage of their receipts. By eliminating so-called soft money, or 
non-Federal money, national party support for State parties and local 
candidates will be dramatically reduced if not entirely eliminated in 
the next cycle.
  The national Republican Party committees gave $130 million to State 
parties and $13 million to State and local candidates in soft money in 
the last cycle, the 2000 cycle. The national Democratic Party 
committees gave $150 million to State parties--more than the national 
Republican Party committees did--$150 million to State parties and $6 
million to State and local candidates in non-Federal money. Where will 
all the soft money go? Where will it all go?
  It is going to go to outside groups. We, the Members of the Congress, 
will be able to raise it for them. The soft money will also go to the 
newspapers because they can sell advertising in proximity to the 
election when no one else can.
  Let's go over that one more time. We are taking this money away from 
the parties, shifting it to outside groups, and restricting their 
ability to spend it on advertising in any media, except newspapers. No 
wonder the newspapers are for this bill. This is a great deal for them. 
Not only are they unregulated in their speech--and they should be, I 
defend their right to have unregulated speech--but their business 
managers are going to be pretty excited about this bill as well. It is 
going to be a windfall for them.
  Let's take a look at coordinated versus independent expenditures 
under this bill. Shays-Meehan significantly limits party support of 
Federal candidates as well. We just talked about the impact on the 
State and local level, but Shays-Meehan also significantly limits party 
support of Federal candidates, people such as us. Under this

[[Page S2122]]

bill, parties are prohibited from engaging in both independent and 
coordinated party expenditures after a candidate has been nominated. 
The bill treats all party committees, from State and local to the 
national party, as a single committee. So let's take a look at how this 
  If the Atlantic City Republican Party makes a $500 independent 
expenditure on behalf of a Senate candidate in New Jersey, the party is 
then prohibited from making a permissible $900,000 coordinated party 
expenditure in New Jersey. If you are scratching your head wondering 
about this, let's go over it one more time.
  The Atlantic City Republican Party in New Jersey makes a $500 
independent expenditure on behalf of a U.S. Senate candidate in New 
Jersey. Then the national party committee is prohibited from spending 
the permissible $900,000 coordinated that we have been allowed to do 
for a quarter of a century.
  The impact is even more severe for Presidential candidates. If a 
local party anywhere in America makes a $300 independent expenditure on 
behalf of a Presidential candidate, the nominee of that party will lose 
the entire party coordinated expenditure--roughly $13.7 million in 
2000. Remember, even though the Presidential race is usually publicly 
funded after the convention, there is an amount of money that both 
national parties are able to spend on behalf of the Presidential 
candidate after the convention.
  In 2004, the Democratic and Republican Presidential nominees are 
going to have to police every local committee in America. It is a big 
country, 50 States, incredible number of municipalities and party 
committees up and down the system. If any one of them makes a $300 
independent expenditure on behalf of the Presidential candidate, then 
the candidate loses $13.7 million.
  My colleagues on the other side of the aisle have spent time in New 
Hampshire lately. There are a number of aspiring Presidential 
candidates over there on the Democratic side. They ought to read this 
provision very carefully because, if they get the nomination, some 
errant Democratic local chairman somewhere in America who decides to go 
out and be helpful--or maybe to be mischievous if he is not in favor of 
the nominee--and makes an independent expenditure of $300, he could 
cost the nominee close to $14 million in coordinated expenditures in 
the general election.
  This is fraught with the potential for mischief. One thing we know 
about politics, if mischief is possible, mischief will occur. I think 
we can stipulate that.
  Now let us look at what Shays-Meehan does to party conventions.
  Shays-Meehan will end national party conventions as we have known 
them. The soft money ban covers the committees that are created to host 
these grand events. In 2000, the Federal convention grant from the 
Treasury of the United States was $14 million for each major party. 
That is also about the same amount that was spent on security alone at 
each of the conventions. The rest of the money needed to put on the two 
conventions came in soft dollars. All of that will be gone.
  Looking at the conventions in 2004, if you are chairman of the 
Democratic National Committee, or the Republican National Committee, 
you will be confronted with a very difficult decision: Do you want to 
put on a 4 day convention with 80 percent less funding? Or do you want 
to spend hard dollars that would otherwise be used to help elect the 
President to pay for the convention? All the soft money that you used 
to put on the convention the last time is now gone.
  Come to think of it, maybe a middle-size town like my hometown, 
Louisville, might qualify to hold a convention. That would probably be 
a short convention with very few people at it. Louisville could make a 
pitch for both the Democratic and Republican Conventions in 2004. The 
parties will be able to spend only $15 million. It will probably only 
last for a day or two. There might be fewer people there. We could 
probably handle that in our hotels. It is always a bit of a stretch to 
put all the people up in hotels during Kentucky Derby time of the year. 
But we might be able to work that out. This could be a windfall for 
cities of roughly a million across America.
  But do we really want to skinny down the conventions, or eliminate 
the conventions? I know a lot of our colleagues don't particularly like 
going to them. It is a nonstop event from morning until night. But if 
you are a precinct worker out in Oregon and have worked in the party 
trenches over the years and you get to be a delegate, it is a big deal. 
It is something you will remember the rest of your life. It is the only 
opportunity you will ever have to meet the county chairmen from some 
county in South Carolina on the other side of the country. It is the 
one time every 4 years that we have truly national parties where 
Republicans and Democrats from all over the country come together to 
nominate their candidate for President. Even though there has not been 
any suspense at the conventions for a long time, I can tell you the 
delegates who come to the Republican Convention--and I believe the 
delegates that go to the Democratic Convention--think it is a wonderful 
opportunity to participate in something that is important for America. 
Unfortunately, we may have seen the end of the conventions as we know 
them because this bill takes away about 80 percent of the funding of 
the national conventions.
  In case you think that national conventions might be run through 
State parties, Shays-Meehan also closes that option by allowing the use 
of soft money only for State, district, or local political conventions. 
Perhaps the outside groups will step in and fill the gap. We will be 
able to raise money for them, or maybe even the unrestricted media will 
somehow find a way to fill the gap.
  Now, what will be the effect of this new legislation on Federal 
officeholders and candidates? Shays-Meehan federalizes our every action 
and our every conversation. The big losers under this bill are State 
and local candidates and our State parties. Under Shays-Meehan, we can 
only raise money for State and local candidates within the hard money 
limits and restrictions, which is $2,000 per election.

  Let me explain to my colleagues how that will work. In 39 States, 
statewide candidates are currently allowed to receive more than $2,000 
per election, and some of them allow corporate contributions to 
  For example, the individual contribution limit in Wisconsin for a 
Governor's race is $10,000 per election. But Federal officeholders and 
candidates will only be able to raise $2,000 per election for the 
Governor's race. This bill federalizes our involvement in State and 
local races as well.
  In Virginia, under state law, there are no contribution limits or 
restrictions for State and local candidates. But under this bill, 
Federal officeholders and candidates will only be able to raise $2,000 
per election for statewide candidates.
  Again, in Virginia--which allows unlimited individual corporate and 
union contributions directly to candidates with full disclosure--if 
Senator Warner or Senator Allen wanted to be involved in the Governor's 
race over there, they would be in a difficult position going to a 
fundraiser that they didn't sponsor, because it would have to be 
limited to $2,000 contributions for the candidate.
  This bill federalizes the involvement of Senators and Congressmen in 
State and local races by making our rules apply to them no matter what 
the State law is. Under Shays-Meehan, we can only raise soft dollars 
for State parties within the hard dollar limits and restrictions, and 
$10,000 from individuals. But 40 States allow State parties to receive 
more than $10,000 per year. Some of them even allow corporate 
contributions to State parties.
  For example, in Arizona, there is no limit on the amount an 
individual can contribute to a State party's State account. Federal 
officeholders and candidates will only be able to raise $10,000 per 
year for that State account, even though that is not Arizona State law.
  In Illinois, there are no contribution limits or restrictions on 
contributions to a State party's State account.
  But Federal officeholders and candidates who are involved in raising 
money for the State party State account in Illinois will only be able 
to raise $10,000 per year no matter what the Illinois law is.
  But have no fear, my colleagues. The House has provided us with an 
alternative. We may not be able to do it for

[[Page S2123]]

State parties except within the Federal regulations, but we can raise 
unlimited soft money from any source for outside groups so long as 
their primary purpose is not voter registration, voter identification, 
get out the vote, and generic campaign activity. Make sure the group's 
primary purpose is issue advocacy, and then raise as much as you can 
from anyone you can. Don't worry. It will never be disclosed.
  The perverse effect of this is that we can do a lot more for an 
outside group than we can do for our own State party in our home State. 
Under this bill, if you fancy voter registration, voter identification, 
get out the vote, and generic campaign activity, you can raise $20,000 
per year from individuals from any outside group specifically for those 
activities. All that money is soft money.
  Let us go over it one more time.
  If a Federal officeholder wants to raise money for a State party, 
Federal rules apply. But if a Federal officeholder wants to raise money 
for an outside group, its wide open. So there won't be any less soft 
money raised around here. My prediction is there will be more soft 
money around. It will just be raised for outside groups rather than for 
the party.
  Let us take a look at the effect on State and local parties. State 
and local party operations are impacted dramatically by Shays-Meehan. 
This bill eliminates the national parties as a source of non-Federal 
support for their State activities. But it also heavily restricts how 
they operate.
  Last year, we addressed in a limited way the problem of this bill 
federalizing generic voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives. 
The so-called Levin amendment was adopted by a voice vote in the Senate 
to incorporate that change.
  However, the House has placed such extensive restrictions on the 
fundraising and spending by State parties for voter activities that the 
so-called Levin provision is now virtually meaningless. State parties 
will be forced to use only hard-dollar, Federal dollars, to benefit 
State and local candidates.

  Shays-Meehan prohibits party transfers, joint fundraising, 
fundraising by us for the State account, and also prohibits State 
parties from broadcasting generic, ``Vote Republican,'' or ``Register 
Democrat'' messages.
  Not only are we the big losers under the House scheme, but State and 
local candidates who run in Federal election years suffer as well. 
State and local candidates who are running in Federal election years--
that happens all the time, all the time, all across America. The big 
winners, yet again, are the outside groups and, of course, the news 
  As for hard-dollar contributions to State parties, Shays-Meehan 
actually lowers the total amount of hard money that an individual can 
contribute during a 2-year election cycle to State parties. Shays-
Meehan creates a $37,500 per-cycle annual aggregate sub-limit that 
individuals can contribute to State parties. Under current law, if an 
individual were so inclined, he could give $50,000 per cycle in hard 
dollars to State parties. So we are actually going backward, and this 
is at a time when State parties are forced to do much more with much 
  Let's look at the effect on State and local candidates. National 
parties will be extremely limited in their ability to not only make 
contributions to State and local candidates, but also to promote issues 
of State and local importance in conducting voter drives. Members of 
Congress are similarly restricted in what assistance we can provide the 
State and local candidates.
  Shays-Meehan even regulates the conduct of State and local 
candidates--from fundraising to advertising. State and local candidates 
will be forced to burn campaign funds to retain lawyers to guide them 
through the myriad State, and now Federal, regulations on their State 
and local campaigns.
  Now, let's take a look at the outside groups and compare the outside 
groups to the national party committees.
  Make no mistake about it, soft money will exist, and it will thrive 
under Shays-Meehan everywhere, except at the party committees.
  Here are a few short examples: Corporations, labor unions, and 
outside groups will continue to use 100-percent soft money to run issue 
ads. We have no idea how much they spend because corporations and labor 
unions do not disclose these details about their soft money. But, 
national parties will be forced to use 100-percent hard dollars. 
Corporations, labor unions, and outside groups will continue to use 
soft money to raise the hard money for their PACs.
  Let me repeat that. Corporations, labor unions, and outside groups 
will continue to use soft money to raise the hard money for their 
political action committees. But national parties will be forced to use 
100-percent hard money because there will no longer be any soft money 
for the parties to raise hard money.
  As we all know, direct mail has high overhead, very high overhead. 
The national party committees will not only have to build their 
buildings with hard dollars, and put on their conventions with hard 
dollars, they will also have to do their direct mail fundraising with 
100-percent hard dollars. But corporations, labor unions, and outside 
groups will use 100-percent soft dollars, even to raise hard money for 
their political action committees. Corporations, labor unions, and 
outside groups will even continue to use soft money for activities such 
as voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts.

  According to news reports, the AFL-CIO plans to raise dues 60 percent 
to fund their $35 million effort this year. Again, we have no idea how 
much soft money the unions spend because they do not disclose it. 
National parties will have to use all hard dollars to do the very same 
thing that corporations, labor unions, and outside groups will be able 
to spend 100-percent soft dollars doing.
  Stand-alone PACs, such as EMILY's List, for example, will continue to 
raise and spend a mix of hard and soft money, but not national parties. 
They will only be able to raise and spend hard dollars.
  What about us Members? Members will still be allowed to maintain 
leadership PACs--that is good--and even have a soft dollar account for 
those PACs. So Members of Congress will be able to have leadership PACs 
that raise both hard and soft dollars. But national parties will only 
be able to raise and spend hard dollars.
  The bottom line is this bill does not take money out of politics, it 
just takes the parties out of politics.
  Now let's look at issue ad restrictions. The Shays-Meehan issue ad 
provision muzzles political speech based solely upon the timing of the 
speech. A person or a group must report to the Government whenever they 
mention the name of a candidate in any broadcast, cable, or satellite 
communication within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general 
election. Corporations and labor unions are totally censored during 
that period. The censorship extends to nonprofit corporations such as 
the Sierra Club and the NAACP on the left, and the National Right to 
Life Committee and the NRA on the right.
  Let me use a recent example of how this provision will work. Just 
this past week, within 30 days of the primary, the American Civil 
Liberties Union ran two issue advertisements in Illinois. One was a 
broadcast radio ad, the other was a newspaper ad.
  If this legislation is passed today, the radio ad falls within the 
issue ad prohibitions and restrictions, so it could not be run, 
however, the newspaper ad is not affected. So in the following ad--run 
just this past week by the ACLU in Illinois--on the radio, the female 
announcer said:

       [We're] waiting for our Congressman, Dennis Hastert, to 
     protect everyone from discrimination on the job.
       As Speaker of the House, Representative Hastert has the 
     power to stop the delays and bring the Employment Non-
     Discrimination Act--ENDA--up for a vote in Congress. It's 
     about fairness. It's time to ensure equal rights for all who 
     work, including lesbians and gay men, and make sure that it's 
     the quality of our work that counts, and nothing else.

  And later in the ad, the male announcer says:

       Protecting workers from discrimination, or more delays?

  And the female announcer says:

       Take action now. Send Speaker Hastert a letter urging him 
     to support fairness and bring ENDA to the floor. . . .

  That is the radio ad. Under Shays-Meehan, it cannot be run.
  But alas, a newspaper ad, under this bill, could be run.
  The newspaper ad says:

       Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Hastert 
     has the power to stop the

[[Page S2124]]

     delays and bring the Employment Non-Discrimination Act--
     ENDA--up. . . .

  And on and on.
  It is exactly the same as the radio ad. So under Shays-Meehan, if 
your ad is on the radio, you cannot run it; if your ad is in the 
newspaper, you are OK.
  This kind of arbitrary and capricious stifling of political speech is 
the essence of the issue ad restrictions in this bill. Both 
advertisements are issue speech. Both advertisements ran at the same 
time. However, only one advertisement invokes the jurisdiction of a 
newly created speech police.
  I ask unanimous consent that an ACLU press release be printed in the 
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

ACLU Double Play: New Ad Blasts Workplace Discrimination Against Gays, 
              Shows Flaws in Campaign Finance Legislation

       Washington.--In a move that both showcases the problem of 
     workplace discrimination in America and the constitutional 
     flaws of campaign finance legislation, the American Civil 
     Liberties Union today began running a series of radio and 
     newspapers issue ads that would be outlawed under a campaign 
     finance bill likely to soon become law.
       The advertisements are running in the Chicago media market 
     and urge Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, who represents 
     a suburban Chicago district, to use his position to bring the 
     Employment Non-Discrimination Act to a full vote in the 
       ``This is a dramatic double play,'' said Laura W. Murphy, 
     Director of the ACLU's Washington National Office. ``Not only 
     have we highlighted the urgency of making employment non-
     discrimination a top priority in Congress, but the ads also 
     demonstrate in practice how campaign finance legislation will 
     effectively gag political speech.''
       The ACLU has long advocated a system of public financing as 
     a means of increasing access to the political process without 
     impinging on protected political speech. The ACLU's ad, which 
     Murphy argued is both completely non-partisan and politically 
     essential, is a perfect example of the beneficial political 
     speech that would be silenced by the Shays-Meehan bill that 
     the Senate is expected to take up on Monday.
       The ads, because they are being broadcast during a 30-day 
     window before a primary election, would be forbidden if the 
     Senate passes and President Bush signs the Shays-Meehan bill. 
     The ACLU has long been a vigorous opponent of the measure and 
     its Senate counterpart, the McCain-Feingold bill, because 
     they would curb political speech.
       ``Ironically, our radio ads would be outlawed by the 
     bill,'' Murphy said, ``but our virtually identical newspaper 
     ads that are running on Monday would continue to be 
       The ACLU said that passage of ENDA would guarantee that 
     individuals could not be discriminated against in the 
     workplace based on their real or perceived sexual 
     orientation. The ads urge listeners and readers to visit the 
     ACLU's website-- they can 
     learn more about the provisions of ENDA and send a free fax 
     to Speaker Hastert urging action in the House on the proposed 
       ``It's important to remember that the ACLU would not be the 
     only group impacted by the new law,'' Murphy said. ``This ad 
     could just as easily be something from the NRA, Common Cause 
     or the Right to Life Committee. The censorship in Shays-
     Meehan wouldn't be discriminating.''

  Mr. McCONNELL. Reformers apparently are not concerned by the fact 
that this provision flies in the face of more than a quarter of a 
century of court decisions striking down such attempts to restrict 
issue speech. The FEC will be the speech police to track these ads, 
something that will prove nearly impossible to enforce in a 
Presidential election year when there will be only a couple of months 
without censorship somewhere.
  Remember, in a Presidential election year, the primaries are going on 
at different times beginning in Iowa and going through the season. 
Since this bill cracks down on issue speech within 30 days of a 
primary, somewhere in America you will be within 30 days of a primary 
when you are running for President. So the blackout period will be in 
effect somewhere virtually throughout the entire year.
  For those who dare to speak within the 30- to 60-day window--30 days 
before the primary or 60 days before the general election--they will 
have to report to the FEC. However, unlike every political committee 
registered with the FEC, the regulated speakers will only have to 
report receipts of $1,000 or more, not $200 or more as is required of 
other committees. Therefore, very few donations will end up being 
  Conveniently for the Washington Post and the New York Times, the 
restriction and disclosure provisions apply only to broadcast ads and 
not to print ads. So, once again, we have sort of a capricious 
selection of preferred media--restrictions on the broadcast media but 
no restrictions on the print media. No wonder the newspapers are so 
enthusiastic about this legislation, not just on the editorial page but 
over in the business department. The newspaper business managers all 
across America are cheering for this bill.
  By focusing only on broadcast media, this restriction allows unions 
to continue their efforts with unregulated and undisclosed soft money. 
The breadth of this provision may also restrict communications via the 
Internet and other high-tech modes of communication which are satellite 
  There are loopholes, of course, for outside groups. Reformers claim 
this bill will increase disclosure and shine the light on big money in 
politics. This is, of course, not true. Unions will continue to funnel 
hundreds of millions of dollars of hard-working union member dues into 
the political process without ever disclosing one red cent.
  Last spring during the Senate debate, in a moment of rank hypocrisy, 
the Senate voted to reject a provision that simply required 
corporations and unions to disclose all of their political activities, 
just their political activities. It was voted down in the Senate.
  Interestingly, the AFL-CIO just voted to increase, by 60 percent, the 
mandatory contributions collected by the unions from their members. 
These are mandatory contributions--these are not voluntary. In fact, in 
increasing the mandatory contributions, the unions eliminated all 
voluntary contributions.
  In the 2000 cycle alone, unions contributed $83 million to political 
campaigns--that we know about. We will never know how many hundreds of 
millions of dollars the unions spent on many of their political 
activities because it is never reported. This bill does nothing to 
address that problem.
  I submit two articles for printing in the Record. One is entitled 
``The Organized Labor Loophole,'' and the other is entitled ``AFL-CIO 
To Boost Mandatory Donations.'' I ask unanimous consent that they be 
printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

               [From the Washington Times, Mar. 16, 2002]

                      The Organized Labor Loophole

       For several years, there has been much hysteria about how 
     soft money has corrupted the political process. Democrats, 
     self-serving media organizations and Sen. John McCain (the 
     Keating Five-tainted presidential aspirant whose campaign was 
     trounced by George W. Bush) have been shedding crocodile 
     tears over soft money. As it happens, during the 1999-2000 
     electoral cycle, each of the two major political parties 
     raised about $250 million in soft money from corporations, 
     unions and individuals. Every dime of those evenly divided 
     soft-money donations was publicly disclosed. Any interested 
     voter was free to make his own informed judgment about the 
     source and the size of the soft-money contributions the 
     parties received.
       The real scandal involving soft money, however, relates to 
     the fact that labor unions have been laundering the dues of 
     their members through their union treasuries and into the 
     coffers of the Democratic Party. This, despite the fact that 
     voter-exit polls have revealed that nearly 40 percent of 
     union workers and members of their households have voted for 
     the Republican presidential candidate since 1980. Yet, even 
     this scandal pales in comparison to the hundreds of millions 
     of dollars in indirect and in-kind contributions that labor 
     unions routinely make on behalf of the Democratic Party. 
     These sorts of contributions are, of course, never disclosed. 
     Indeed, labor economist Leo Troy of Rutgers University has 
     testified before Congress that unions regularly spend and 
     estimated $500 million during each two-year cycle to elect 
     Democrats. Yet, only a relatively small portion of these 
     funds--specifically, the soft-money donations and the 
     contributions from political action committees (PACs)--are 
       The audacious operations of the National Education 
     Association (NEA) demonstrate precisely how scandalous 
     labor's gambit has been. As the Landmark Legal Foundation has 
     meticulously documented in several complaints filed with the 
     IRS and the Federal Election Commission, the nonprofit, tax-
     exempt NEA has literally spent tens of millions of dollars 
     since 1994 on political operations. Each year, however, 
     according to Form 990 that is required by the IRS, the 
     Washington-based NEA claims that not a dime of its resources 
     is expended on political matters. Since at least 1994, Form 
     990's line 81a, where the NEA is required to ``[e]nter the 
     amount of political expenditures, direct or indirect,'' has 
     been blank. Anyone who reviews Landmark's complaints, which 

[[Page S2125]]

     available on its web site (, can appreciate 
     how staggering the NEA's annual violations truly are.
       While Landmark has concentrated on the NEA's national 
     affiliate, the Heritage Foundation has attempted to review 
     Form 990s filed with the IRS by teachers unions representing 
     the 100 largest, public-school districts and the 50 
     representing them at the state level. These included 
     affiliates of both the NEA and the American Federation of 
     Teachers (AFT), the other major teachers union.
       By law, these NEA and AFT affiliates are required to 
     provide copies of their most recently filed Form 990s to 
     anyone requesting them. In fact, many affiliates refused 
     Heritage's request. Nevertheless, apart from the 
     contributions by their PACs, only two of the 63 Form 990s 
     examined by Heritage reported any ``political expenditures, 
     direct or indirect'' on line 81a. (National Education of New 
     York and the Hawaii State Teachers Association reported 
     ``direct or indirect'' political expenditures of $69,272 and 
     $136,285, respectively--political spending, if Landmark's 
     review of the NEA's national affiliate is any guide, that is 
     probably drastically understated.) Equally revealing was the 
     fact that those forms showed average-annual-dues income 
     exceeding $4.1 million, while expenditures for collective 
     bargaining--a union's principal purpose--averaged a mere 
       Once Senate Republicans cast the deciding, filibuster-proof 
     votes to ban soft money, which, in practice, Republicans have 
     used to balance the ``under-the-radar'' political spending by 
     labor unions on behalf of Democrats, those GOP senators will 
     have nakedly exposed themselves to the loophole-smashing 
     tactics of a labor-Democratic cabal.

                 [From the Boston Globe, Feb. 27, 2002]

 AFL-CIO to Boost Mandatory Donations, Hopes to Spend $35M on November 

                           (By Sue Kirchhoff)

       New Orleans.--John Sweeney, AFL-CIO president, said 
     yesterday labor leaders plan about a 60 percent increase in 
     mandatory contributions for political activities in order to 
     help the organization meet its goal of pouring $35 million 
     into get-out-the-vote and advertising efforts before the 
     November elections.
       The proposal, which faces a final vote in May, was one in a 
     series of efforts by the AFL-CIO executive council, meeting 
     in New Orleans, to regroup in the face of a recession that 
     has hit workers hard. There are splits among unions over 
     specific issues, such as an energy bill now moving through 
     the Senate, and unease that labor has won few victories 
     despite its enormous financial support of Democrats.
       New figures released yesterday showed an increase in union 
     membership in 2001, but the gains were nowhere near the goal 
     of recruiting a million workers a year. The AFL-CIO 
     membership rose by about 326,000 to 13.25 million. Most of 
     the increase, however, was due to affiliation with existing 
     unions. The AFL-CIO, which has consolidated some offices, 
     said it would shift dozens of workers to political activities 
     and union organizing. Union leaders approved an economic 
     agenda that focuses on health care, retirement security, and 
     jobs, and made it clear that a candidate's willingness to 
     actively support union organizing efforts would be a key 
     factor in endorsements and financial support.
       ``We will advance an economic agenda for working families. 
     If we don't do it, no one will,'' said Sweeney, attacking the 
     Bush administration for what he called ``shameful'' 
     insensitivity toward workers.
       But labor's antagonism toward the White House does not 
     extend to all Republicans. Asked at a news conference whether 
     his goal was to elect a Democratic Congress, Sweeney said 
     carefully, ``It's fair to say that we want a House that's 
     controlled by supporters of the working-family agenda.'' He 
     said moderate Republicans had been willing to work with 
       Other union leaders emphasized their desire to focus on 
     issues, not party orientation. Union efforts are expected to 
     overwhelmingly favor Democrats, but more Republicans may get 
     support than in the past. With 36 governors races this year, 
     unions plan to focus more of their effort on state 
       ``They're [Democrats] getting nervous as we talk about 
     being issue-driven because no one likes to compete,'' said 
     Andrew L. Stern, president of the Service Employees 
     International Union, the nation's largest. His group has 
     weathered criticism for supporting, among other issues, a 
     health proposal by New York's Republican governor, George 
       Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, who was received ``politely'' 
     during private meetings, underscored White House efforts to 
     make inroads with select unions, such as the Teamsters, which 
     has split with Democrats to support a Republican plan to 
     drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. As the Senate 
     opens debate on the energy bill, autoworkers say they are 
     also worried about proposals to increase fuel-efficiency 
       ``I'm very much committed to fostering a good working 
     relationship with labor, but that has to be a two-way 
     street,'' Chao said. She promised the unions she would 
     carefully review a new lawsuit against the poultry industry 
     over ergonomics. The suit was announced yesterday.
       Currently, the AFL-CIO funds political activities through a 
     6.5-cents-per-month assessment on workers and voluntary 
     contributions from member unions. Under the proposal, the 
     mandatory assessment would increase to 10.5 cents, but the 
     voluntary fund-raising would stop. The change, which would 
     take effect in July, would contribute $3.5 million of the 
     forecast $35 million for this election cycle. That total 
     includes $12 million, however, that has already been spent on 
     political activities. Union officials said there was fund-
     raising fatigue and the desire to have more stable funding.

  Mr. McCONNELL. Let's take a look at the media. One of the largest 
loopholes in this bill is reserved for the media. I ask unanimous 
consent that the full text of George Will's February 25 column from 
Newsweek and his March 10 column from the Washington Post be printed in 
the Record at this point.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                     [From Newsweek, Feb. 25, 2002]

                     Virtue at Last! (In November)

                          (By George F. Will)

       Presidential Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, pioneering new 
     frontiers of fatuity, says some parts of the Shays-Meehan 
     campaign-finance bill please his boss and others do not. 
     ``But ultimately the process is moving forward, and the 
     president is pleased.'' Ultimately, in Washington, the 
     celebration of ``process'' signals the abandonment of 
       President Bush's abandonment of his has earned him at least 
     $61 million (see below) and the approval of The New York 
     Times. It praises his ``positive role'' and gives him 
     ``considerable credit'' for the passage of the bill, which 
     has received so much supportive editorializing from the 
     Times, in news stories and editorials, that it should be 
     called Shays-Meehan-Times.
       What pleased the Times is that Bush did next to nothing to 
     discourage--in fact Fleischer issued a statement that 
     encouraged--passage of a bill chock-full of provisions that 
     Bush, who swore an oath to defend the Constitution, has said 
     violate the First Amendment. Two years ago he affirmed this 
     principle expressed by Supreme Court Justice Clearance 
     Thomas: ``There is no constitutionally significant 
     distinction between campaign contributions and expenditures. 
     Both forms of speech are central to the First Amendment.'' 
     When asked about the principle that it is hostile to First 
     Amendment values to limit individuals' participation in 
     politics by limiting their right to contribute, he said, ``I 
     agree.'' Asked if he thinks a president has a duty to judge 
     the constitutionality of bills and veto those he considers 
     unconstitutional, he replied: ``I do.''
       Now he seems ready to sign Shays-Meehan-Times. Why? Could 
     it have something to do with the fact that the bill raises 
     from $1,000 to $2,000 the limit on individuals's 
     contributions to House, Senate and presidential candidates? 
     Candidate Bush got $1,000 contributions from 61,000 people. 
     If he can get just that many to give $2,000--for a sitting 
     president, that should be a piece of cake--the bill that he 
     says ``makes the system better'' will be worth an extra $61 
     million to him in 2004.
       The ardent-for-reform Washington Post--the bill should have 
     been called Shays-Meehan-Times-Post--baldly asserts (talk 
     about the triumph of hope over experience) that the bill 
     ``will slow the spiral of big-money fundraising.'' Actually, 
     the 2003-04 election cycle probably will see the normal 
     increase in political spending. The difference will be that 
     in the next cycle much more of the political giving will be 
     more difficult to trace. The soft money that Shays-Meehan-
     Times-Post bans--contributions to parties--must be reported. 
     Henceforth much of that money will go to independent groups 
     that will not have to report the source of the money that 
     finances their issue advertising.
       One of the bill's incumbent-protection measures says that a 
     candidate whose opponent is very wealthy can receive 
     contributions larger than $2,000. But the Supreme Court has 
     held that the only constitutional justification for limiting 
     political contributions is to prevent corruption or the 
     appearance thereof. So this bill claims, in effect, that the 
     appearance of corruption from a large contribution varies 
     with the size of one's opponent's wallet.
       Another incumbent-convenience provision makes it much more 
     difficult for independent groups--labor unions, corporations, 
     nonprofit entities (individuals are another matter; see next 
     paragraph)--to run ads that so much as mention a House, 
     Senate or presidential candidate within 30 days of a primary 
     or 60 days of a general election--if effect, after Labor Day.
       In the name of protecting regular people from rich people, 
     the bill has this effect: A millionaire can write a check for 
     $1 million and run a political ad that the National Rifle 
     Association or the Sierra Club could not run using $1 
     contributions from 1 million individuals.
       Most representatives who voted for the bill probably do not 
     know half of what is in it. They cannot know. No one will 
     know until there have been years of litigation about Federal 
     Election Commission regulations issued to ``clarify'' things. 
     What, for example, if meant by ``coordination''? Consider.
       There are dollar limits on contributions to candidates, but 
     not on spending for political

[[Page S2126]]

     advocacy by independent individuals or groups--unless they 
     are coordinated with the candidate. In that case they are 
     counted as contributions to the candidate, and thus limited. 
     The bill says coordination includes ``any general or 
     particular understanding'' between such an individual or 
     group and a candidate. If proper law gives due notice of what 
     is and is not permitted, this is not the rule of law.
       Opinion polls invariably show negligible public interest in 
     campaign-finance reform, but almost every congressional 
     district has at least one newspaper hot for reform. Media 
     cheerleading for the bill has been relentless. For example, 
     NBC's Katie Couric, advocating passage of what should be 
     called the Shays-Meehan-Times-Post-Couric bill, wondered 
     whether Enron's collapse would make ``people say, `Enough is 
     enough! This has got to happen!' '' The media know that their 
     power increases as more and more restrictions are imposed on 
     everyone else's ability to participate in political advocacy.
       The bill repeals the politicians' entitlement to buy 
     advertising at the lowest rate stations charge any buyer. 
     This will mean hundreds of millions of dollars of extra 
     revenue for broadcasters. Is this a reward for the media's 
     support? Is there an appearance of corruption here? Never 
     mind. But note this. Repeal of the entitlement is another 
     gift from incumbents to themselves. Challengers usually have 
     less money, so they will be most hurt by higher ad rates.
       The bill's authors say soft money is (a) scandalous and (b) 
     not to be tampered with until after they have re-elected 
     themselves. That is, they refused to ban soft money until 
     they have spent all that their parties have raised and will 
     frenetically raise until November. It is going to be that 
     kind of year.

               [From the Washington Post, Mar. 10, 2002]

                        A Matter of Appearances

                          (By George F. Will)

       The New York Times and The Washington Post are guilty of 
     corruption. To be precise, they probably are guilty only of 
     the appearance of corruption, as they define it. But as they 
     so frequently tell us, the appearance of corruption is the 
     equal of actual corruption as a justification for campaign 
     finance reform, for which they have tirelessly campaigned.
       The Supreme Court has said that preventing corruption or 
     the appearance of it is the only constitutional justification 
     for limits on political contributions, most of which finance 
     the dissemination of political speech. So advocates of the 
     House-passed Shays-Meehan campaign finance reform bill and of 
     its close cousin, the Senate-passed McCain-Feingold bill, 
     pretend (we shall come in a moment to what they are really 
     doing) that their aim is merely to prevent corruption and--
     this is more important because it is more ubiquitous--the 
     appearance of it.
       Well. Shays-Meehan, which the Senate will accept as a 
     replacement for McCain-Feingold, no longer contains a 
     provision that is in McCain-Feingold that would have 
     strengthened the requirement that television stations sell 
     time to candidates at the low rates the stations charge their 
     best customers. The House dropped this provision from the 
       Broadcasters lobbied hard for this action, which will be 
     worth many millions of dollars to television stations. But 
     that probably was not the primary reason the House did it. 
     Nor was the reason just gratitude for the media's 
     cheerleading for Shays-Meehan. Rather, the House probably did 
     it primarily to help incumbents: Challengers usually have 
     less money and hence are hurt more by high broadcasting 
       However, our concern is not with the motives of the House 
     in removing the provision, but with the appearance the 
     removal creates regarding two passionate advocates of Shays-
     Meehan. The New York Times Co. owns eight network-affiliated 
     television stations, and The Washington Post Co. owns six 
     such stations. Shays-Meehan is potentially a windfall for 
     both companies. Gracious.
       The Times and The Post incessantly instruct their readers 
     that the appearance of corruption exists when someone who has 
     benefited an elected official with a campaign contribution 
     then benefits from something the official does. But 
     contributions are not the only, or even the most important, 
     benefits that can be conferred upon elected officials. The 
     support by powerful newspapers for a political official's 
     legislation can be much more valuable to the politician than 
     the maximum permissible monetary contribution ($2,000 under 
     current law, $4,000 after Shays-Meehan becomes law) to his 
       It probably would be unfair to ascribe the Times' and The 
     Post's support for Shays-Meehan to corruption. But it would 
     be no more unfair than are the Times, The Post and other 
     reform advocates in routinely impugning the motives of 
     politicians who are conservative (or liberal) and hence 
     support particular conservative (or liberal) policies 
     after, but not because, they have received contributions 
     from people who support those policies.
       Stil, the appearance of corruption on the part of the Times 
     and Post, which are exquisitely sensitive about (other 
     people's) appearances, is compounded by this fact: The media, 
     which comprise the only intense constituency for campaign 
     finance reform, advocate expanded government regulation of 
     all political advocacy except that done by the media.
       Many reformers' ostensible concern about the appearance of 
     corruption is just for appearances. The politicians' real 
     concern is to silence their critics. Recently John McCain 
     gave the game away.
       He was discussing the bill's provision that puts severe--
     for many groups, insuperable--impediments on any group 
     wanting to run a broadcast ad that so much as refers to a 
     candidate within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general 
     election. He said: ``What we're trying to do is stop''--note 
     that word--``organizations like the so-called Club for Growth 
     that came into Arizona in a primary, spent hundreds of 
     thousands of dollars in attack ads. We had no idea who they 
     were, where their money came from.''
       McCain's attack was recklessly untruthful. He knows 
     perfectly well what the club is--a mostly Republican group 
     formed to support fiscal conservatives. The only ad the club 
     ran--a radio ad--contained not a word of attack: It was an 
     entirely positive endorsement of a candidate's views, and it 
     did not mention or even refer to anyone else. All 
     contributions to the club over $200 are disclosed.
       But on one matter McCain, who wishes he could criminalize 
     negative ads, was candid. He--like the Times and Post--is 
     trying to stop others from enjoying rights they now enjoy.

  Mr. McCONNELL. Shays-Meehan restricts the free speech rights of 
individuals, parties and groups, but not the media. The issue ad 
restrictions are so onerous that many individuals and groups will 
choose not to speak. But, of course, the media will still be free to 
speak their mind.
  I ask unanimous consent that an article by Pete du Pont, former 
Governor of Delaware, entitled ``Just A Gag? Congress Prepares To 
Repeal Freedom Of Speech,'' be printed in the Record at this point.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

             [From the Wall Street Journal, Feb. 13, 2002]

                              Just a Gag?

                           (By Pete Du Pont)

       The anti-First Amendment crowd is at work in Washington 
     this week, attempting to limit political speech during 
     election campaigns. Their vehicle is the Shays-Meehan 
     campaign-finance bill, and their goal is to drive the money 
     out of politics--even if it requires driving free speech out 
     of political campaigns.
       Rep. Harold Ford (D., Tenn.) wondered on television last 
     summer why ``any organization regardless [of whether] they 
     are Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal, [should] 
     be allowed to come in and influence the outcome of elections 
     solely to advance some narrow interest of theirs.''
       Why should they be allowed? Because the First Amendment 
     says it's their right. Because the framers of the 
     Constitution believed, as James Madison and Alexander 
     Hamilton argued in Federalist No. 51, that the civil rights 
     of citizens in the new republic depended on the voices of 
     many interests being heard. And because if only candidates 
     and the establishment media are allowed to speak in the 60 
     days before an election--which is the intent and effect of 
     the Shays-Meehan bill--ordinary people will be all but 
     voiceless and powerless in the crucial period during an 
       No doubt members of Congress think that is a good idea, 
     because it is much easier to get re-elected if your opponent 
     lacks the resources to mount an effective campaign. What 
     elected official wants groups interested in some issue 
     mucking about in his voting record and being able to air what 
     they find in prime time?
       But the question under debate is whether people of similar 
     beliefs--be they anti-death-penalty liberals or pro-life 
     conservatives, unions or corporations or nonprofits--may pool 
     their resources to increase their political impact by talking 
     on television about issues and candidates in the 60 days (the 
     only days that really count) before an election.
       Shays-Meehan says no; journalists can talk on television or 
     radio, but others interested in an issue cannot. But the 
     First Amendment is very clear that our opinions as citizens 
     and the opinions of the press are equally protected. 
     (``Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of 
     speech, or of the press.'') And so was the U.S. Supreme Court 
     in Buckley v. Valeo, the definitive and unanimous 1976 
     campaign-regulation decision: ``The concept that the 
     government may restrict the speech of some elements in our 
     society in order to enhance the relative voice of others is 
     wholly foreign to the First Amendment.''
       What Shays-Meehan (and its Senate counterpart, McCain-
     Feingold) does is restrict the speech of challengers and 
     enhance the speech of incumbents; it restricts the speech of 
     citizens and thus enhances the speech of the media on issues 
     they care about.
       In an earlier column, I discussed some of the difficulties 
     of political speech bans. But consider the actual effect of 
     McCain-Feingold: Planned Parenthood and People for the 
     American Way, the National Rifle Association and Americans 
     for Tax Reform, your local Stop the Highway or Cut Property 
     Taxes Committee--all of them among Rep. Ford's ``narrow 
     interest'' organizations--would be forbidden to use their 
     resources to

[[Page S2127]]

     run ``electioneering communications'' after Labor Day in an 
     election year. But every newspaper and television station in 
     your town and state could still support or denigrate every 
     candidate every day. Why would any sensible person vote to 
     limit the speech of individuals and organizations but not 
     that of the media, which have as many opinions and biases as 
     each of us does?
       When McCain-Feingold was before the Senate last March, 40 
     senators voted for Sen. Fritz Hollings's proposed 
     constitutional amendment that would exclude campaign speech 
     from the protection of the First Amendment. As wrongheaded as 
     it is, it is at least honest. Shays-Meehan's supporters 
     propose to achieve the same result by stealth, for they know 
     full well that a constitutional amendment has no chance of 
       It is hard to imagine anything worse for the republic than 
     to have campaign speech regulated, supervised, watched, 
     controlled and authorized or prohibited by an agency of the 
     national government. Our Founding Fathers carefully wrote the 
     right to express our views on the issues of the day into the 
     Constitution, and we should make sure it is not written out.

  Mr. McCONNELL. Many of Shays-Meehan's restrictions on political 
discussion by outside groups only apply to discussions in the broadcast 
media--not in the print media. If you happen to own a newspaper, or 
happen to be a newspaper, then these restrictions do not apply.
  It is no mystery why the New York Times and the Washington Post have 
joined forces to run an editorial in favor of campaign finance reform 
once every 5\1/2\ days for the last 5 years. More than once a week, 
every week, for the last 5 years. The newspapers are huge winners under 
this bill--they have a blatant conflict of interest--which I don't 
recall reading about on any of their editorial pages. Nor do I recall 
seeing any news stories in their papers about their blatant conflict of 
interest and what big winners they are financially as a result of the 
passage of this bill.
  Let's take a look at fundraising for outside groups. The largest 
loophole for outside groups is that we in Congress can raise soft money 
for them. This huge loophole was literally added at the 11th hour over 
in the House in order to secure enough support for this bill so that it 
would pass in the House of Representatives. This bill shuts off money 
to political parties but turns the spigot wide open on contributions to 
outside interests.
  What the reformers don't tell you is that the soft money contributed 
to the national parties was already fully disclosed. Our friends up in 
the press gallery and the American public knows how much soft money the 
parties received. It has been disclosed for years. But for some reason, 
the reformers believe a system of raising undisclosed soft money for 
outside groups is better; it is better to allow Members of Congress to 
raise undisclosed soft money for outside groups than to allow Members 
of Congress to raise disclosed soft money for political parties. If you 
can make any sense of that, give me a ring sometime.
  The parties will be replaced by an underground network of outside 
groups for whom we can raise unlimited, undisclosed sums of soft money. 
Let me be clear: There are numerous groups for whom Members can raise 
unlimited, undisclosed corporate and union soft money. Let me give you 
some names: Common Cause, the Sierra Club, the NAACP, NARAL, and NOW. 
This is a great day for them, a banner day for them.
  Now there are other loopholes in Shays-Meehan for specific outside 
groups. Let's take a look at Indian tribes. In the 2000 cycle, Indian 
tribes contributed almost $3 million to Federal political campaigns. 
They used their general treasury for contributions, independent 
expenditures, and to run issue ads. This bill does not cover any of 
their activities.
  A recent article from Fox News concluded that Indian tribes could 
soon contribute more money than any other interest group in America.
  I ask unanimous consent that the full text of that article be printed 
in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

         Natives Slip Through Big Loophole in Campaign Finance

                            (By Katie Cobb)

       Los Angeles.--Native American groups, or sovereign tribes 
     that live alongside other U.S. citizens but are subject to 
     several exemptions from U.S. tax and other laws, are getting 
     another break in the campaign finance reform law meant to 
     reduce the impact of special interests on political 
       ``They are basically just reaching into the till that is 
     full of business and gambling money and writing checks to 
     politicians and political parties,'' said Jan Baran, an 
     elections law attorney.
       While most special interest groups will lose their ability 
     to donate soft money and are limited to low caps on direct 
     contributions if and when the campaign finance bill is 
     enacted, tribes which participate in the $5 billion a year 
     Indian gaming industry will not be subject to the same rules.
       An existing rule by the Federal Elections Commission 
     already exempted tribes from the same contribution limits 
     that apply to other Americans. But lawmakers, who had an 
     opportunity to close the loophole during recent debate on the 
     measure, decided to leave the exemption in place.
       ``Under the current law, individuals have an overall cap of 
     $25,000 a year that they can give to candidates and federal 
     political committees. Indian tribes don't have that overall 
     aggregate cap,'' said Ken Gross, a former council for the 
       The exemption allows Indian tribes to donate the maximum 
     amount to every single candidate running for federal office, 
     easily totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash each 
     election cycle.
       ``They have a big pot of money to use and make political 
     contributions and as long as they distribute it on a per 
     candidate or per committee basis within the limits, there is 
     no cap on how much they can spend so they are in a good 
     position,'' Gross said.
       And give they do. During the 1994 election cycle, Indian 
     gaming groups gave more than $600,000 to federal candidates 
     and political parties. In 1996, they gave close to $2 million 
     and during the 2000 cycle, nearly $3 million. Millions more 
     went to state candidates.
       ``We have taken a long time. We suffered a lot because we 
     didn't understand this political process and now that we have 
     learned the process and we have a level playing field, we 
     have got to be treated fair,'' said Erine Stevens, chairman 
     of the National Indian Gaming Association.
       The exemption could put Indian tribes in a position to 
     donate more than any other single interest group in America.
       Politicians don't seem to mind. Lawmakers don't appear in a 
     hurry to close the loophole during a House and Senate 
     reconciliation conference. And if the bill is signed into law 
     by the President, Indian groups can start cashing in their 

  Mr. McCONNELL. Let's take a look at the trial lawyers. Shays-Meehan 
does not cover trial lawyers who organize as partnerships--which most 
lawyers do these days--rather than corporations. Lawyers gave more than 
$112 million in the 2000 election cycle alone. They are free to run 
issue ads at any time without restriction. This bill does nothing to 
change that.
  Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that a copy of an editorial 
by James Wooton on this matter be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

               [From the Washington Times, Feb. 27, 2002]

                    Campaign Finance Lawyer Loophole

                           (By James Wooton)

       A great irony could emerge from the 107th Congress: The 
     purportedly populist campaign finance reform bill being 
     considered by Congress would stifle debate on legal reform--a 
     vital consumer and shareholder issue--while creating a 
     loophole for the most powerful special interest in 
     Washington: plaintiffs' class action lawyers.
       As it relates to independent expenditures and issue 
     advertisements, these bills don't cover trial lawyers because 
     lawyers commonly take their compensation as individuals and, 
     therefore, are not treated as ``corporations'' subject to the 
     restrictions in the legislation. Whether or not they intend 
     it, the bill's authors would grant a license to these trial 
     lawyers, who ante up tens of millions of dollars in campaign 
     contributions a year and, in doing so, would further empower 
     a new class of wealthy individuals with an aggressive 
     political agenda. The Shays-Meehan/McCain-Feingold bills 
     unwittingly step into a major public-policy battle between 
     plaintiffs' trial lawyers and the U.S. business community in 
     a way that's certain to produce a clear loser: The American 
     public. Legal reform is a concept abhorred by these lawyers 
     because it would rein in the filing of frivolous lawsuits and 
     put a lid on the lottery-like legal fees that have made some 
     trial lawyers fabulosuly rish. They remember well the bullet 
     they dodged when President Clinton vetoed the 1996 Federal 
     Products Liability bill. Since that bill's demise, the trial 
     bar has been rewarded handsomely: The total of the top 10 
     jury verdicts increased twelvefold from 1997 to 1999.
       Because legal reform could help curb the ``lawyer tax'' 
     that increases the cost of consumer goods and services by 
     $4,800 annually for a family of four and degrades the value 
     of investments, the public has a lot at stake in this battle.
       Today, personal injury lawyers already are on top of the 
     world. Freshly infused with the expectation of billions in 
     fees from tobacco

[[Page S2128]]

     litigation, they are investing heavily in Senate elections to 
     build a barrier against any future legal reforms. If lawyers 
     were ranked among industries, they would be No. 1 on the list 
     of donors to political campaigns. According to the Center for 
     Responsive Politics, lawyers contributed more than $110 
     million in the 2000 election cycle, $77 million of which went 
     to Democrats. Members of the Association of Trial Lawyers of 
     America alone gave $3.6 million to federal campaigns over the 
     same period.
       The battle over legal reform takes place on many fronts, 
     from electing or selecting reform-minded officials, to 
     educating the public about the need for reform, to engaging 
     in grass-roots and legislative lobbying and, ultimately, to 
     enacting reform legislation. To be sure, personal injury 
     lawyers and American businesses both engage in these 
     activities. Unfortunately for the public, Shays-Meehan/
     McCain-Feingold would hobble American businesses involved in 
     this debate while leaving trial lawyers armed to the teeth.
       For instance, the legislation would impose a gag rule, 
     prohibiting corporations from running broadcast issue ads 
     that even mention the name of a candidate for a 60-day 
     blackout period before a general election and 30 days before 
     a primary. Personal injury lawyers would face no such 
       Shays-Meehan/McCain-Feingold contains other booby traps 
     that could confound business efforts to inspire needed 
     reforms to our legal system. A gag rule, for example, would 
     bar corporations from running ads that simply ask viewers to 
     ``Call Senator Jones and urge him to support legal reform 
     bill X.'' During the blackout period, corporations would even 
     be prohibited from running ads that name the principal 
     sponsors of this bill.
       Undoubtedly these are unintended consequences of Shays-
     Meehan/McCain-Feingold. The fact is that the courts are more 
     solicitous of the free speech rights of individuals than 
     corporations. Although some campaign reform advocates have 
     expressed disdain for the greedy plaintiffs' bar and 
     supported legal reform, the campaign finance bills would give 
     more power to personal injury lawyers while crippling the 
     business community's efforts to restore sanity to our civil 
     justice system. Any congressional supporters of common-sense 
     legal reform should be wary of a bill that could 
     significantly empower the plaintiffs' trial bar to block 
     these needed reforms.

  Mr. McCONNELL. Let's take a look at a specific provision of this 
bill. The provision on ``coordination.''
  In addition to protecting the American people's right to free speech 
and association, the first amendment protects the rights of Americans 
to petition their Government for redress of grievances. This right is 
essential to our representative democracy.
  We meet with constituents and with citizens groups--who in this 
debate are simply referred to as ``special interests''--to help 
determine how best to effectuate the wishes of the American people. We 
meet with these folks every day. Our meetings with fellow Americans is 
thus one of the most important things that occurs in the democratic 
  The Shays-Meehan ``coordination'' provision affects our ability to 
meet with constituents and citizen groups. There is a danger posed by 
an overbroad coordination standard in this bill. By subjecting 
candidates, officeholders, and citizens groups to civil and criminal 
liability for innocuous--and, indeed, necessary--contacts, the 
``coordination'' provisions in Shays-Meehan do great damage to the 
constitutionally protected right of Americans to petition their 
Government for the redress of grievances.
  The Shays-Meehan coordination provisions repeal existing FEC 
regulations on coordination, and they direct the agency--they order the 
agency--to promulgate new ones. In doing so, the bill ties the FEC's 
hands by specifically prohibiting the FEC from issuing regulations that 
require ``agreement'' or ``formal collaboration'' before subjecting a 
candidate, officeholder, or citizens group to civil or criminal 
liability for a ``coordinated communication.''
  Let's sum it up. In other words, Congress is prohibiting the FEC from 
drafting coordination regulations that meet the constitutional 
requirement of being neither vague nor overly broad. We have, by this 
act, given instructions to the Federal Election Commission that they 
cannot draft regulations that meet a constitutional requirement of 
being neither vague nor overly broad. This bill seeks to shut down the 
process of interacting with constituents.
  Citizens groups and candidates will be subject to prosecution if the 
Government deems an otherwise lawful ``issue communication'' to be a 
prohibited corporate contribution simply because groups have met with 
candidates or officeholders about public policy issues and then run ads 
on those issues.
  For example, if a Member meets with a group about legislation that 
both the Member and the group support, and the group then runs ads 
promoting that legislation or those policies, someone--anyone--could 
then file a complaint charging that the Member and the group 
``coordinated'' the communication.
  Because Shays-Meehan bars the FEC from requiring that there be an 
agreement or formal collaboration to establish that the ad was 
coordinated, a group and a candidate can be liable for receiving and 
making, respectively, prohibited contributions. It will not matter that 
the Member disagrees with the ad or even that he did not know anything 
about it. It won't make a bit of difference.
  Instead of requiring an actual agreement or formal collaboration 
before liability can be established, Shays-Meehan allows the Government 
to use simple presumptions to show ``coordination'' when, in fact, it 
may not exist.
  Citizens groups, both on the left and on the right, oppose Shays-
Meehan's coordination provisions. These groups recognize they will face 
intrusive and costly investigations, prosecution, civil fines, and 
penalties, and even criminal liability--even criminal liability--simply 
because they meet with Members and candidates about issues and then 
promote a policy agenda that happens to overlap with the Member's 
policy agenda.
  I ask unanimous consent that letters from the National Right to Life, 
the NRA, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the NAACP opposing the 
coordination provisions in Shays-Meehan be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the letters were ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                                  National Right to Life Committee

                               and National Rifle Association,

                                                   March 19, 2002.
     Re Coordination Minefield in Section 214 of H.R. 2356.

     Senator Mitch McConnell,
     Ranking Minority Member, Committee on Rules and 
         Administration, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator McConnell: Under current law, no relationship 
     of ``coordination'' exists unless there is an actual prior 
     communication about a specific expenditure for a specific 
     project which results in the expenditure being under the 
     direction or control of a candidate, or which causes the 
     expenditure to be made based upon information provided by the 
     candidate about the candidate's needs or plans.
       However, Section 214 of the Shays-Meehan bill (H.R. 2356), 
     in the form passed by the House on February 14, 2002, would 
     obliterate that clear rule, and replace it with a new 
     standard for ``coordination'' that would place incumbent 
     lawmakers, advocacy groups, and unions at great legal risk 
     for engaging in cooperative or parallel activities in support 
     of common legislative goals--or even merely for transmitting 
     information about an incumbent lawmaker's position on public 
     polity issues.
       Section 214 of the bill explicitly nullifies the current 
     Federal Election Commission (FEC) regulations governing 
     ``coordination.'' The bill commands the FEC to develop new 
     regulations that ``shall not require agreement or formal 
     collaboration to establish coordination.'' [emphasis added] 
     The bill goes on to dictate a number of issues that must be 
     addressed in new regulations.

                    ``substantial discussion'' trap

       Section 214 requires new ``coordination'' regulations that 
     must, among other things, address ``payments for 
     communications made by a person after substantial discussion 
     about the communication with a candidate. . .'' [emphasis 
       Many groups submit questionnaires to members of Congress 
     and other ``candidates,'' some of them covering many 
     different specific issues. Other groups use standardized 
     forms by which a candidate can ``pledge'' to endorse a 
     certain legislative initiative--for example, the balanced 
     budget amendment, or the Equal Rights Amendment, or ``a ban 
     on soft money.'' These written inquiries are often 
     accompanied by written or verbal communications intended to 
     convey why the position(s) advocated by the group are good 
     public policy, worthy of the support of a lawmaker or would-
     be lawmaker. But even completing the questionnaire or pledge 
     alone could be sufficient to constitute ``substantial 
     communication,'' since the lawmaker presumably returns the 
     document to the group with the clear understanding that the 
     group intends to convey his or her position to members of the 
       If the group does so by means that cost money, the group 
     may soon be the target of a complaint that it made an illegal 
     campaign ``contribution,'' due to the ``coordination'' that 
     occurred between the lawmaker and the group. Moreover, as 
     explained below,

[[Page S2129]]

     if the group's spending constituted an illegal corporate 
     ``contribution,'' then the member of Congress has also 
     ``received'' an illegal corporate contribution (and, no 
     doubt, committed another violation by failing to report this 
     ``contribution''). Such a complaint may well do the incumbent 
     lawmaker both legal harm and political harm, even though he 
     did no more than convey his position(s) to a group of 
     interested citizens.
       Here is another example of ``substantial discussion'' that 
     could lead to legal difficulties for a group (and for an 
     incumbent lawmaker). Early in a congressional session, 
     representatives of six groups met with Senator Doe to discuss 
     what language they, and he, will use to collectively promote 
     Doe's landmark bill to ban widgets. The six groups then spend 
     money to communicate with the public, including Senator Doe's 
     constituents, regarding the urgent need to enact the ``Doe-
     Jones Widget Ban Act.'' The campaign manager for the 
     senator's challenger then files a complaint, alleging that 
     the groups have a ``coordinated'' relationship with Doe, and 
     therefore the expenditures promoting Doe's bill are actually 
     ``contributions'' to Doe's campaign. The legal 
     consequences for the groups could be grave, because 
     ``contributions'' by incorporated groups and unions have 
     long been illegal.
       But the consequences for the incumbent lawmaker could be 
     equally grave, because if the groups' expenditures to promote 
     his bill are deemed to be ``contributions,'' then he also has 
     violated three provisions of law: (1) he has received illegal 
     ``contributions'' from corporations or unions; (2) he has 
     received ``contributions'' in excess of the $2,000 limit; and 
     (3) he has failed to report the `'contributions'' that he 
     received from the groups.

                        ``Common Vendors'' Trap

       The bill also commands that the FEC's new regulations must 
     address ``payments for the use of a common vendor.'' This 
     provision is a license for regulations under which both 
     members of Congress and groups would be at constant risk of 
     entering into a ``coordination'' relationship merely because 
     they both purchase services from the same pollster, ad 
     agency, or other ``common vendor.'' Under such a regulation, 
     a group can establish ``coordination'' with a member of 
     Congress without the lawmaker being able to prevent it, or 
     even knowing about it until after the fact. On the other 
     hand, a member of Congress could unilaterally make it more 
     difficult for numerous groups of their right to express 
     themselves about his record, merely by making purchases from 
     the leading vendor or vendors of certain services (e.g., 
     mailing houses, pollsters) in a given area.
       The bill also requires the new regulations to address 
     communications made by ``persons who previously served as an 
     employee of a candidate or a political party.'' The bill 
     contains no time limit on the ``disability'' that would 
     result from such prior employment. The bill's language would 
     permit, for example, the FEC to write regulations under which 
     involvement in a group's public communications by someone who 
     had worked for a political party years earlier would 
     automatically ``coordinate'' all federal candidates of the 
     same political party who is discussed in that group's 
     communications to the public.

                      Political Action Committees

       Above, we have described ways in which a member of Congress 
     could unwittingly and unknowingly become `'coordinated'' with 
     an incorporated group or union, and thereby be charged with 
     receiving illegal ``contributions.'' There is an additional 
     consequence once this has occurred: If the political action 
     committee (PAC) connected to the ``coordinated'' corporation 
     or union expends more than $5,000 on any activities in 
     support of the lawmaker (or in opposition to his opponent)--
     even without any prior knowledge or involvement by the 
     candidate--then those contributions also would also be 
     regarded as illegal ``contributions.'' This is because once 
     the parent corporation or union is deemed to have become 
     ``coordinated'' in any of the ways outlined above, its 
     connected PAC also becomes ``coordinated'' and thus loses 
     its legal right to make independent expenditures in excess 
     of $5,000 to support or oppose any candidate--and the 
     candidate is guilty of ``receiving'' an illegal 
     contribution if the PAC makes such expenditures.
       Consequently, a Member of Congress could easily become 
     guilty of violating federal election law if he unknowingly 
     becomes ``coordinated'' with a group, and the group's PAC 
     subsequently makes expenditures over $5,000 without the 
     Member's prior knowledge, much less consent.
       In closing, we believe that the coordination provision 
     (Section 214) in the Shays-Meehan bill infringe upon our 
     First Amendment right to free speech and right to petition 
     the government for redress of grievances. Therefore, we 
     strongly oppose this provision.
     David N. O'Steen,
       Executive Director, National Right to Life Committee.
     Charles H. Cunningham,
       Director, Federal Affairs, National Rifle Association.

         American Civil Liberties Union and National Association 
           for the Advancement of Colored People,
                                Washington, DC, February 27, 2002.
     Senator Russ Feingold,
     Hart Senate Office Building,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Senator Feingold: At your earliest convenience we 
     would like to meet with you and your staff to discuss the 
     coordination provisions of the House-passed version of the 
     Shays-Meehan bill (H.R. 2356) that the Senate may soon take 
       We believe that Section 214 (provisions on coordination) 
     will have a chilling effect on our ability to communicate 
     with Members of Congress and our constituencies about 
     important issues that arise in the legislative context. 
     Because the provisions are so vaguely worded, we also think 
     that the Federal Election Commission (FEC) will have the 
     ability to subject groups to unwarranted investigations to 
     determine if our motivation is really to affect the outcome 
     of legislation or to affect the outcome of a campaign.
       Shays-Meehan substantially changes current law by 
     explicitly nullifying the current (and clear) FEC regulations 
     governing ``coordination.'' Under current law, no 
     relationship of ``coordination'' exists unless there is an 
     actual prior communication about a specific expenditure for a 
     specific project, which results in the expenditure being 
     under the direction or control of a candidate. In addition, 
     under current law coordination exists if the expenditure is 
     made based upon information provided by the candidate about 
     the candidate's needs or plans.
       Under Section 214 of the Shays-Meehan bill the FEC is 
     directed to issue regulations that cover communications we 
     have with federal candidates. These new regulations ``shall 
     not require agreement or formal collaboration to establish 
     coordination.'' Another part of Section 214 states that the 
     new FEC regulations should address ``payments for 
     communications made by a person after substantial discussion 
     about the communication with a candidate . . .'' We think 
     that these vaguely worded directives concerning our 
     activities could cause legal nightmares for our groups and 
     the candidates with whom they work.
       The ACLU and the NAACP often meet with members of Congress 
     to learn about their positions on issues. After those 
     meetings we sometimes decide to assist them (or lobby against 
     them) on their legislative initiatives. After these 
     conversations our groups may decide to convey the substance 
     of these meetings through mass communications such as full 
     page advertisements in newspapers, mass mailings, radio 
     ads and the like. If we spend money to engage in these 
     communications, we could be the target of a complaint 
     accusing us that we made an illegal campaign 
     ``contribution'' due to the ``coordination'' that occurred 
     between the lawmaker and our groups. Indeed we have often 
     been asked by a lawmaker to mobilize our grass roots on an 
     amendment or bill that they may be offering. This has 
     happened numerous times on issues ranging from civil 
     rights laws to welfare reform. Just because we work 
     closely with a Senator or Representative on a policy issue 
     does not mean that we are secretly trying to endorse a 
     particular candidate for re-election. But the new Section 
     214 provisions of Shays-Meehan will make our activities 
     suspect and prone to investigation and perhaps sanctions 
     by the FEC.
       Candidates are also very much at risk as a result of the 
     new coordination language. If the FEC deems that our groups' 
     issue communications really amount to an illegal contribution 
     to a candidate, then the candidate can be fined by the FEC 
     for accepting an ``illegal'' contribution.
       Without completely eliminating this provision, we hope that 
     you will make adjustments in the language of this statute 
     before the Senate takes up the bill later this week. The 
     coordination provisions should not be so vague that they lead 
     to the regulation of communications that are constitutionally 
     protected and are not designed to support or oppose a 
     candidate for federal elective office.
       Thank you for your consideration of this urgent request.
     Laura W. Murphy,
       Director, ACLU.
     Hillary Shelton,
       Director, NAACP.

  Mr. McCONNELL. I urge these groups and others who are concerned about 
their ability to continue to promote issues to join me in challenging 
the overbroad ``coordination'' provisions in this bill.
  The proponents of this legislation urge that the result I have 
described to you is not what they have intended. They have inserted 
into the Record a clarification of how they envision their coordination 
provisions to operate.
  However, neither a colloquy nor legislative history can change clear 
statutory language. If the drafters did not intend the troubling result 
I have described, then they should have used different language, or 
accepted my offer to modify the provision, which is one of the items I 
discussed with the Senator from Arizona early on in our discussions 
about the technical corrections to this bill. Instead, they insisted on 
directing the FEC to find ``coordination,'' when there is no agreement 
to coordinate.
  Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that additional documents

[[Page S2130]]

from individuals and groups across the political spectrum, which 
highlight the fundamental problems with this legislation, be printed in 
the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

               [From the Washington Post, Feb. 13, 2002]

                    It's Not Reform, It's Deception

                        (By Robert J. Samuelson)

       ``Washington think'' is less about logic than political 
     hustle. If you favor something, you attach it to a popular 
     cause--say, homeland security. If you oppose something, you 
     attach it to an unpopular cause--say, Enron. Bear this in 
     mind as the House debates the Shays-Meehan ``campaign finance 
     reform'' bill, named after sponsors Christopher Shays (R-
     Conn.) and Martin Meehan (D-Mass.). The Enron scandal (it's 
     said) demonstrates the corruptness of big political 
     contributions and the need for an overhaul. The argument, 
     though highly seductive, is complete make-believe.
       Only by the lax standards of ``Washington think'' would 
     anyone treat it seriously. It's all innuendo: Enron collapsed 
     because some executives behaved unethically; Enron executives 
     also made political contributions; therefore, the 
     contributions are tainted and the system is rotten. In 
     reality, Enron would have collapsed even if its executives 
     hadn't contributed a penny. The connection between the 
     bankruptcy and political giving is fictitious. Perhaps 
     contributions bought Enron some influence in shaping the 
     White House's energy plan. But given Bush administration's 
     pro-market views, does anyone truly believe the energy plan 
     would have been much different without Enron?
       The real lesson is that when Enron desperately needed help, 
     its contributions bought no influence at all. In the 1999-
     2000 election cycle, Enron, its executives and employees made 
     about $2.4 million in contributions, says the Center for 
     Responsive Politics. Republicans got 72 percent, Democrats 28 
     percent. That's a lot of money--but not compared with total 
     contributions. In the 2000 election, all House and Senate 
     candidates raised more than $1 billion. Bush and Gore raised 
     $193.1 million and $132.8 million. Political parties and 
     committees raised hundreds of millions more.
       Even if Enron deserve help (it didn't), few politicians 
     would have risked public wrath by rushing to its aid. What 
     this episode actually shows is that the breadth of 
     contributions insulates politicians against ``undue'' 
     influence by large donors. Since the early 1980s, the details 
     of campaign fundraising and spending have changed enormously. 
     But the debate's basic issues have stayed the same and can be 
     distilled into a few questions:
       Is campaign spending too high? No. In 2000, all campaigns--
     including state and local elections and ballot referendums--
     cost about $3.9 billion, according to the forthcoming book 
     ``Financing the 2000 Election'' from the Brookings 
     Institution. This is less than four one-hundredths of 1 
     percent of our national income. It's less than Americans 
     spend annually on flowers ($6.6 billion in 1997).
       Do contributions systematically favor one party over 
     another? No. Since the early 1980s, politics has become 
     more--not less--competitive. The closeness of the Bush-Gore 
     election and the present congressional split (Republican 
     House, Democratic Senate) attest to that. Candidates need to 
     raise a threshold of contributions to campaign effectively. 
     But more money doesn't guarantee victory. The Brookings book 
     cites many cases where poorer candidates won. In Michigan, 
     incumbent Republican Sen. Spencer Abraham spent $13 million 
     but lost to Debbie Stabenow, who spent $8 million.
       Do rich contributors control Washington? No. Sure, the 
     wealth sometimes get underserved tax and regulatory breaks. 
     But generally they're fighting a rear-guard defense against 
     higher taxes and more regulations. Even after Bush's tax cut, 
     the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans pay roughly half of 
     all federal taxes. Most government benefits (for Social 
     Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps) go to large 
     middle-class or poor constituencies.
       Are big campaign contributions a large source of 
     discontent? No. In a recent ABC News-Washington Post poll, 
     respondents rated the government's top 10 priorities. 
     ``Campaign finance'' finished last, with 14 percent. Last 
     April--before terrorism and the declaration of a 
     recession--it was also last, with 15 percent.
       Do restrictions on campaign contributions curb free speech? 
     Yes. Because modern communication--TV, mailings, phone banks, 
     Internet sites--requires money, limits on contributions 
     restrict communication. If communication isn't speech, what 
     is it? The Supreme Court mistakenly blessed some contribution 
     limits in Buckley v. Valeo (1976) but also equated free 
     speech with free spending. As long as the court maintains 
     that free speech involves free spending, putting more 
     restrictions on contributions to political candidates and 
     parties is self-defeating. It simply encourages outside 
     groups (unions, industry associations, environmental groups) 
     with their own agendas to increase campaign spending to 
     influence elections.
       The true parallel between Enron and campaign finance is one 
     that ``reformers'' avoid. Enron's cardinal sin was deception. 
     The company evaded clear financial reporting. Similarly, 
     ``campaign finance reform'' fosters continuous deceptions. 
     Because politics requires money and is fiercely competitive, 
     every new restriction on contributions inspires ways around 
     the limits--evasions that, though legal, are denounced as 
     ``abuses.'' Why should writing laws that predictably invite 
     evasion be considered a good or moral act?
       If Shays-Meehan becomes law, the cycle will continue. It 
     bars most ``soft money'' political contributions and 
     restricts some ``issue ads'' before elections. The Supreme 
     Court might toss out some or all of the new limits as 
     unconstitutional. If it doesn't, political operatives will 
     skirt the restrictions. Opinions are divided on which party 
     might benefit. Perhaps neither. Whatever happens, Shays-
     Meehan will hardly take big money out of politics. The only 
     way to have true ``reform'' without this legislated hypocrisy 
     is to amend the Constitution and place limits on the First 
     Amendment. Somehow a distinction would have to be created 
     between ``spending to communicate'' and ``communicating.''
       To make this case would be difficult. In this reporter's 
     opinion, it would also be undesirable. It would stifle 
     political competition and sow resentment. But perhaps 
     reformers can convince the American public otherwise. If they 
     think campaign money is fundamentally corrupting democracy, 
     honesty compels them to take the amendment route. Until they 
     acknowledge that, they will be guilty of the same sins as 
     Enron's executives. They will be describing the world as they 
     wish it to be seen, not as it actually is. Here lies the 
     geninue Enron analogy.

                               American Civil Liberties Union,

                                Washington, DC, February 13, 2002.
       Dear Representative: We, the undersigned organizations and 
     individuals, represent a diverse array of non-profit public 
     policy advocacy groups. We have a shared belief that your 
     upcoming vote on Shays-Meehan today will create an important 
     record of your stand on the First Amendment rights of issue 
     advocacy groups in the United States. We urge you to oppose 
     this legislation because it contains unwarranted and 
     unconstitutional restrictions on our free speech rights.
       We have heard a great deal about so-called ``sham issue 
     ads'' and the need to regulate such advertising. Until now in 
     the United States, under our First Amendment, we have had the 
     right to express our views through advertising about national 
     issues and about federal elected officials before, during and 
     after elections. Clearly most of Congress realizes that it 
     would be unconstitutional to silence an individual who wants 
     to take out broadcast advertising during this same period; 
     consequently, Shays-Meehan does not silence wealthy 
     individuals. But Shays-Meehan does silence groups like ours 
     that are collectively supported by millions of small 
     contributors who band together to make their views known.
       Proponents of Shays-Meehan argue that their bill does not 
     silence our groups. They are wrong. Sections 201, 203, and 
     204 of H.R. 2356 (like its Senate counterpart) contain 
     unconstitutional restrictions on broadcast, cable and 
     satellite issue ads. The net effect of these provisions is to 
     ban many of our national groups and their affiliates, and all 
     other 501(c)(4) advocacy corporations (but not PACs) from 
     funding TV or radio ads that even mention the name of a local 
     member of Congress for 30 days before a state's congressional 
     primary or runoff, and for another 60 days before the general 
     election. This restriction applies to any ad that ``can be 
     received'' by 50,000 or more ``persons,'' including minors, 
     within a district--which covers nearly any TV or radio ad, 
     since few persons do not possess TVs and radios.
       These restrictions would have widespread impact on issue 
     advocacy throughout the even number years in particular. For 
     example, even today (February 13, 2002) if the bill were law, 
     groups such as Common Cause and Campaign for America would be 
     banned from running a TV or radio ad today in California 
     (March 5th primary) or Texas (March 12th primary) saying 
     simply ``Call Congressman Jones to urge him to vote for the 
     Shays-Meehan bill.'' In effect, groups are being cut out of 
     the dialogue on major national issues.
       The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that only express 
     advocacy, narrowly defined, can be subject to campaign 
     finance controls. Shays-Meehan redefines express advocacy in 
     a way that covers our legitimate speech, which is not telling 
     voters to vote for or against a particular candidate. If we 
     dare applaud, criticize or even mention a candidate's name 
     during this 30 day/60 day ``blackout'' period, we would have 
     to create a PAC where donor names would have to be 
     disclosed to the FEC in a way never before upheld by the 
       We believe that no group that wants to express its views 
     through broadcast ads should be forced to bear the 
     significant and costly burden of establishing a PAC just to 
     comment during this period. Separate accounting procedures, 
     new legal compliance costs and separate administrative 
     processes would be imposed on these groups--a high price to 
     exercise their First Amendment rights to merely mention a 
     candidate's name or comment on candidate records. Moreover, 
     having a PAC would by definition make the organization a 
     participant in partisan politics. Rather than risk violating 
     this new requirement, absorbing the cost of compliance or 
     being forced to take partisan stands during elections, it is 
     very likely that some groups will remain silent.

[[Page S2131]]

       It is clear that the intent and net effect of Shays-Meehan 
     is to shut down legitimate, constitutionally protected issue 
     advocacy. Are you voting to do this to groups who represent 
     millions of Americans? We urge you to reject this approach. 
     Please vote against Shays-Meehan.
       Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Office; Joel 
     Gora, ACLU Campaign Finance Counsel, Professor of Law, 
     Brooklyn Law School; David N. O'Steen, Executive Director, 
     Douglas Johnson, Legislative Director, National Right to Life 
     Committee; Gregory S. Casey, President & CEO, BIPAC (Business 
     Industry Political Action Committee of America); R. Bruce 
     Josten, Executive Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; 
     Charles H. Cunningham, Director, Federal Affairs, National 
     Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action.

                               American Civil Liberties Union,

                                Washington, DC, February 12, 2002.
       Dear Representative:  On behalf of the American Civil 
     Liberties Union we are writing to express our opposition to 
     the Shays-Meeham bill, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 
     2001, H.R. 2356 as originally introduced and in its 
     subsequent permutations.
       Shays-Meehan (in all its various iterations) would:
       Unconstitutionally restrict robust political speech by 
     average citizens prior to federal elections (issue advocacy 
       Place restrictions on soft money contributions that support 
     issue advocacy activities (partial bans on soft money).
       Create draconian penalties for non-partisan interactions 
     between groups and federal candidates (so-called 
       Shays-Meehan penalizes people of moderate means who want to 
     band together to make their voices heard throughout the year, 
     before during and after federal elections. These bills 
     protect incumbents, wealthy individuals, PACs and the press. 
     We have enclosed a fact sheet that presents our objections to 
     Shays-Meehan in more detail.
       We urge all members of Congress to vote against this 
     Laura W. Murphy.

                               American Civil Liberties Union,

                                                   Washington, DC.

                ACLU Campaign Finance Reform Fact Sheet

Why Should Members of Congress Vote Against H.R. 2356, the Shays-Meehan 

       1. Shays/Meehan is patently unconstitutional.
       The American Civil Liberties Union believes that key 
     elements of Shays-Meehan violate the First Amendment right to 
     free speech because the legislation contains provisions that 
       Violate the constitutionally protected right of the people 
     to express their opinions about issues through broadcast 
     advertising if they mention the name of a candidate.
       Restrict soft money contributions and uses of soft money 
     for no constitutionally justifiable reason.
       Chill free expression by redefining it as ``coordination'' 
     through burdensome reporting requirements and greatly 
     expanded FEC investigative and enforcement authority.
       H.R. 2356 would burden and abridge the very speech that the 
     First Amendment was designed to protect: political speech.
       2. Shays-Meehan would have a chilling effect on issue 
     advocacy speech that is essential in a democracy. H.R. 2356 
     contains the harshest and most unconstitutional controls on 
     issue advocacy groups. The bill contains:
       A virtual ban on issue advocacy achieved through redefining 
     express advocacy in an unconstitutionally value and over-
     broad manner. The Supreme Court has held that only express 
     advocacy, narrowly defined, can be subject to campaign 
     finance controls. The key to the existing definition of 
     express advocacy is the inclusion of an explicit directive to 
     vote for or vote against a candidate. Minus the explicit 
     directive or so-called ``bright-line'' test, the Federal 
     Election Commission (FEC) will decide what constitutes 
     express advocacy. Few non-profit issue groups will want to 
     risk their tax status or incur legal expenses to engage in 
     speech that could be interpreted by the FEC to have an 
     influence on the outcome of an election.
       A black-out on broadcast, cable and satellite issue 
     advertising before primary and general elections. The bill's 
     statutory limitations on issue advocacy would force groups 
     that now engage in issue advocacy--including non-profit 
     corporations known as 501(c)(4)s--to create new institutional 
     entities in order to ``legally'' speak within 30 days before 
     a congressional primary or runoff and 60 days before a 
     general election. This restriction applies to any ad that 
     ``can be received'' by 50,000 or more ``persons,'' including 
     minors, within a district--which covers almost all TV or 
     radio ads, since few persons do not possess TVs and radios. 
     If a group wanted to take out a broadcast, cable or satellite 
     ad during this period they would have to create a PAC where 
     donors would have to be disclosed to the FEC in a way never 
     before sustained by the courts. The opportunities that donors 
     now have to contribute anonymously (a real concern when a 
     cause is unpopular or divisive--see NAACP v. Alabama) would 
     be eliminated.
       Being forced to establish a PAC as a condition of 
     commenting on campaign issues could entail a significant and 
     costly burden for many non-profit organizations. Separate 
     accounting procedures, new legal compliance costs and 
     separate administrative processes would be imposed on these 
     groups--a high price to exercise their First Amendment rights 
     to comment on candidate records. Moreover, forcing an 
     organization to take a partisan position is antithetical to 
     the mission of groups like the ACLU that are fiercely non-
     partisan. It is very likely that some groups will remain 
     silent rather than risk violating this new requirement or 
     absorbing the cost of compliance. The only individuals and 
     groups that will be able to characterize a candidate's record 
     on radio and TV during this 60 day period will be the 
     candidates, wealthy individuals, PACs and the media. Further, 
     members of congress need only wait until days before a 
     primary or general election (as they often do now) to vote 
     for legislation or engage in controversial behavior so that 
     their actions are beyond the reach of public comment and, 
     therefore, effectively immune from citizen criticism.
       3. Shays-Meehan redefines ``coordination with a candidate'' 
     so that heretofore legal and constitutionally protected 
     activities of issue advocacy groups would become illegal.
       If the ACLU decided to place an ad lauding--by name--
     Representatives or Senators for their effective advocacy of 
     constitutional campaign finance reform, that ad would be 
     counted as express advocacy on behalf of the named 
     Congresspersons and, therefore, would be prohibited if the 
     ACLU had prior discussions with that member about those 
     issues. An expanded definition of coordination is disruptive 
     of proper issue group-candidate discussion.
       4. Shays-Meehan would impermissibly limit soft money.
       Unprecedented restrictions on soft money would make 
     national parties less able to support grassroots activity, 
     candidate recruitment and get-out-the-vote efforts. 
     Restrictions on corporate and union contributions to parties 
     not only trample the First Amendment rights of parties and 
     their supporters in a manner well beyond any compelling 
     governmental interest but they also dry up funds that expand 
     political participation. Further, Shays-Meehan would ban all 
     contributions from parties to non-profit organizations. 
     Political parties frequently give money to non-profit 
     groups to facilitate voter registration and issue-based 
     voter mobilization efforts. These restrictions threaten 
     the very survival of non-profit organizations that exist 
     for these purposes, and will likely further suppress voter 
     turnout by student and minority groups. Political parties 
     are the mainstay of our democracy and they require funds 
     for their electoral and issue advocacy activity. Any 
     concern with large contributions to political parties may 
     be addressed through the less drastic alternative of 
       5. Shays-Meehan does not do anything to ``Big Money'' in 
     politics except push money into other forms of speech that 
     are beyond the reach of the campaign finance laws.
       The Shays-Meehan bill contains misguided and 
     unconstitutional restrictions on issue group speech and, as a 
     consequence, further empowers the media to influence the 
     outcome of elections. None of the proposals seek to regulate 
     the ability of the media--print, electronic, broadcast or 
     cable--to exercise its enormous power to direct news coverage 
     and editorialize in favor or against candidates. This would 
     be clearly unconstitutional. However, if the sponsors of 
     Shays-Meehan have their way, the only entities that would be 
     free to comment in any significant way on candidates' records 
     would be the media, wealthy individuals, PACs and the 
     candidates themselves. Corporations and unions need only to 
     purchase media outlet if they want to have influence over 
     candidates--their wealth and influence will not be abated by 
     these so-called ``reforms.'' Why, then, does Shays-Meehan 
     attack, burden and seek to effectively eliminate only citizen 
     group advocacy?
       6. Shays-Meehan makes it harder for ethnic and racial 
     minority, women and non-mainstream voices to be heard prior 
     to an election.
       What would happen, for example, if a candidate runs racist, 
     sexist or homophobic ads during the last days of an election 
     and interest groups like the NAACP, NOW or the National Gay 
     and Lesbian Task Force wanted to criticize that candidate by 
     name? Unless they undertook the complicated process of 
     forming a PAC, they would risk violating the issue ad 
     restriction in HR 2356 (the Shays-Meehan bill). Any broadcast 
     ads decrying the candidates behavior that uses the name or 
     likeness of a candidates 30 days before a primary or 60 days 
     prior to a general election--even ads that do not endorse or 
     oppose the candidates--would have to be funded through new 
     disclosed dollars only, not existing non-profit funds. 
     Further, the Shays-Meehan restrictions on soft money would 
     dry up dollars that parties need to conduct voter 
     registration and education, issue and platform development 
     and the like.
       7. It creates a ``Big Brother'' governmental regime for 
     political speech.
       This bill would permit the creation of a huge Federal 
     Elections Commission apparatus that would be in the full-time 
     business of determining which communications are considered 
     unlawful ``electioneering'' by citizens and non-profit 
     groups. None of the major proposals have funds to train or 
     defend citizens or interest groups under the proposed new 
     regulatory regime. Yet the Shays-Meehan legislation contains 
     harsh penalties for failure to comply with the new laws.

[[Page S2132]]

       8. How does the Shays-Meehan bill compare to the Ney/Wynn 
     bill, H.R. 2360?
       The Ney/Wynn bill is far less constitutionally flawed than 
     Shays/Meehan in that it regulates issue advocacy and soft 
     money less restrictively. But Ney/Wynn is still problematic 
     legislation in that it imposes unwarranted regulation of 
     issue advocacy thought registration, reporting and 
     disclosure. It creates a kind of ``Free Speech Registry'' for 
     any organized criticism of incumbent politicians. A group 
     would still have to register with the FEC if it sends 
     written, Internet and broadcast communications. These very 
     same kinds of regulations have been struck down by the 
     federal courts (See United States v. National Committee for 
     Impeachment, 469 F.2d 1135 (2d Cir. N.Y. 1972) and American 
     Civil Liberties Union v. Jennings, 366 F. Supp. 1041 (D.D.C. 
     1973)). The Ney/Wynn bill would adversely affect issue group 
     publications such as an ACLU Civil Liberties Voting Index 
     unless it was communicated only internally to members). Such 
     a communication would be subject to onerous and burdensome 
     regulations. Although both bills embody the flawed limit-
     driven approach to political speech, the Shays/Meehan bill is 
     far more constitutionally onerous.
       Shays-Meehan is unconstitutional, unwise and ineffective 
     legislation. The ACLU urges Representatives to vote against 
     H.R. 2356.

  Mr. McCONNELL. Although this legislation will pass today, I am 
confident the Supreme Court will step in to defend the Constitution.
  I commend the proponents of this bill for acknowledging the serious 
constitutional questions that are wrapped up in this legislation and 
for providing an expedited route to the Supreme Court for an answer to 
these questions. I am consoled by the obvious fact that the courts do 
not defer to the Congress on matters of the Constitution, and they 
should not.
  Today is a sad day for our Constitution, a sad day for our democracy, 
and for our political parties. We are all now complicit in a dramatic 
transfer of power from challenger-friendly, citizen-action groups known 
as political parties to outside special interest groups, wealthy 
individuals, and corporations that own newspapers.
  After a decade of making my constitutional arguments to this body, I 
am eager to become the lead plaintiff in this case and take my argument 
to the branch of Government charged with the critical task of 
interpreting our Constitution.
  Today is not a moment of great courage for the legislative branch. We 
have allowed a few powerful editorial pages to prod us into infringing 
the First Amendment rights of everybody but them. Fortunately, this is 
the very moment for which the Bill of Rights was enacted. The 
Constitution is most powerful when our courage is most lacking.
  Madam President, I congratulate Senator McCain and Senator Feingold 
for their long quest on behalf of this legislation and also Congressmen 
Shays and Meehan.
  I particularly thank my devoted staff, who have been deeply involved 
in this issue--some of them going back to the late 1980s. The Minority 
Staff Director of the Rules Committee, Tam Somerville, was with me in 
1994 when we had the last all-night filibuster in the Senate. It was on 
this issue. That was a time when we really did get out the cots because 
we really meant to use them, not just to have a photo op. Hunter Bates, 
my former Chief of Staff and the former Chief Counsel of the Rules 
Committee, has been a tower of strength on this issue and will still 
be, hopefully, involved in our effort as we go forward in the courts. 
Brian Lewis, my Chief Counsel at the Rules Committee, has been an 
invaluable member of this team. He is a very skillful lawyer, with a 
good political sense as well. He also has been deeply involved in the 
election reform issue, which Senator Dodd and I hope to move in the 
coming weeks. Leon Sequeira, my Counsel at the Rules Committee who 
works with Brian, is sitting to my right. He is also a valuable member 
of our team and a terrific lawyer who has made important contributions 
to this debate.

  John Abegg, my Counsel in my personal office, is another bright 
lawyer, well steeped in the first amendment, who has made an important 
  Chris Moore and Hugh Farrish of the Rules Committee staff have also 
been helpful to me in this effort.
  I say to all my staff who have worked on this issue, you make me look 
a lot better than I deserve, and I thank you so much for your 
outstanding work, not just for me but for the principles involved in 
this important debate.
  In conclusion, this may be the end of the legislative chapter of this 
bill, but a new and exciting phase lies ahead as we go to court to seek 
to uphold the Constitution and protect the rights of individuals, 
parties and outside groups to comment and engage in political discourse 
in our country.
  Madam President, how much time do I have remaining?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Landrieu). The Senator has 18\1/2\ 
  Mr. McCONNELL. I reserve the remainder of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, I ask that the time be charged to 
both sides during the quorum call, and I suggest the absence of a 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The clerk 
will call the roll.
  The senior assistant bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
order for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, the Senator from Pennsylvania wishes 
to address this issue. I yield him 10 minutes if he needs it. If he 
does not, we will reserve the remainder of the time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. SANTORUM. I thank the Chair.
  Madam President, first and foremost I congratulate the Senator from 
Kentucky. He is truly a lawyer for the first amendment and for the 
Constitution of the United States. I listened to most of his remarks. 
They are about as thorough a discourse on this issue as I have heard. 
There is not much for me to add, but I will make a couple of comments 
about what I think we are doing today and the impact it is going to 
have on the political system.
  Assuming this is all held to be constitutional--and I agree with my 
colleague from Kentucky, I have grave doubts whether that will be the 
case, but assuming it will all be held constitutional, this will do 
several things.
  No. 1, I got to the Senate and the House of Representatives as a 
challenger. I came out of nowhere in almost both those situations. I 
did it the hard way. I had support basically from only one special 
interest group: the Republican Party. That was it.
  In my first race for Congress, I was outspent 3\1/2\ to 1. I think I 
got $10,000 in PAC contributions. I was a nobody. I was a guy who was 
knocking on doors. The Republican Party said: We will help him a little 
bit; we will get the folks organized to help out. And they gave me a 
little money. Guys like me are going to have a lot harder time getting 
to the Senate or the House of Representatives. None of the special 
interest groups was fighting for me because they did not think I had a 
chance. They are going to be the ones to hold the power now.
  Political parties are not going to have the resources to support 
challengers. I heard this comment among my colleagues over and over--it 
is this frustration level, and I do not mean to point fingers and I 
will not, but I hear this frustrating comment from my colleagues who 
support this bill: I am sick and tired of all these people playing 
around in my election. I am tired of all these outside groups running 
ads in my election.
  Well, excuse me. Excuse me. Gee, I did not realize when I ran for 
office that this was my election. You see, I thought this was an 
election for the Senate or, before that, for the Congress. I certainly 
did not believe I had ownership of this election. But I will tell you, 
in private meetings, over and over I hear this comment: I am sick and 
tired of all these people, all these speeches--speeches meaning ads--
all these folks attacking me in my election; I want control back over 
my election.
  ``My election.'' If you do not think this is an incumbent protection 
plan, I guarantee you have not been listening. This is all about 
protecting incumbents. Do my colleagues think we are going to pass 
something which helps folks who run against us? How many folks are 
going to say: I like being here, but I want to give the guy who takes 
me on a better shot at me? I can guarantee if my colleagues read this 
bill, there is no way they can see that.

[[Page S2133]]

  All you bothersome people out there in America who believe you have 
some right to participate in my election, it keeps you at home. You 
just stay home. Leave me alone 60 days before my election so I can do 
what I want to do and tell the people what I want to tell them.
  That is the first thing this does--it shuts you up because--you know 
what?--you are an annoyance. You guys go out there and say things I do 
not like, I do not agree with, and it may not be true, so we are just 
going to shut you up. That is the first thing this bill does.

  The second thing this bill does is it destroys political parties. One 
of the great things about this country is that we have had a stable 
two-party system. Travel around the world and look at other democracies 
and see fragmented governments, all these very narrow parties. We do 
not have that in America. We have two very broad mainstream parties. 
People say that does not leave room for dramatic advances in 
ideological thought at one end of the spectrum or the other end. That 
may be true, but it has served this country pretty well.
  What we are doing with this bill is shifting power from those broad, 
mainstream parties that support people not because of any litmus test 
on the issues, but support them because they run under the broad banner 
of center or right of center if you are Republican, or center or left 
of center if you are a Democrat. We are now going to replace that with 
very highly specialized interests that I believe in the end will begin 
to develop parties, although not in a formal sense, but begin running 
candidates because of their ability to funnel undisclosed money to 
those candidates. We will begin to see more fringe players on the 
horizon. We may even see many elected.
  If we look again at Europe and other places, other democracies, in 
many cases these fringe or extreme parties tend to hold the balance of 
power. It is not a very constructive thing at all for this country.
  I do not know what possesses someone to think that political parties, 
for all their good or all their bad, are somehow negative for this 
country; that having political parties supporting their candidates is 
somehow bad, is somehow destructive to our political process when, in 
fact, it is just the opposite. Political parties protect us from 
extremism by their support of more mainstream ideas.
  So this bill destroys, in most respects, political parties and their 
ability to have influence on elections. It shuts up you. It shuts up 
you, the average voter in America. It says you need not participate in 
what we are doing.
  Who is the greatest beneficiary? Well, obviously, I mentioned before 
the greatest beneficiary is the incumbent or the person with incredible 
deep pockets who can spend their money. Those are the great 
beneficiaries. If you have a lot of money or you happen to be in here--
I got mine, too bad about you--you are going to be OK in this 
  I do not know that I would necessarily wave the banner of reform and 
say that is the end result of this process.
  Who else is going to benefit? Senator McConnell mentioned this, too. 
The greatest beneficiaries are the folks who do not have to shut up 60 
days before the election. The greatest beneficiaries are candidates and 
the media. The media is a huge winner.
  All of you, Americans, unless you have a newspaper or a radio station 
or a television station, have to sit on the sidelines when people begin 
to focus on elections 60 days before. Not the media. If all of you are 
quieter, their voice naturally becomes louder because it is the only 
voice out there other than the candidate. Of course, those supporting 
this measure want to shut you up anyway.
  So we now have a system where candidates and the media become the 
dominant voices in our political structure, and the average American is 
shut out. And this is reform.
  I argue that what we are doing is a direct assault on the first 
amendment. If one has any doubts about that, in the Senate, at least 
the last two times that I recall that we debated this issue, there was 
an amendment offered to McCain-Feingold to amend the Constitution to 
allow these provisions to be constitutional. Think about this. In the 
Senate, there was an amendment offered to, in essence, amend the first 
amendment of the Constitution so this bill would be seen 
  Over a third of the Senate voted to limit political speech in the 
Constitution, which brings me to the point I have made many times. I 
guarantee if we had a vote right now on the first 10 amendments to the 
Constitution, the Bill of Rights, in the Senate they would not pass, 
because we know better. We want to keep this power with us, not the 
  Those first 10 amendments were there to protect you, Mr. and Mrs. 
America; not us, Mr. and Mrs. Senator.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  Mr. SANTORUM. I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wisconsin.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. How much time do we have remaining?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Sixty-one minutes.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. I thank the Chair. Now I am delighted to yield 5 
minutes to one of the earliest supporters of this legislation from the 
State, more than any other State at this time in our history, that 
represents campaign finance reform and somebody who worked every day 
for 5 or 6 years to make this happen, the Senator from Maine, Ms. 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Maine.
  Ms. COLLINS. Thank you, Madam President.
  Today we stand on the threshold of an accomplishment that for many 
years had seemed unachievable. We are here because of the tenacious 
leadership, advocacy, and courage of Senators John McCain and Russ 
Feingold. How well I remember, after being elected in 1996 and sworn in 
in early 1997, Senator Feingold coming and meeting with me. He had with 
him a pile of papers, everything I had ever said on the issue of 
campaign finance reform. So he knew well I had pledged to the people of 
Maine my determination to reform our campaign finance laws.
  We talked, and I said to him: This sounds very good. How many other 
Republicans do you have on this bill?
  He paused and he said: You mean other than John McCain?
  I said: Yes.
  He said: Well, there is Fred Thompson.
  I was delighted to sign on as the third Republican to support the 
McCain-Feingold bill. I wish to pay tribute to my friend Russ Feingold 
for his persistence, for his attention to detail, and for never giving 
up the fight. He and Senator McCain are true heroes.
  It is wonderful to be here today. The growth and support for campaign 
finance reform among members of my party underscores the importance of 
the legislation and the increasing realization that our campaign system 
was out of control. My home State of Maine has a deep commitment to 
preserving the integrity of the electoral process, to opening the doors 
to public office to many more citizens, and to ensuring that all 
Mainers, indeed all Americans, have an equal political voice.
  In many communities in Maine, this is the season for town meetings, 
town meetings in which all citizens are invited to debate the issues 
with their neighbors and to make decisions. This is unvarnished, direct 
democracy. It is a tradition where those who have more money do not 
speak any louder or have any more clout than those who have less money. 
It is a tradition that has made Maine a State that values political 
participation from all of its citizens.

  Maine's tradition of town meetings and equal participation rejects 
the notion that wealth dictates political discourse. Maine's citizens 
feel strongly about reforming the campaign finance system, as do I.
  Soft money has become the conduit through which wealthy individuals, 
labor unions, and corporations have been able to evade the campaign 
contribution limits, as well as the ban on direct corporate and union 
contributions. The problem with soft money was painfully evident during 
the 1997 hearings held by my friend and colleague, Senator Fred 
Thompson, before the Committee on Governmental Affairs. We heard from 
individual after individual who testified about giving

[[Page S2134]]

hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to buy access. One gave 
$325,000 to the Democratic National Committee in order to secure a 
picture with the President of the United States. Another was the 
infamous Roger Tamraz, who testified the $300,000 he donated to gain 
access to the White House was not enough and that next time he was 
prepared to double the amount he would give.
  According to the Congressional Research Service, soft money donations 
nearly doubled in the 2000 election cycle, from $262 million in 1996 to 
$488 million in the year 2000. Other estimates set the explosion in 
soft money donations at even higher levels.
  Just two Presidential elections ago, soft money contributions totaled 
$86 million. At the same time, during this period, regulated hard money 
donations, which all of us wish to encourage to get individuals more 
involved in the political process, grew by only about 10 percent.
  The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 has served our country well 
in many aspects, but the loopholes in the law have swallowed the rules 
themselves. If left unchecked, soft money threatens to swamp our 
campaign finance system, and that is why this legislation we are on the 
threshold of clearing today is so important.
  I am also pleased the bill includes an amendment that Senator Wyden 
and I offered to raise the level of discourse in campaign ads. Our 
amendment requires that candidates be clearly identified when they or 
their authorized committees air negative advertising. When a candidate 
launches an ad that refers directly to an opponent, whether it is a 
high-minded discussion of policy differences or a vicious attack on an 
opponent's character, the candidate should be required to stand by his 
ad and not hide behind a committee that may not include the name of the 
  Our amendment requires the candidate to clearly identify himself or 
herself as the sponsor of the ad, thus putting an end to disingenuous 
stealth attack ads.
  Finally, I pay tribute to a principled opponent of this legislation, 
Senator McConnell. We could not disagree more on the substance of this 
issue, but I respect his tenacity and the strength of his convictions.
  The problems in our country campaign finance system are well known. 
Today, finally, at long last, due to Senator Russ Feingold and Senator 
John McCain, we are going to make tremendous progress. I am delighted 
to have been part of this fight. I am so pleased we are on the verge of 
sending this landmark legislation to the President of the United States 
for his signature.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Madam President, I thank the Senator from Maine for her 
kind words and her courageous leadership on this issue. It is so 
fitting that the next speaker is the other Senator from Maine. Without 
Maine, without these Senators, we would not be winning this battle 
today. That is all there is to it. My hat is off to the State of Maine.
  I yield 7 minutes to the senior Senator from Maine.
  Ms. SNOWE. I thank Senator Feingold.
  Madam President, I am delighted to be here this afternoon to join my 
colleague from Maine, Senator Collins, in support of this campaign 
finance legislation that clearly will be landmark law for campaign 
finance in the beginning of this new century.
  Ms. SNOWE. Mr. President, I rise today in support of this landmark 
campaign finance reform bill that has passed the House of 
Representatives and is before us today. That bill, the so-called 
``Shays-Meehan'' bill, of course is very close to the McCain-Feingold 
campaign finance reform legislation that we passed in this body last 
  As I have said before, this bill reminds me of that old Beatles song, 
``The Long and Winding Road.'' Because, for certain, the road to this 
day has been marked by long stretches of nothingness, interrupted 
periodically along the way by dangerous curves, rock-slides, pot holes, 
jersey barriers, you name it.
  And while there were times it looked as though we might fly off the 
cliff, never to be seen again--or that we might run head-long into one 
of the myriad procedural roadblocks placed before us here we are, 
finally at the doorstep of real and meaningful campaign finance reform 
for the first time in a quarter century.
  Without question, we never would have arrived here safely if not for 
the extraordinary skills of the two men at the wheel--Senators John 
McCain and Russ Feingold. Their names have become synonymous with 
campaign reform, and with good reason. No one has devoted more of 
themselves to this cause. No one has poured more effort, energy and 
innovation into bringing about necessary changes in the way in which we 
finance campaigns in this country.
  We say it all the time in this body, but these two truly have worked 
tirelessly for the success of this legislation. And I can tell you I've 
been privileged to work with them in trying to forge a bill that will 
not only address a huge portion of the problem we face, but also a bill 
that can pass the Congress and be signed into law.
  In that light, I also want to recognize and commend Representatives 
Shays and Meehan, whose fight in the House reminds me of the story of 
Hercules' battle with the Hydra--a serpent with nine-heads, one of 
which was immortal. But Hercules won out by burying that last, immortal 
head just as Congressmen Shays and Meehan won out over the multi-
faceted offensive of procedural hurdles and killer amendments that was 
thrown at them. I congratulate them both.
  And before I go any further, I also thank my good friend and 
colleague, Senator Jeffords, who has been steadfast and instrumental in 
helping to forge the compromise language in this bill that has now come 
to be known as ``Snowe-Jeffords.'' I can't tell you the countless hours 
and incredible effort he and his staff have put in to develop and hone 
this language in consultation with leading reformers and constitutional 
scholars, and I deeply appreciate his commitment to advancing the cause 
of campaign finance reform.
  Indeed, I have never been more optimistic that reform will become 
reality. The fact of the matter is, the House and Senate are now both 
on record in support of reform, having passed two bills that achieve 
the same objectives and goals. And so now the time is upon us. The time 
has arrived for us to lay aside procedural gymnastics and put away the 
arcane legislative amendment trees and pass this bill and send it to 
the President of the United States.
  Today, I want to speak to the pressing need for reform . . . the 
reasons why this bill fits the bill . . . and why I believe in both the 
effectiveness and constitutionality of what we are about to do.
  First, I do not think there can be any doubt that we have a system of 
financing campaigns in this country that is out of control. And it is 
out of control in a very literal sense because some critical loopholes 
have been exploited that takes an entire and ever-growing universe of 
money out from under the umbrella and enforcement mechanisms of federal 
election laws and into the realm of ``anything goes.''
  Well, the ``if it feels good, do it'' approach to financing campaigns 
in America must come to an end, because it is making a mockery of our 
election laws. We've all heard by now the story of soft money, and what 
it represents money that is raised and spent outside the purview of 
federal election law, even though it unquestionably effects the outcome 
of Federal elections.
  That's the fundamental reason why it's time for soft money to go. 
Because it's no longer about building up the parties something I have 
absolutely no problem with whatsoever. It's about money that's being 
raised in unlimited amounts from unlimited sources to elect candidates 
for Federal office--something for which we already have well-
established rules--rules that are being flouted on a grand and 
disturbing scale.
  This soft money must be incredibly effective in what it does, because 
every year the parties come more and more under its spell. Just ten 
years ago, during the Presidential election cycle of 1992, soft money 
accounted for just 17 percent of total receipts by the two major 
political parties. But in the last election cycle, that number 
skyrocketed to 40 percent. To put it another way, the $86.1 million in 
soft money raised by the two parties in 1992

[[Page S2135]]

increased by well over 500 percent in the 2000 elections.
  And just think about this--the total amount of soft money raised by 
both parties in the first half of this current election cycle--$160.1 
million--is more than twice the $67.4 million raised in 1997, the first 
year of the most recent non-presidential cycle. Even more telling is 
the fact that the current numbers are almost 50 percent more than the 
$107.2 million raised in 1999--and that was during a Presidential 
election cycle, when fundraising is typically higher. Where will we be 
in 10 years, Mr. President? In 20 years?
  The amount of money is staggering. But just as bad is the complete 
lack of accountability assigned to it--even though it is being used to 
affect the outcome of Federal elections.
  No wonder there is a strong sense that campaigns in this country have 
spiraled out of control. There is a strong sense that elections are no 
longer in the hands of individual Americans. As the old saying goes, 
perception becomes nine tenths of reality. And the reality is, we have 
a system in need of an overhaul.
  That's why one of the most critical components of this bill bans soft 
money for the national parties. But to do that alone is simply not 
enough. We can't just shut off the flow of soft money to parties and 
call it a day. We also must close off the use of corporate and union 
treasury money used to fund ads influencing Federal elections. That's 
the only way we can claim to have enacted truly balanced and fair 
  As far back as 1997, I worked to address this thorny issue--how do we 
ensure freedom of speech while also ensuring the integrity of our 
election laws? And what I eventually developed in partnership with 
Senator Jeffords and noted constitutional scholars is an easily 
understandable, narrowly drawn, constitutional method of applying 
disclosure and restrictions on the sources of funding for 
electioneering ads masquerading as so-called ``issue ads.''
  What we are talking about are broadcast advertisements that are 
influencing our Federal elections and, in virtually every instance, are 
designed to influence our Federal elections. Every focus group and 
every study group that has been conducted over the last few years 
proves this, and I'll detail those studies later. And yet, no 
disclosure is required and there are none of the funding source 
prohibitions that for decades have been placed on other forms of 
  Why is this so? Because they don't contain the so-called ``magic 
words'' like ``vote for candidate x'' or ``vote against candidate x'' 
that make a communication what is called ``express advocacy,'' and 
therefore, subject to Federal law requiring disclosure and requiring 
that the ad be paid for with hard money.
  These ads must be extraordinarily effective, because their use has 
exploded within the last decade. According to a 2001 report from the 
Annenberg Public Policy Center, which has been studying this trend 
almost since its inception in the 1996 election cycle, in the past 
three cycles we have seen spending on issue ads go from about $150 
million in 1996, to about $340 million in 1998, to over $500 million in 
2000. One hundred million of that was spent in the last 2 months alone. 
And there is not one dime of disclosure required on any of it.
  It's time we closed this loophole. It's time to remove the cloak of 
anonymity. Otherwise, we are saying that it really doesn't matter to 
the election process. That we should not know who is behind these types 
of commercials that are run 60 days before the election, 30 days before 
a primary, whose donors contribute more than $1,000. We ought to have 
disclosure on these ads where there currently is no disclosure. And 
that's what the Snowe-Jeffords provision in this bill does, in simple, 
straightforward and unambiguous terms.
  Here's how it works. First, it requires disclosure on individuals and 
groups running broadcast ads within 30 days of a primary and 60 days of 
a general election that mention the name of a Federal candidate and are 
distributed from a broadcaster or cable or satellite service and is 
received by 50,000 or more persons in State or district where Senate/
House election occurs. And the disclosure threshold is high $1,000 
which incidentally is five times the contribution amounts candidates 
are required to disclose.

  And second, it prohibits the use of union or corporate treasury money 
to pay for these ads, in keeping with longstanding provisions of law. 
Corporations have been banned from direct involvement in campaigns 
since the Tillman Act of 1907. Unions were first addressed in the 
Smith-Connally Act of 1943 and the prohibition was finally made 
permanent in 1947 with the Taft-Hartley Act.
  And these laws have stood because the Court has recognized--as 
recently as 1990 as this quote from Justice Marshall in the Austin 
versus Michigan Chamber of Commerce decision shows--``the corrosive and 
distorting effects of immense aggregations of wealth that are 
accumulated with the help of the corporate form, and that have little 
or no correlation to the public's support for the corporation's 
political ideas.''
  Now, the Snowe-Jeffords provision has been around for a while, and 
during that time I have heard some pretty outrageous and flat-out false 
statements made about it, and I would like to take this opportunity to 
set the record straight on what it does and doesn't do. Indeed, it was 
said on the floor last March, in defense of an amendment to remove the 
Snowe-Jeffords language from the bill an attempt that failed by a vote 
of 28-72 I might add that:

       American citizens would be prohibited from discussing on 
     television or radio a candidate's voting records and 
     positions within 60 days before a general election or 30 days 
     before a primary . . . the 'political speech police' would be 
     saying that you cannot mention a candidate's name; you cannot 
     criticize that candidate by name . . . if you are part of a 
     citizens group wanting to enter the political debate and 
     engage in meaningful discourse, using the most wide-sweeping 
     medium for reaching the people which is TV, under this 
     provision you cannot do that. You simply cannot enter the 
     debate using television or radio as a mode of communication.

  Mr. President, this is a gross mis-characterization of Snowe-
  Individuals are free to run ads saying whatever they want whenever 
they want and unions, corporations and non-profit 501(c)4 groups can 
simply form political action committees to which individuals 
voluntarily contribute up to the amount allowed by law to run ads 
mentioning a candidate near an election. So it absolutely can be done.
  I have also heard it said that the result of this provision would be 
essentially be little or no political speech during the 60 day period 
before an election. But that simply isn't true. Again, so-called issue 
ads run on television and radio only, 30 days before a primary and 60 
days before a Federal election, that mention a Federal candidate's 
name, and are seen by the candidate's electorate, would be subject to 
disclosure--and could not be funded by corporate or union general 
treasury funds or union dues. And this only applies if you run more 
than $10,000 of these kind of ads during a calendar year. So we will 
never effect small groups.
  The most important, bottom line components to this legislation are 
disclosure, and a requirement that these so-called issue ads that are 
really campaign ads be funded from voluntary, individual contributions 
just like any other campaign ad.
  Let me now give you a quick example of exactly what kinds of ads we 
would cover, and what ads wouldn't be touched at all. First, the 
electioneering ad--it doesn't specifically say ``vote for'' or ``vote 
against'' so-and-so--something that would automatically bring it under 
current law.
  ``We try to teach our children that honesty matters. Unfortunately, 
though, Candidate X just doesn't get it. Candidate X urged her employer 
to buy politicians and judges with money and jobs for their relatives. 
Candidate X advocates corruption . . . call Candidate X. Tell her 
government shouldn't be for sale. Tell her we're better than that. Tell 
her honesty does matter.''
  Under current law, because this ad doesn't use the so-called magic 
words, there is no disclosure required on these ads and there are no 
source prohibitions whatsoever. And we're told by our opponents that 
we're just supposed to throw up our hands and say, ``Oh well, we all 
know what these ads are doing, but there's not a thing we can do about 

[[Page S2136]]

  Now, here is a real issue ad that wouldn't be covered at all by 
Snowe-Jeffords in any way, shape or form. It says:
  (Woman): ``We can't pay these bills, John.''
  (Man): ``Prices are as low as when my dad started farming.''
  (Woman): ``It's bad, alright.''
  (Man): ``Farmers are suffering because foreign markets have been 
closed to us and our own government won't even help.''
  (Woman): ``I hear the Thompsons are going to have to quit farming 
after four generations.''
  (Man): ``I can't even bear to think about it.''
  (Announcer): Tell Congress we need a sound, strong trade policy. Call 
  And there are graphics on the screen that show the phone number, that 
direct viewers to tell Congress that we need to pass initiatives like 
``IMF Funding'' and ``Sanctions Reform'', and they give the number for 
the Capitol switchboard. Again, this is a pure issue ad that we 
wouldn't touch.
  Now, some of our opponents have said that we are simply opening the 
floodgates in allowing soft money to now be channeled through these 
independent groups for electioneering purposes. To that, I would say 
that this bill would prohibit members from directing money to these 
groups to affect elections, so that would cut out an entire avenue of 
solicitation for funds, not to mention any real or perceived ``quid pro 
  Furthermore, I find it both interesting and remarkable that in many 
cases our opponents who are making this claim on the one hand are at 
the same time claiming that we're choking off free speech. That the 
provision ``restricts citizen speech'' by ``severely limiting the 
sources of money that can be used for such speech'', as FEC 
Commissioner Bradley Smith wrote in a Wall Street Journal piece on 
March 20, 2001. So my question is, which is it? Is it opening the 
floodgates, or is it choking off speech? Because you can't have it both 
  Opponents have also referred to the NAACP versus Alabama Supreme 
Court case to say that our disclosure provisions are unconstitutional. 
And I want to take this opportunity to refute what is yet another 
  The fact of the matter is, NAACP was about the disclosure of an 
entire membership list of a black civil rights organization in Alabama 
in the 1950's. The law struck down in that case forced the NAACP in 
Alabama, an issue advocacy organization, to disclose all of its members 
or to leave the State. I hope no one would suggest that's equitable to 
today. The bottom line is, we only require disclosure of major donors. 
And there is no guaranteed right to anonymity when it comes to 
campaigning. In fact, the court has said time and again that disclosure 
is in the public interest because it gives the public details as to the 
nature and source of the information they are getting.
  The fact is, any group may be entitled to an exemption from 
electioneering disclosure laws if it can demonstrate a reasonable 
probability that compelled disclosure will subject it members to 
threats or reprisals. But the need for these kinds of limited 
exceptions don't make the general disclosure rules contained in Snowe-
Jeffords unconstitutional.
  I want to reiterate to my colleagues that the language in this bill 
was carefully and narrowly crafted in consultation with noted 
constitutional scholars and reformers. In doing so, the provision was 
based on the precept that the Supreme Court has made clear that, for 
constitutional purposes, campaigning which make no mistake, these ads 
do--is different from other speech. It builds upon bedrock legal and 
constitutional principles, extending current regulation cautiously and 
only in the areas in which the first amendment is at its lowest 
threshold, such as disclosure and prohibitions on union and corporation 
  It also was crafted to keep with the spirit of the Supreme Court's 
requirements that any laws we pass that might have an impact on speech 
not be overly vague or substantially overly-broad. In fact, let me 
quote from a scholar's letter from the Brennan Center dated March 12, 
2001, which was signed by 70 law professors and scholars from all over 
the country in support of the constitutionality of McCain-Feingold in 
general and of this provision specifically.
  In the letter, they say, ``the Court did not declare that all 
legislatures were stuck with these magic words--in other words, the 
terms like ``vote for'' or ``vote against'' that denote whether or not 
an ad contains express advocacy, and therefore is currently subject to 
regulation--or words like them, for all time. To the contrary, Congress 
has the power to enact a statute that defines electioneering in a more 
nuanced manner, as long as its definition adequately addresses the 
vagueness and overbreadth concerns expressed by the Court.''
  And the fact of the matter is, Mr. President, we do address those two 
concerns, and we do so very well. No wonder then that every living 
person to have served as ACLU President, ACLU Executive Director, ACLU 
Legal Director, or ACLU Legislative Director--with the exception of 
current leadership--has signed onto a letter supporting our approach. 
Every single one of them.
  Already I have established how our provision is not even remotely 
vague. As that Brennan Center scholars' letter says that was signed by 
70 scholars, ``Because the test for prohibited electioneering is 
defined with great clarity, it satisfies the Supreme Court's vagueness 
concerns. Any sponsor will know, with absolute certainty, whether the 
ad depicts or names a candidate and how many days before an election it 
is being broadcast. There is little danger that a sponsor would 
mistakenly censor its own protected speech out of fear of prosecution 
under such a clear standard.''
  As for the issue of overbreadth--that we'd be capturing all kinds of 
ads that aren't electioneering--well, the evidence belies those claims. 
Just consider how well this test works when compared to what's going on 
in real life. In the final 2 months of an election, 95 percent of the 
issue ads Annenberg studied in the top 75 media markets mentioned the 
names of candidates.
  They do it because they know what's effective. These people don't 
spend umpteen amounts of dollars on ads hoping that maybe they work. 
They know their message is clear. And they know that using the name of 
Federal candidates in their ads near the election is an effective way 
of influencing the election. That's why Snowe-Jeffords keys in on the 
naming of candidates as one of the triggers of our disclosure 
  And the numbers bear out how effective the ads really are. In the 
final two months before the 2000 election, 94 percent of all the 
televised issue ad spots were seen as making a case for or against a 
candidate by the Annenberg study. Ninety-four percent. Now, what was 
the content of these ads? Well, in the final 2 months of the election, 
fully 84 percent of those ads seen as electioneering ads were also seen 
as having an attack component. Over 8 out of every 10 ads were 
attacking--not comparing or offering information but attacking.
  But perhaps most compelling is a recent joint study between the 
Brennan Center and Kenneth Goldstein of the University of Wisconsin and 
Jonathan Krasno, visiting fellow at Yale. The report specifically 
studied issue ads within the context of the Snowe-Jeffords test, during 
the 2000 elections and in the top 75 media markets.
  And you know what they found? They found that just one percent of all 
those ads run during the year that were viewed as actual genuine issue 
ads and mentioned Federal candidates were captured by our provision. In 
other words, of all the so-called issue ads that ran last year and 
mentioned Federal candidates, 99 percent of those that ran in the last 
60 days were seen as electioneering ads. If you had any test that was 
accurate 99 percent of the time, I believe you'd say that was a pretty 
good test.
  I must emphasize once again that the Supreme Court has never said 
there is one single, permissible route to determine if a communication 
is influencing a Federal election. And to explain why that is the case, 
let me refer to a column written by Norman Ornstein, who was 
instrumental in developing the Snowe-Jeffords provision along with 
numerous other constitutional experts.

[[Page S2137]]

  He said, in 1974, ``the Supreme Court rejected as overly broad the 
1974 Congressional decision to include in its regulatory net any 
communication `for the purpose of influencing' a Federal election. 
Instead, the court drew a line between direct campaign activities, or 
`express advocacy', and other political speech. The former could be 
regulated, at least in terms of limits on contributions; the latter had 
greater first amendment protection.
  ``How to define express advocacy? The High Court in a footnote gave 
some suggestions to fill the resulting vacuum and to define the 
difference between the two kinds of advocacy. Express advocacy, the 
justices said, would cover communications that included words such as 
`vote for,' `vote against,' `elect,' or `defeat.' The Court did not say 
that the only forms of express advocacy are those using the specific 
words above. Those were examples.''
  The bottom line is, Buckley versus Valeo is in effect the law of the 
land because Congress has not superseded it by filling the vacuum in 
the quarter century that followed. In other words, since 1976, Congress 
has not passed a law concerning campaign financing, and so hasn't sent 
any new law to the Court because we haven't done anything in the last 
quarter century. So the Court has no guidepost. If Congress acts, the 
Supreme Court will give its due deference to what we do on behalf of 
protecting our system of elections.
  We well know what has happened in the quarter century since. We have 
seen the kind of development and evolution of these ads--we have a 
record of how they are seen to be influencing Federal elections. This 
is a monstrosity that has evolved in terms of the so-called sham ads 
that are having a true impact on our election process in a way that I 
do not think the Supreme Court could foresee back in 1976 and we, as 
candidates, could not possibly envision. Well, now we will.
  This is a narrowly crafted, well-vetted provision that is vital if we 
are to say with a straight face that we have done something to enact 
real campaign finance reform. Again, I'm pleased to have been able to 
work so closely with Senators McCain and Feingold and others in helping 
make campaign finance reform both comprehensive and meaningful. This 
will be a victory for the United States Senate, but most of all a 
victory for the voters of America.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wisconsin.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Madam President, I thank the Senator from Maine for the 
critical role she has played in this effort and the victory we are 
about to have.
  Now I have the pleasure of yielding to the Senator from Connecticut, 
who I must say is the person most responsible for what was actually the 
first piece of campaign finance reform legislation in decades, the bill 
that addressed the 527 problem. He then was a magnificent candidate on 
our party for Vice President. Despite his national prominence on that 
issue, and the wonderful job he did on that, and the heartbreaking 
loss, he didn't waste any time. He came right back in his own modest 
way, as a team player, and worked with us to help us pass this bill. I 
am grateful for that and just think he is a class act.
  I am happy to yield 7 minutes to the Senator from Connecticut, Mr. 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Madam President, I thank my friend and colleague from 
Wisconsin for his extraordinary leadership and for his very gracious 
words, which I appreciate personally.
  With the vote on final passage of the McCain-Feingold/Shays-Meehan 
bill about to occur, we are fast approaching the end of an incredible 
odyssey, one that, while perhaps not as long as that of the mythical 
Odysseus, has certainly been every bit as challenging, suspenseful, and 
  Time and again, the efforts to reform our campaign finance system 
have faced ruin as its proponents have been forced to sail between 
their own versions of Scylla and Charybdis, required to resist their 
own special calls of the Sirens.
  But, due to the incredible tenacity and profound principle of our 
leaders in this struggle, Senators McCain and Feingold, Congress has 
found the strength to reach our own Ithaca here today, and to finally 
try to clear our house of suitors seeking special favors at the expense 
of the greater good. For that extraordinary leadership, I thank Senator 
Feingold and I thank Senator McCain. They have made an enormous 
  I must say, in some senses I joined this odyssey--though I had been 
interested in it before--but I joined it with a new sense of commitment 
in 1997, when the Governmental Affairs Committee conducted its year-
long investigation into campaign finance abuses in the 1996 Federal 
elections. With the passage of time, the shock of that investigation's 
revelations have started to fade. But it is critical that we remember 
them because they represent precisely what is most wrong with the 
system we plan to change and precisely what helped to begin in full 
force the effort that is about to reach a successful conclusion.
  We should not forget the cast of characters that we all became 
familiar within those investigations, hustlers such as Johnny Chung--
remember the name--who compared the White House to a subway saying:

       You have to put coins in to open the gates.

  Or Roger Tamraz, who told us that he didn't even bother to register 
to vote because he knew that his huge donations would get him so much 
more than the vote would.
  These men were on the margins. Though they never got what they wanted 
for their money, their stories and the many more like them contributed 
to the cynicism too many Americans have about their elected leaders and 
the skepticism they have about their own ability to influence their 
  Johnny Chung, Roger Tamraz, and all the rest may have been unusual in 
the unsophisticated bull-in-a-China-shop way in which they tried to 
play the system. But their essential insight, if I can call it that, 
that big dollar donations buy the access that enables you to get what 
you want, is one that does pervade our political culture. That insight 
is shared and acted upon daily by the mainstream special interests 
whose soft money donations have exponentially dwarfed those of the 1996 
investigation's and 1997 election's most colorful characters, who use 
the access they buy to try to mold the Nation's policies and agenda in 
their own image.
  The result has been a system that often leaves the average person 
disempowered, disinterested, and disengaged from our political process 
where the average person's annual income, in many cases--mostly doesn't 
even approach the cost of the ticket to our political parties' most 
elite fundraising events. This causes the average people, the majority, 
to continually question why their leaders are taking the actions they 
take. It causes those of us in public life to work, too often, under a 
cloud of suspicion, with our citizenry wondering whose interests are 
being served.
  The demise of the Enron Corporation in the last several months is but 
the most recent example of this phenomenon. It is, I know, regularly 
stated that Enron is a corporate scandal but not necessarily a 
political one. That at this moment is quite literally true. It is too 
early to conclude whether anyone in Government did anything 
inappropriate or illegal for Enron. But I do know that a company with 
an ultimately insecure and unethical business model run by individuals 
of shakier business ethics yet, repeatedly found an open door to the 
offices of the politically powerful--in no small part, I presume, 
because of the millions of dollars of political donations the company 
  So this is not Enron's political scandal alone. It is all of ours. 
That is probably why the Enron scandal may have given this noble effort 
the final boost it needed to make it to Ithaca.
  All of us have been hurt by it. Politicians are under suspicion, 
legitimate legislative causes have been tarnished only because Enron 
once supported them, and the American people whose confidence in the 
integrity of our system has been shaken.
  Fortunately, the Senate is about to act to make the system better. 
None of us is under any illusion that the enactment of this bill will 
make our system pristine, or eliminate totally the impact of money on 
politics. As has often been said, money, like water, always seems to 
find a new place to flow

[[Page S2138]]

through our political system. But this bill will have an impact. It 
will be a very good one. That impact will result from the closing of 
the large soft money loophole that has been allowed to open up in the 
post-Watergate campaign finance reform laws.

  Before yielding the floor, I would like to point with pride to one 
other part of this bill. This bill includes an amendment that Senator 
Thompson and I have been working on since shortly after the conclusion 
of the Governmental Affairs Committee's 1997 investigation. That 
amendment resulted from our frustration that some of the worst actors 
in the 1996 scandals, individuals who clearly broke the law and were 
convicted for breaking it, escaped without significant punishment. The 
reason? The criminal provisions of our campaign finance laws just are 
not strong enough.
  Our amendment remedies that by authorizing felony charges for 
violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act, expending FECA's 
statute of limitations, and directing the U.S. Sentencing Commission to 
promulgate a specific guideline for sentencing for those who violate 
our campaign finance laws.
  The combination of these changes will put teeth into our campaign 
finance laws and ensure that those who willfully violate them will not 
again escape without serious consequences.
  Finally, I thank Senator Feingold for his reference to the so-called 
527 legislation that we worked on together and passed in the Senate. It 
is a sad irony that on this very day, when we are about to pass the 
McCain-Feingold/Shays-Meehan bill, the House Ways and Means Committee 
has adopted a version of 527 which really guts it. I hope my colleagues 
in the Senate will not accept that undermining of that important 
campaign finance law.
  In sum, for too long we have watched our Nation's greatest treasure, 
our commitment to democracy, be pillaged by the ever escalating money 
chase. It is time to say enough is enough. It is time to restore 
political influence to where our Nation's founding principles say it 
should be: with the people, with the voters. That is what this proposal 
will do.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wisconsin.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. I thank the Senator from Ithaca--I mean the Senator 
from Connecticut, for his very fine remarks. I would be remiss if I did 
not say the occupant of the chair, the Senator from Louisiana, pledged 
her support at a very critical time, and stood with us all the way 
through this debate. I thank her for her help on this bill.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, how much time do I have remaining?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has 8 minutes.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, I yield 7 minutes of my 8 minutes to 
the Senator from Utah.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.

                   Soft Money Ban and Sham Issue Ads

  Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, I rise as the sponsor of the campaign 
finance reform bill that was passed last year by the Senate and a few 
weeks ago by the House, and is currently before the Senate one final 
time. We have worked for a number of years now for what is before us 
today: The opportunity to pass significant campaign finance reform 
legislation and send it to the President for his signature.
  Over these years, many have explained why it is imperative that we 
fix our campaign finance laws, close loopholes that have been exploited 
to the point of making a mockery of our laws, and put an end to the 
corrupting influence of big money on our democracy.
  I would like to address the two central provisions of our bill--the 
soft money ban and the provisions dealing with sham issue ads. Working 
with our friends in the House, we have drafted a bill that promotes 
important first amendment values, promotes enhanced citizen 
participation in our democracy, is workable, and is carefully crafted 
to steer clear of asserted constitutional pitfalls.
  Anyone who reads this bill and the debates should come away with the 
clear understanding that Congress approached this task with a fealty 
and dedication to the Constitution, and with a desire to get it right. 
We are acting today to fix a real problem and have made our best effort 
to do so in a way that will be upheld by the courts.
  This bill represents a balanced approach which addresses the very 
real danger that Federal contribution limits could be evaded by 
diverting funds to State and local parties, which then use those funds 
for Federal election activity. At the same time, the bill does not 
attempt to regulate State and local party spending where this danger is 
not present, and where State and local parties engage in purely non-
Federal activities. We will not succeed in closing the soft-money 
loophole unless we address the problem at the State and local level. We 
do this, however, while preserving the rights and abilities of our 
State and local parties to engage in truly local activity.
  In order to close the existing soft money loophole and prevent 
massive evasion of Federal campaign finance laws, the soft money ban 
must operate not just at the national party level but at the State and 
local level as well. We have authority to extend the soft money reforms 
to the State and local level where it is necessary, as it is here, to 
protect the integrity of Federal elections. Closing the loophole is 
crucial to prevent evasion of the new Federal rules.
  As we all know, state party spending may not always clearly divide 
between Federal and non-Federal purposes. For example, when a State 
party conducts a ``get-out-the-vote drive,'' it benefits both its 
Federal and non-Federal candidates. Consequently, if the State party 
committee pays for the drive with soft dollars, the committee is using 
federally prohibited contributions in connection with a Federal 
election to benefit federal candidates.
  Currently 14 States, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, 
Illinois, Maine, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Virginia 
and Wyoming, allow unlimited contributions--that would be barred at the 
Federal level--from individuals, unions, PACs, and corporations. In 
addition, 36 States do not restrict soft money transfers from national 
parties to State and local parties. To illustrate the size of these 
transfers, in the 2000 election, the national Democratic Party funneled 
approximately $145 million and the Republican Party transferred $129 
million to their affiliated State parties to take advantage of the 
State parties' ability to spend a larger percentage of soft money on 
advertisements featuring Federal candidates.
  The reports issued by the majority and minority of the Senate 
Governmental Affairs Committee charged with investigating campaign 
finance abuses in the 1996 elections illustrate the extent to which the 
coffers of Federal and State political parties are intertwined. In 
1996, the State parties spent money they received from the national 
parties on advertisements considered key to their Presidential 
candidate's election. The Minority Report makes clear that State 
parties often act as mere conduits, exercising no independent judgment 
over the ads. For example, in an internal memo discussing how to run 
so-called issue ads using soft money that would benefit Senator Dole's 
campaign, an RNC official wrote: ``Some have voiced concern that buying 
through the State parties could result in a loss of control on our 
part. There is absolutely no reason to be concerned about this.'' The 
bottom line is, whatever the technical niceties, soft money is being 
spent by State parties to support Federal campaigns. In fact, much of 
the soft money spent in the 2000 elections to support Federal campaigns 
was spent by State parties.
  Congress has a compelling interest in ensuring that State parties do 
not use backdoor tactics to finance Federal election campaigns in this 
way. It has an interest in ensuring that Federal elections activities 
are paid for with funds raised in a non-corrupting manner and in 
accordance with the Federal guidelines.
  State parties receive soft money to influence Federal elections in 
the form of direct contributions to State parties and transfers from 
national parties for this purpose. Much of this money is then spent on 
television advertisements attacking or promoting Federal candidates and 
other activities that we all know are designed to, and do, influence 
Federal elections. State parties

[[Page S2139]]

also use soft money to fund ``party building activities,'' such as get-
out-the-vote and voter registration drives. But, again, all of us know 
that these activities, while vitally important to our democracy, are 
designed to, and do have an unmistakable impact on both Federal and 
non-Federal elections. Currently, State parties pay for these 
activities using a mixture of hard and soft money pursuant to 
allocation formulae set by the Federal Election Commission. But current 
allocation rules have proven wholly inadequate to guard against the use 
of soft money to influence Federal campaigns.

  While national parties will no longer be able to transfer soft money 
to State parties, some State parties will still be able to receive 
large contributions from corporations, labor unions, and wealthy 
individuals, subject to state laws. So unless we close the loophole at 
the State and local level, we will be right back to the unacceptable 
situation of having non-Federal money--large contributions from 
corporations, labor unions and wealthy individuals--used to affect 
Federal elections. That is because, one, many States allow unlimited 
contributions from individuals, unions, PACs, corporations and national 
parties to State and local parties; and two, we know from experience 
that State parties are spending massive sums of soft money to influence 
Federal elections.
  Thus, if left unregulated, or merely subject to existing FEC 
allocation rules, State and local party activity presents the 
opportunity for massive evasion. Restrictions on the raising of soft 
money by Federal candidates and officeholders do not, on their own, 
prevent evasion of the soft money ban. There will always be persons 
clearly associated with Presidential or other Federal candidates, but 
not covered by these provisions, who can raise soft money for state 
parties to funnel into Federal elections. In addition, those who seek 
to avoid Federal contribution limits can make huge contributions to 
State and local parties in order to assist particular Federal 
  Current law, of course, requires that State and local parties spend 
exclusively hard money when they engage in certain activities that 
affect Federal elections. For example, if a State party were to run an 
ad expressly advocating the election of a Federal candidate, the party 
would have to pay for the ad with hard money. The bill simply applies 
this same principle to an additional category of activities, defined as 
``Federal election activity,'' that, in the judgment of Congress, also 
clearly affect Federal elections. By contrast, as the bill makes clear, 
activities that affect purely non-Federal elections are left 
unregulated by the bill, and remain subject to the applicable State 
  Some argue that the soft money given to State parties is used only 
for ``party building'' that is wholly unrelated to any activity that in 
design or practice influences Federal elections. This is demonstrably 
false. The fact is, much of the soft money that goes to State parties 
is spent on activities that influence Federal elections. In the 1996 
Presidential election, for example, State parties spent many millions 
of dollars on television ads that promoted their Presidential 
candidates. The money for these ads, moreover, in many cases was either 
transferred from the national parties or contributed by donors directly 
to the State parties.
  Some have also argued that the Federal Government lacks the 
constitutional authority to regulate the collection and use of funds by 
State and local parties. There can be no serious doubt, however, that 
the Federal Government has the constitutional authority to regulate 
activity that affects Federal elections, and that soft money is used at 
the State and local level for this purpose. In fact, existing law 
already prohibits State and local parties from using soft money to 
explicitly support a Federal candidate. All that the bill does is 
extend this existing law to close existing loopholes, thereby ensuring 
that activities that actually influence Federal elections are subject 
to Federal limitations and rules, while leaving purely State and local 
campaign activities by State parties subject to applicable State law.
  Finally, the argument that the bill would somehow undermine the 
status of State and local parties and prevent them from conducting 
grassroots campaign activities is similarly incorrect. If anything, the 
massive influx of soft money from the national parties has turned State 
and local parties into mere pass-through accounts for the national 
parties and for large, direct contributions from corporations, unions 
and wealthy individuals. If anything, the bill will return the State 
and local parties to the grassroots and encourage them to broaden their 
bases and reach out to average voters.
  It is a key purpose of the bill to stop the use of soft money as a 
means of buying influence and access with Federal officeholders and 
candidates. Thus, we have established a system of prohibitions and 
limitations on the ability of Federal officeholders and candidates to 
raise, spend, and control soft money.
  The bill prohibits Federal officeholders, Federal candidates, their 
agents, and entities they directly or indirectly establish, finance, 
maintain or control, from soliciting, receiving, directing, 
transferring or spending funds in connection with an election for 
Federal office, including funds for any Federal election activity, 
unless such funds are ``hard money.''
  Furthermore, it prohibits Federal officeholders, Federal candidates, 
their agents, or entities they directly or indirectly establish, 
finance, maintain or control from soliciting, receiving, directing, 
transferring or spending funds in connection with a non-Federal 
election from sources prohibited from making ``hard money'' 
contributions. It likewise prohibits such individuals and entities from 
soliciting, receiving, directing, transferring or spending funds--in 
connection with a non-Federal election--from individuals or 
Federal PACs that are in excess of the ``hard money'' amounts permitted 
to be contributed to candidates and political committees by individuals 
and Federal PACs.

  These provisions break no new conceptual grounds in either public 
policy or constitutional law. This prohibition on solicitation is no 
different from the Federal laws and ethical rules that prohibit Federal 
officeholders from using their offices or positions of power to solicit 
money or other benefits. Indeed, statutes like these have been on the 
books for over 100 years for the same reason that we're prohibiting 
certain solicitations to deter the opportunity for corruption to grow 
and flourish, to maintain the integrity of our political system, and to 
prevent any appearance that our Federal laws, policies, or activities 
can be inappropriately compromised or sold.
  For example, the Ethics Reform Act of 1989 generally prohibits 
Members of Congress or Federal officers and employees from soliciting 
anything of value from anyone who seeks official action from them, does 
business with them, or has interests that may be substantially affected 
by the performance of official duties. No one could seriously argue 
that this prohibition is without a compelling purpose. The same holds 
true here. We are prohibiting Federal officeholders, candidates, and 
their agents from soliciting funds in connection with an election, 
unless such funds are from sources and in amounts permitted under 
Federal law. The reason for this is to deter any possibility that 
solicitations of large sums from corporations, unions, and wealthy 
private interests will corrupt or appear to corrupt our Federal 
Government or undermine our political system with the taint of 
  The solicitation rules in the bill are also consistent with Federal 
criminal laws that prohibit Congressional candidates and incumbents, 
among others, from knowingly soliciting political contributions from 
any Federal officer or employee or from any contractor who renders 
personal services. It is also directly akin in purpose to the Federal 
criminal law that prohibits any person from soliciting or receiving any 
political contribution in any Federal room or building occupied in the 
discharge of a Federal officer's or employer's duties.
  The rule here is simple: Federal candidates and officeholders cannot 
solicit soft money funds, funds that do not comply with Federal 
contribution limits and source prohibitions, for any party committee--
national, State or local.
  This, of course, means that a Federal candidate or officeholder may 
continue to solicit hard money for party committees. A Federal 
candidate or officeholder may solicit up to $25,000 per

[[Page S2140]]

year for a national party committee from an individual.
  Similarly, the Federal candidate or officeholder may solicit up to 
$15,000 per year for a national party committee from a PAC.
  Under the bill, a Federal candidate or officeholder may solicit hard 
money donations for State party committees to spend in connection with 
a Federal election, including for voter registration and GOTV 
activities, of up to $10,000 per year from an individual and up to 
$5,000 per year from a PAC.
  In addition, a Federal candidate or officeholder may solicit money 
for a State party to spend on non-Federal elections. The amount, 
however, would be subject to the Federal limits and source 
prohibitions. Therefore, a Federal candidate or officeholder may 
solicit up to $10,000 a year from an individual and $5,000 a year from 
a PAC for a State party's non-Federal account, even if that same 
individual or PAC has already given a similar amount to the State 
party's Federal, or hard money, account.
  State parties must fund ``Federal election activities,'' including 
voter registration or get-out-the-vote drives, with hard money, except 
for certain non-Federal funds that may be used pursuant to the ``Levin 
amendment'' to fund such activities. The Levin amendment, however, 
expressly provides that Federal candidates and officeholders may not 
solicit the non-Federal funds to be spent under the Levin amendment.
  One important restriction in the bill applies to fundraising for so-
called Leadership PACs, which are political committees, other than a 
principal campaign committee, affiliated with a Member of Congress. A 
Federal officeholder or candidate is prohibited from soliciting 
contributions for a Leadership PAC that do not comply with the Federal 
hard money source and amount limitations. Thus, the Federal 
officeholder or candidate could solicit up to $5,000 per year from an 
individual or PAC for the Federal account of the Leadership PAC and an 
additional $5,000 from an individual or a PAC for the non-Federal 
account of the leadership PAC. The Federal officeholder or candidate 
could not solicit any corporate or labor union treasury contributions 
for either the Federal or non-Federal accounts of the PAC. Moreover, 
under the bill, a Federal candidate or officeholder could not directly 
or indirectly establish, finance, maintain or control a PAC that raises 
or spends contributions that do not comply with these limits. Nor could 
a Leadership PAC controlled by a Federal candidate or officeholder 
spend funds from its non-Federal account on Federal election activities 
or in connection with a Federal election.
  The bill also restricts fundraising for state candidates. A Federal 
officeholder or candidate may solicit no more than $2,000 per election 
from an individual for a State candidate and no more than $5,000 per 
election from a PAC for a state candidate. These limits correspond to 
the Federal hard money source and amount limitations for contributions 
to Federal candidates. Moreover, a Federal officeholder or candidate 
may not ask a single individual to donate amounts to all state 
candidates in a 2-year election cycle that in the aggregate exceed 
$37,500, which corresponds to the aggregate amount of ``hard money'' 
that individuals may donate to all Federal candidates over a 2-year 
  The bill also restricts fundraising for certain other 527 
organizations. A Federal officeholder or candidate may not solicit more 
than a $5,000 donation in a calendar year from an individual or a PAC 
for a non-party 527 that is not a Federal committee or State 
candidate's campaign committee. Furthermore, a Federal officeholder or 
candidate may not ask a single individual to donate amounts in a 2-year 
election cycle to multiple 527's of this nature that in the aggregate 
exceed $37,500--which corresponds to the aggregate amount of ``hard 
money'' an individual may donate to PACs over a 2-year cycle.
  Proposed new section 323(e)(4)(B) of the Federal Election Campaign 
Act authorizes the only permissible solicitations by Federal candidates 
or officeholders for donations to a 501(c) organization whose principal 
purpose is to engage in get-out-the-vote and voter registration 
activities described in new section 301(20)(A)(i)&(ii) of the Federal 
Election Campaign Act. The new section also authorizes the only 
permissible solicitations for a 501(c) organization that can be made by 
Federal candidates or officeholders explicitly for funds to carry out 
such activities.
  In these instances, a Federal candidate or officeholder may solicit 
only individuals for donations and may not request donations in an 
amount larger than $20,000 per year. Section 323(e)(4)(B) applies only 
to 501(c) organizations. The section does not authorize any such 
solicitations for other entities, and it does not authorize 
solicitations for funds to be spent on so-called ``issue ads.''
  Thus, a Federal officeholder or candidate may not solicit corporate 
or union treasury donations, or donations from an individual of more 
than $20,000 per year, for a 501(c) tax-exempt organization where the 
principal purpose of the organization is to engage in get-out-the vote 
or voter registration activities as defined in new 2 U.S.C. section 
431(20)(A)(i)&(ii). Likewise, a Federal officeholder or candidate may 
not solicit corporate or union treasury donations or donations from an 
individual of more than $20,000 per year for any 501(c) tax-exempt 
organization where the solicitation is explicitly to obtain funds for 
the organization to engage in such activities.
  Conversely, the bill permits a Federal officeholder or candidate to 
solicit funds without source or amount limitation for a 501(c) tax-
exempt organization that is not an organization whose principal purpose 
is to engage in get-out-the-vote or voter registration activities as 
defined in new 2 U.S.C. section 431(20)(A)(i)&(ii), provided that such 
solicitation is not specifically to obtain funds for the organization 
to engage in Federal election activities or activities in connection 
with elections.
  For example, the bill's solicitation restrictions would not apply to 
a Federal candidate soliciting funds for the Red Cross explicitly to be 
used for a blood drive--as this is not an organization whose principal 
purpose is to engage in get-out-the-vote or voter registration 
activities and the solicitation is not expressly to obtain funds for 
such activities.
  Finally, the purpose of section 323(e)(4) is to permit only 
individual candidates or officeholders to assist, in limited ways, 
section 501(c) organizations. This permission does not extend to an 
officeholder or candidate acting on behalf of an entity--including a 
political party.
  In addition, I would like to address the growing sham issue advocacy 
  What are these so-called ``issue ads"? The Supreme Court in its 
Buckley decision made a distinction in the context of speech by 
individuals and entities other than candidates and political parties, 
between speech that promoted a candidate, which the Court called 
``express advocacy,'' and speech that addressed public issues, which it 
called ``issue advocacy.'' The Court held that expenditures for public 
communications by both candidates and political parties ``are, by 
definition, campaign related,'' and so are always covered by the 
campaign finance laws, regardless of the language these ads use. With 
respect to ads run by non-candidates and outside groups, however, the 
Court indicated that to avoid vagueness, federal election law 
contribution limits and disclosure requirements should apply only if 
the ads contain ``express advocacy.'' In a footnote, the Court gave 
examples of express advocacy, such as ``vote for,'' ``elect,'' 
``support,'' and ``defeat.'' The Supreme Court did not foreclose the 
possibility that ads with strong electioneering content that omitted 
the ``magic words'' could also be limited.
  Despite the Buckley holding regarding political parties, the FEC has 
allowed political parties to get away with using soft money for so 
called ``issue ads.'' Outside groups, meanwhile, have exploited the 
``magic words'' test, using it to justify advertisements that plainly 
support or attack Federal candidates without using the ``magic words.''

  The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee investigation found 
flagrant abuses by both Presidential campaigns in the 1996 elections. 
Both Presidential candidates raised soft money to spend on sham issue 
ads. Both Presidential campaigns were directly involved with their 
party committees in

[[Page S2141]]

creating and running soft-money funded TV ad campaigns designed to 
support their candidates.
  One example, an RNC commercial entitled ``The Story,'' movingly 
depicts Senator Bob Dole's recovery from wounds he sustained in World 
War II. On ABC News, Senator Dole described how the RNC disguised this 
ad campaign as issue advocacy: ``it never says that I'm running for 
President, though I hope it's fairly obvious, since I'm the only one in 
the picture!''
  Similar abuses have occurred in congressional races. In the 2000 
election, the Democratic party, DNC, DSCC and NY State Democratic 
Party, spent a combined $7.1 million in New York's highly contested 
Senate race. In one soft money-funded ad, aired in July 2000, the New 
York State Democratic Committee criticized Republican Representative 
Rick Lazio's record on prescription drugs for seniors. The ad showcased 
an elderly couple who were forced to return to work to pay for their 
medicines. The ad then accused Lazio of voting against a Medicare Drug 
benefit when he was a member of the House. Another New York Democratic 
Party soft money advertisement criticized Lazio's record on the 
Patients' Bill of Rights. The ad said, ``Rick Lazio voted against the 
real enforceable Patients' Bill of Rights. The one endorsed by nurses, 
doctors, the heart, lung, and cancer societies.''
  In the November 1997 Special Election to fill Representative 
Molinari's seat, the RNC poured $800,000 into candidate-specific attack 
advertisements. For example, the RNC bought this so-called ``issue 

       The tax bite. Today New Yorkers pay the highest taxes in 
     the country because politicians like Eric Vitaliano keep 
     raising our taxes. Vitaliano raised taxes on families over $7 
     billion. More taxes for more welfare. Welfare spending went 
     up 46 percent. Then Eric Vitaliano took a big bite for 
     himself, raising his own pay 74 percent. Call Eric Vitaliano. 
     Tell him to cut taxes, not take another bite out of our 

  Even though this was a special election with only one Republican 
federal candidate on the ballot, the RNC contended that these ads were 
issue advertisements intended to educate the voters on the Republican 
Party's positions.
  Likewise, the California Democratic Party ran sham issue 
advertisements attacking Republican Steve Kuykendall, who was being 
challenged by former Representative Jane Harman for the 36th District 
in California during the 2000 Elections. One of the Democratic ads 
attacked Kuykendall for taking ``secret'' contributions from Philip 
Morris Tobacco. The ad went on to say that Kuykendall ``voted for 
weaker penalties for selling tobacco to minors.'' The ad ends with, 
``Tell Steve Kuykendall to give the tobacco money back.''
  The problem of political party soft money ads is addressed in this 
legislation by banning national parties from raising and spending soft 
money, and by requiring state parties to spend only hard money on ads 
that promote or attack Federal candidates, regardless of whether they 
contain express advocacy.
  But the sham ``issue ad'' problem is not limited to political 
parties. In 1996, the AFL-CIO spent $35 million on a so-called ``issue 
ad'' campaign designed to restore a Democratic majority in the House. 
It ran ads in 44 Republican districts, spending an average of $250,000 
to $300,000 on media in the districts of the 32 House Republicans it 
targeted. To counter the AFL-CIO campaign, the Chamber of Commerce 
organized 32 business groups to spend $5 million on a sham ``issue ad'' 
campaign of their own. The purpose of this spending was overtly to 
affect Federal campaigns, as a guide for corporate spending published 
the same year by the Business-Industry PAC illustrates. The guide 
listed ``issue advocacy'' as one of five tools ``to be used to help 
reelect imperiled pro-business Senators and Representatives, defeat 
vulnerable anti-business incumbents, and elect free-enterprise 
  Federal election law has long barred unions and corporations from 
making expenditures in connection with Federal elections. However, by 
sponsoring their own putative ``issue ads,'' they circumvent this law. 
The Snowe-Jeffords electioneering communications provision will help 
restore the original intent of the law: to keep a tidal wave of union 
and corporate money out of Federal elections.
  A comprehensive study of political ads by the Brennan Center for 
Justice shows just how parties and outside groups are financing 
campaign ads with soft money. They evade campaign finance laws 
prohibiting the use of soft money on campaign ads by studiously 
avoiding the use of the so-called ``magic words'' of ``vote for'' or 
``vote against'' in such ads. But these soft money-funded ads are 
nonetheless patently campaign ads. Indeed, 97 percent of the 
electioneering ads reviewed as part of the Brennan Center's ``Buying 
Time 2000'' study did not use ``magic words''. The increasing 
irrelevance of ``magic words'' as a criteria for distinguishing between 
campaign ads and issue discussion is also illustrated by close 
examination of campaign ads run by candidates, financed with hard 
money. Even these hard money-funded ads used magic words only 10 
percent of the time in 2000--and 4 percent of the time in 1998.

  The sham issue ad subterfuge--permitting outside groups to spend 
supposedly prohibited soft money on campaign ads without disclosing 
even a dime of that spending--will continue unless Congress draws a 
more accurate line between campaign ads and issue ads. Clearly, even a 
casual observer would concede that ``magic words'' is a dramatically 
underinclusive test for determining what constitutes a campaign ad.
  This bill would simply subject soft money-funded campaign ads that 
masquerade as issue discussion to the same laws that have long governed 
campaign ads. Under the bill, corporations and labor unions could no 
longer spend soft money on broadcast, cable or satellite communications 
that refer to a clearly identified candidate for Federal office during 
the 60 days before a general election and the 30 days before a primary, 
and that are targeted to that candidate's electorate. These entities 
could, however, use their PACs to finance such ads. This will ensure 
that corporate and labor campaign ads proximate to Federal elections, 
like other campaign ads, are paid for with limited contributions from 
individuals and that such spending is fully disclosed.
  This attempt to put teeth back into our campaign finance laws is 
carefully crafted to pass constitutional muster. According to the 
Brennan Center's ``Buying Time 2000'' study, less than one percent of 
the group-sponsored soft-money ads covered by this provision of the 
bill were genuine issue discussion, more than 99 percent of these ads 
were campaign ads. This degree of accuracy is more than sufficient to 
overcome any claim of substantial overbreadth. Of course, the bill's 
bright line test also gives clear guidance to corporations and unions 
regarding which advertisements would be subject to campaign law and 
which advertisements would remain unregulated.
  Furthermore, the bill does not explicitly or implicitly purport to 
depart from the Supreme Court's holding in FEC versus Massachusetts 
Citizens for Life, Inc., 479 U.S. 238 (1986) (``MCFL''), or any other 
Supreme Court precedent. In MCFL, the Supreme Court found that a 
nonprofit, nonstock corporation, MCFL, had violated the Federal 
Election Campaign Act's prohibition on the use of general corporate 
treasury funds by making an expenditure in connection with a Federal 
election, but that the act's prohibition as applied to MCFL was 
unconstitutional, given its unique non-business purpose and character.
  MCFL was expressly formed to promote political ideas and could not 
engage in business activities; MCFL had no shareholders or anyone else 
who could make a claim for its assets or earnings; and MCFL was not 
established by a business corporation or labor union, and it did not 
accept contributions from such entities.
  This legislation does not purport in any way, shape, or form to 
overrule or change the Supreme Court's construction of the Federal 
Election Campaign Act in MCFL. Just as an MCFL-type corporation, under 
the Supreme Court's ruling, is exempt from the current prohibition on 
the use of corporate funds for expenditures containing ``express 
advocacy,'' so too is an MCFL-type corporation exempt from the 
prohibition in the Snowe-Jeffords amendment on the use of its treasury 
funds to pay for ``electioneering communications.'' Nothing in the bill 
purports to change MCFL. The

[[Page S2142]]

definitions and provisions of this bill, like every other law, are 
subject to the Supreme Court's decisions.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Madam President, I thank the Senator from Arizona for 
his excellent presentation on the central provisions of our bill. I 
wholeheartedly agree with the points he has made.

                           WEALTHY CANDIDATES

  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I would like to ask my colleagues a 
question concerning the various new limits with respect to individual 
contributions to candidates in the bill. There is a general increase of 
the individual contribution limits, but there are also provisions that 
raise the possibility of additional increases if a candidate faces an 
opponent who spends a great deal of his or her personal fortune in a 
race. Can the sponsors discuss their analysis of how those provisions 
might affect Congress's authority to limit individual contributions?
  Mr. McCAIN. I thank the Senator from Michigan for his question. The 
bill increases the individual contribution limit to a candidate from 
$1,000 to $2,000 per election. It provides, in addition, higher limits 
for contributions made to candidates running against opponents who 
spend large amounts of personal wealth. Those higher contribution 
limits are set forth in section 304 of the bill.
  The Supreme Court in Buckley upheld the $1,000 contribution limit 
established by the 1974 law as a permissible measure that serves the 
compelling governmental interests of deterring corruption and the 
appearance of corruption. This ruling was in substance reaffirmed by 
the Court's decision in 2000 in Nixon v. Shrink Missouri PAC. It is now 
very well settled law that Congress has the power to set reasonable 
limits on individual contributions to candidates. The Court has never 
said that the number picked by Congress is the upper or lower limit on 
a reasonable determination. Indeed, it rejected the argument in Shrink, 
that the diminished purchasing power of the Missouri contribution limit 
because of inflation caused it to be an unreasonably low amount.
  It is possible that someone would attempt to challenge the $2,000 
contribution limit in light of the higher limits provided for some 
races in section 304, and to argue that both limits cannot serve the 
same interests of preventing corruption. Congress has concluded that 
contributions in excess of $2,000 present a risk of actual and apparent 
corruption. Section 304 does not take issue with this conclusion. In 
this limited context, however, Congress has concluded that the 
contribution limits--despite their fundamental importance in fighting 
actual and apparent corruption--should be relaxed to mitigate the 
countervailing risk that they will unfairly favor those who are 
willing, and able, to spend a small fortune of their own money to win 
  We believe that Congress can reasonably determine that in the case of 
a candidate running against a wealthy opponent and having to raise 
extraordinary amounts of money to keep pace with that opponent's 
personal spending, that the risk of actual or apparent corruption from 
higher, yet still limited, contribution limits is small enough to 
permit candidates to raise those greater contributions in those 
particular circumstances.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. I agree with the comments of the Senator from Arizona. 
I believe the Court's decisions indicate that a range of contribution 
limits would be constitutional depending on the circumstances. 
Certainly, the determination through difficult negotiations in this 
bill that the limit should be raised to $2,000 per election, but not 
higher, is an indication that Congress believes that in most races 
contributions of greater than that amount present the appearance of 

                             EFFECTIVE DATE

  Ms. COLLINS. Madam President, when the McCain-Feingold bill passed 
the Senate, it was to be effective 30 days after enactment. Would the 
sponsors please explain the decision to change the effective date of 
the bill to November 6, 2002, and discuss the transition rules that 
apply after that date? In addition, can they please clarify their 
intent concerning the campaign finance rules that will govern runoff 
elections should there be any in 2002?
  Mr. McCAIN. I thank the Senator for her question. Because of the 
delay in getting the bill through the House, it became clear that there 
would be a number of very complicated transition rule issues and 
implementation problems if we were to try to put the bill into effect 
for the 2002 elections. We reluctantly determined that it would simply 
not be practical to apply new rules in the middle of the election 
cycle. To change the rules in the middle of the campaign would have 
created uncertainty and potential unfairness, particularly since 
primaries are imminent in some States.
  It is our intent, however, that the provisions of this bill will be 
fully in effect for the 2004 election cycle. In order to provide a 
certain end to the soft money system, and completely insulate the 2004 
elections from that system, the bill provides for an effective date of 
Wednesday, November 6, 2002, the day after the 2002 elections. After 
that date, no further soft money will be raised. The November 6, 2002, 
effective date will permit an orderly transition to the new soft money 
free world.
  Now as to the transition rules, we do allow soft money that the 
parties raise before November 6, 2002, to be used on expenses incurred 
in connection with the 2002 elections, and we intend that permission to 
apply to runoff elections, recounts, or election contests arising out 
of this year's elections as well. We also do not intend the bill 
substantive provisions concerning advertising, such as Title II and the 
``stand by your ad provisions'', wealthy candidates, sections 304, 316, 
and 319, and contributions by minors, section 318, to apply to 2002 
runoff elections. In addition, in the event that a runoff election 
occurs after November 5, 2002, the national party would--until January 
1, 2003, be able to spend soft money received before November 6, 2002 
to pay for the costs of non-Federal activities incurred in connection 
with, and before the date of, that runoff election, and the state 
parties could spend soft money on Federal election activities in 
connection with the runoff, as under current law.
  On the other hand, the increased contribution limits in the bill take 
effect on January 1, 2003.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. I agree with my friend from Arizona. Let me note, in 
addition, that the new effective date also helps to ensure that an 
expedited court challenge to the law can be resolved well before the 
2004 election campaign gets underway. We recognize that a court 
challenge to this bill is not only likely, but inevitable. We welcome 
the challenge and firmly believe the courts will uphold what we have 
  In section 403, the bill provides expedited judicial review rules and 
rules for an orderly process of intervention in the litigation that 
could theoretically be filed shortly after the President signs the 
bill. That this will allow the litigation before a three-judge court 
here in Washington, DC, to have progressed substantially even before 
the operative provisions take effect in November. This expedited 
judicial review process will assist an orderly transition from the old 
system to the new system under this bill. Furthermore, the FEC is 
charged with promulgating soft money regulations well before the date 
that the soft money ban will take effect. In short, with enactment of 
the bill, promulgations of key regulations, and a prompt and efficient 
resolution of the litigation, we will be in a position in which a new 
campaign finance system can be implemented in a certain and sure 
fashion for the 2004 elections.

                           section 323(f)(1)

  Mr. THOMPSON. Madam President, I understand that questions have been 
raised about the provisions of the bill that prevent State candidates 
from spending non-Federal money on ads that mention Federal candidates. 
Can the sponsors clarify how these provisions might affect a State 
candidate spending money on an ad that touts that candidate having 
received the endorsement of a Federal candidate or officeholder?
  Mr. FEINGOLD. I am pleased to have the opportunity to clarify this 
provision, which is one of a number of provisions in the soft money ban 
intended to prevent new loopholes for spending soft money from 
developing. New Sec. 323(f)(1) prohibits State candidates and 
officeholders from spending non-Federal money on public communications 
that refer to a clearly identified candidate

[[Page S2143]]

for Federal office, regardless of whether a State candidate is also 
mentioned. This restriction, however, only applies to communications 
that promote, support, attack or oppose the Federal candidate, 
regardless of whether the communication expressly advocates a vote for 
or against a candidate.
  Thus, it is not our intention to prohibit State candidates from 
spending non-Federal money to run advertisements that mention that they 
have been endorsed by a Federal candidate or say that they identify 
with a position of a named Federal candidate, so long as those 
advertisements do not support, attack, promote or oppose the Federal 
candidate, regardless of whether the communication expressly advocates 
a vote for or against a candidate. The test for whether a communication 
is covered by Sec. 323(f)(1) will be whether the advertisement supports 
or opposes the Federal candidate rather than simply promoting the 
candidacy of the State candidate who is paying for the communication. 
That will be up to the FEC to determine in the first instance, but I 
believe that State candidate will be able to fairly easily comply with 
this provision. All we are trying to prevent with this provision is the 
laundering of soft money through State candidate campaigns for 
advertisements promoting, attacking, supporting or opposing Federal 

                              SECTION 212

  Mr. LEVIN. Madam President, section 212 of the bill modifies 
reporting requirements for independent expenditures. Can the sponsors 
discuss the changes to current law that they intend to make in this 
  Mr. McCAIN. I would be happy to explain this provision. Section 212 
is intended to increase the disclosures of independent expenditures. 
Current law require such reports to be filed within 24 hours of the 
making of expenditure aggregating $1,000 or more, if the threshold 
amount of expenditures is reached within the last 20 days before an 
election. We add a provision requiring disclosure within 48 hours if 
independent expenditures totaling $10,000 or more are made prior to the 
20th day before the election.
  As part of the Department of Transportation appropriations bill for 
2001, Public Law No. 106-46, Congress required that these ``24 hour 
reports'' be received by the Commission within 24 hours, rather than 
simply mailed within that time, which is the standard interpretation of 
the term ``filing'' in the law. We do not intend in Sec. 212 to change 
that requirement. Because these reports are very time sensitive, we 
believe they should be received by the Commission within the time 
period specified. Indeed, we believe that the Commission should have 
the authority to require any other time sensitive report required by 
this bill, such as the 24 hours reports required under Sec. Sec.  304 
and 319 also to be received within 24 hours. The ready availability of 
fax machines and other forms of electronic communications should make 
it fairly easy to comply with this requirement.


  Mr. FEINGOLD. Madam President, as my colleagues are aware, the House 
passed the McCain-Feingold/Shays-Meehan campaign finance reform bill in 
the early morning hours of February 14, 2002. The bill that we are 
debating today, and that we will pass and send to the President this 
week, is the exact bill that the House passed. During the debate on the 
bill, Congressman Christopher Shays of Connecticut spoke on the floor 
at some length about the compelling need for the Congress to ban soft 
money. He related the enormous growth of soft money over the last 
decade and the appearance of corruption that these unlimited 
contributions from unions, corporations, and wealthy individuals cause. 
Using examples such as the Enron debacle, the Hudson Casino 
controversy, the tobacco industry, and the infamous Roger Tamraz, 
Congressman Shays illustrated how soft money damages public confidence 
in the legislative process. He includes statements from former Members 
of Congress of the power of money in providing access to lawmakers and 
the public cynicism that results when these stories become known.
  Mr. Shays' remarks appear in the Congressional Record of February 13, 
2002 at pages H351-H353. I entirely agree with Mr. Shays' statement. In 
my view, it explains very well the appearance problem that soft money 
creates and provides an excellent justification for the action we are 
about to take in this bill.
  Mr. McCAIN. I agree with my friend from Wisconsin, and I endorse Mr. 
Shays' discussion on the reasons that Congress must act to ban soft 
money. Let me also call to my colleagues' attention a statement that 
Mr. Shays made on February 13, 2002, concerning the functioning of the 
soft money ban, and in particular, the Levin amendment. The Levin 
amendment concerning state parties' use of nonfederal funds was added 
to the bill here on the floor last year. It was modified, and in my 
view improved, on the House side. My colleague from Wisconsin and I 
participated in the negotiations that yielded the final terms of the 
Levin amendment contained in the House bill. Mr. Shays explains quite 
well the way that the Levin amendment in the final bill is supposed to 
function, and the restrictions, or what some have called ``fences,'' 
that we hope and believe will prevent the Levin amendment from becoming 
a new soft money loophole. Mr. Shays' discussion appears in the Record 
on pages H408-H410 on February 13, 2002.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. I thank the senior Senator from Arizona for 
highlighting that particular part of the legislative history. I also 
believe Mr. Shays does an excellent job of explaining how the Levin 
amendment is supposed to work. In addition, Mr. Shays discussed how the 
provisions of the bill dealing with electioneering communications 
permit the FEC to promulgate regulations to exempt certain 
communications that are clearly not related to an election and do not 
promote or attack candidates. I also endorse that discussion, which 
appears in the Record of February 13, 2002, at pages H410-411.
  Mr. McCAIN. I agree with my friend from Wisconsin that these 
statements express our intent in this bill quite well.

                              SECTION 301

  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Madam President, can the sponsors clarify section 301 
of the bill concerning the conversion of campaign funds to personal 
use, and in particular whether any change from current law was intended 
concerning the ability of candidates to transfer excess campaign funds 
to their parties?
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Section 301 of the bill amends 2 U.S.C. section 439a to 
specify which candidate expenditures from campaign funds would be 
considered an unlawful conversion of a contribution or donation to 
personal use. The language continues to allow candidates to use excess 
campaign funds for transfers to a national, State or local committee of 
a political party. It is the intent of the authors that--as is the case 
under current law--such transfers be permitted without limitation. 
Furthermore, while the provision is intended to codify the FEC's 
current regulations on the use of campaign funds for personal expenses, 
we do not intend to codify any advisory opinion or other current 
interpretation of those regulations.


  Mr. THOMPSON. Madam President, I note that the bill deletes a 
provision of current law that permits national party committees to 
raise soft money to pay for their office buildings. Can the sponsors 
discuss the intent of the law concerning the raising of non-Federal 
money by State parties for their office buildings?
  Mr. FEINGOLD. The Senator is correct that as part of the soft money 
ban, the legislation deletes language in current law expressly 
excluding donations to a national or state party committee specifically 
to finance the purchase or construction of a party office building from 
the definition of ``contribution.'' Accordingly, a national party 
committee may no longer receive non-Federal donations for the purpose 
of purchasing or constructing any party office building, or for any 
other purpose.
  Likewise, Federal law will no longer allow a State or local party 
committee to receive non-Federal donations to purchase or construct a 
State or local party office building where such donations would violate 
that State's laws relating to permissible sources and amounts of non-
Federal donations to such a party committee.
  The bill does not, however, regulate State or local party 
expenditures of non-Federal donations received in accordance with State 
law on purchasing

[[Page S2144]]

or constructing a State or local party office building. It is the 
intent of the authors that State law exclusively govern the receipt and 
expenditure of non-Federal donations by State or local parties to pay 
for the construction or purchase of State or local party office 
buildings. Thus, non-Federal donations received by a State or local 
party committee in accordance with State law could be used to purchase 
or construct a State or local party office building without any 
required match consisting of Federal contributions.

                      CLARIFYING TERMS IN THE BILL

  Ms. COLLINS. Madam President, I would like to ask the sponsors a 
question concerning the term ``refers to'' in certain provisions of the 
bill. I have heard the argument made that the definitions of ``Federal 
election activity'' and ``electioneering communication'' are somehow 
vague because they are defined to include a communication that ``refers 
to a clearly identified candidate for Federal office.'' Can the 
sponsors address that argument?
  Mr. FEINGOLD. I would be happy to respond to my friend from Maine, 
and I appreciate her question. In the bill, the phrase ``refers to'' 
precedes the phrase ``clearly identified'' candidate. That latter 
phrase is precisely defined in the Federal Campaign Election Act to 
mean a communication that includes the name of a federal candidate for 
office, a photograph or drawing of the candidate, or some other words 
or images that identify the candidate by ``unambiguous reference.'' A 
communication that ``refers to a clearly identified candidate'' is one 
that mentions, identifies, cites, or directs the public to the 
candidate's name, photograph, drawing, or otherwise makes an 
``unambiguous reference'' to the candidate's identity.

                              SECTION 213

  Mr. THOMPSON. Madam President, I would like to ask the sponsors to 
explain section 213 of the bill concerning independent and coordinated 
expenditures made by party committees. Can the sponsors also discuss 
how this provision is consistent with the Supreme Court's decision in 
the Colorado cases?
  Mr. McCAIN. I would be happy to respond to the Senator's question. 
Section 213 of the bill allows the political parties to choose to make 
either coordinated expenditures or independent expenditures on behalf 
of each of their candidates, but not both. This choice is to be made 
after the party nominates its candidate, when the party makes its first 
post-nomination expenditure--either coordinated or independent--on 
behalf of the candidate.
  This provision is entirely consistent with the Supreme Court's 
rulings in the two Colorado Republican cases. In the first of those 
cases, the Court held that a party had a constitutional right to make 
unlimited independent expenditures, using hard money funds, on behalf 
of its candidates. But of course, those party expenditures must be 
fully and completely independent of the candidate and his campaign. The 
second Colorado Republican case held that Congress may limit the size 
of coordinated expenditures made by parties on behalf of their 
candidates, in order to deter corruption and the appearance of 
corruption that could result from unlimited expenditures that are 
  This provision fully recognizes the right of the parties to make 
unlimited independent expenditures. But it helps to ensure that the 
expenditure will be truly independent, as required by Colorado 
Republican I, by prohibiting a party from making coordinated 
expenditures for a candidate at the same time it is making independent 
expenditures for the same candidate. We believe that once a candidate 
has been nominated a party cannot coordinate with a candidate and be 
independent in the same election campaign. After the date of 
nomination, the party is free to choose to coordinate with a candidate, 
or to operate independently of that candidate. If it chooses the 
former, it is subject to the limits upheld in Colorado Republican II. 
If it chooses the latter, it is free to exercise its right upheld in 
Colorado Republican I to engage in unlimited hard money spending 
independent of the candidate.
  Section 213 provides, for this purpose only, that all the political 
committees of a party at both the state and national levels are 
considered to be one committee for the purpose of making this choice. 
This will prevent one arm of the party from coordinating with a 
candidate while another arm of the same party purports to operate 
independently of such candidate. This provision is intended to ensure 
that a party committee which chooses to engage in unlimited spending 
for a candidate is in fact independent of the candidate.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. I agree with the Senator from Arizona's answer to the 
question from the Senator from Tennessee.

                               SECTION 214

  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Madam President, I would like to ask the sponsors a 
question concerning section 214 of the bill, which deals with 
coordination. Some concern has been expressed about this provision by 
outside groups that participate in the legislative process through 
lobbying and grassroots advertising and also participate in 
electioneering through their PACs, or currently, through sham issue 
ads. Can the sponsors explain what is intended by section 214, and 
answer the concerns expressed by some of these organizations?
  Mr. FEINGOLD. I would be happy to address this question, and I thank 
the Senator from Connecticut for raising it. It is important that our 
intent in this provision be clear.
  The concept of ``coordination'' has been part of Federal campaign 
finance law since Buckley versus Valeo. It is a common-sense concept 
recognizing that when outside groups coordinate their spending on 
behalf of a candidate with a candidate or a party, such spending is 
indistinguishable from a direct contribution to that candidate or 
party. Accordingly, such coordinated spending by outside groups is, and 
should be, treated as a contribution to the candidate or party that 
benefits from such spending. As such, it is subject to the source and 
amount limitations under federal law for contributions to federal 
candidates and their parties. An effective restriction on outside 
groups coordinating their campaign-related activities with federal 
candidates and their political parties is needed to prevent 
circumvention of the campaign finance laws.
  The bill bans soft money contributions to the national political 
parties, which totaled $463 million during the 2000 election cycle. 
Specifically, under the bill, corporations and unions can no longer 
donate amounts from their treasuries to the national parties, and 
wealthy individuals can no longer write six-figure checks to the 
national parties. The legislation shuts down the soft money loophole in 
order to prevent the corruption and unseemly appearances that arise 
when national parties and Federal officeholders solicit unlimited 
donations from special interests and then spend those donations to 
support federal candidates.
  Absent a meaningful standard for what constitutes coordination, the 
soft money ban in the bill would be seriously undermined. In the place 
of outside special interests donating six-figure checks to the national 
parties to be spent on Federal elections, these entities could simply 
work in tandem with the parties and Federal candidates to spend their 
own treasury funds--soft money--on federal electioneering activities. 
This would fly in the face of one of the main purposes of the bill to 
get national parties and Federal candidates out of the business of 
raising and spending soft money donations.
  Unfortunately, based on a single district court decision, the Federal 
Election Commission's current regulation defining when general public 
political communications funded by outside groups are considered 
coordinated with candidates or parties fails to account for certain 
types of coordination that may well occur in real-world campaigns. The 
FEC regulation is premised on a very narrowly defined concept of 
``collaboration or agreement'' between outside groups and candidates or 
  This current FEC regulation fails to cover a range of de facto and 
informal coordination between outside groups and candidates or parties 
that, if permitted, could frustrate the purposes of the bill. For 
example, if an individual involved in key strategic decision-making for 
a candidate's political advertising resigned from the candidate's 
campaign committee, immediately thereafter joined an outside 
organization, and then used inside strategic information from the 
campaign to develop the organization's imminent soft

[[Page S2145]]

money-funded advertising in support of the candidate, a finding of 
coordination might very well be appropriate. The FEC regulation, 
however, would find coordination neither in this circumstance nor in 
various other situations where most reasonable people would recognize 
that the outside entities' activities were coordinated with candidates. 
This would leave a loophole that candidates and national parties could 
exploit to continue controlling and spending huge sums of soft money to 
influence federal elections.
  The dangers of coordinated soft money spending were noted by Senator 
Fred Thompson during his Committee's review of 1996 election activity. 
The Minority Report of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs 

       The fact that coordination of soft money spending and 
     fundraising has become commonplace and expected should be 
     examined by Congress. By permitting such coordinated efforts 
     to raise soft money and spend it on political activities that 
     advance the interests of presidential campaigns, the federal 
     election laws create a tremendous loophole to both 
     contribution limits and spending limits. As the Chairman 
     [Senator Thompson] has acknowledged:
       Acceptance of this activity would allow any candidate and 
     his campaign to direct and control the activities of a straw 
     man . . . . For such activity, these straw men could use 
     funds subject to no limit and derived from any source . . . . 
     If the interpretation is that this is legal and this is 
     proper, then we have no campaign finance system in this 
     country anymore.

  To remedy this problem, the bill requires the FEC to reexamine the 
coordination issue and promulgate new coordination rules. These rules 
need to make more sense in light of real life campaign practices than 
do the current regulations. The bill accordingly repeals this FEC 
regulation and requires that the Commission promulgate a 
replacement regulation. The bill does not change the basic statutory 
standard for coordination, which defines and sets parameters for the 
FEC's authority to develop rules describing the circumstances in which 
coordination is deemed to exist.

  Section 214 directs the FEC to promulgate new regulations on 
coordinated communications and lists four specific subjects that the 
FEC must address in those new regulations. It does not dictate how the 
Commission is to resolve those four subjects.
  On one issue, section 214 does direct the outcome of the Commission's 
deliberations on new regulations. The current FEC regulations say that 
a communication will be considered to be ``coordinated'' if it is 
created, produced or distributed ``after substantial discussion'' 
between the spender and the candidate about the communication, ``the 
result of which is collaboration or agreement.'' This standard is now 
contained in 11 C.F.R. Sec.  100.23(c)(2)(iii).
  The FEC's narrowly defined standard of requiring collaboration or 
agreement sets too high a bar to the finding of ``coordination.'' This 
standard would miss many cases of coordination that result from de 
facto understandings. Accordingly, section 214 states that the 
Commission's new regulations ``shall not require agreement or formal 
collaboration to establish coordination.'' This, of course, does not 
mean that there should not be a finding of ``coordination'' in those 
cases where there is ``agreement or formal collaboration.'' But it does 
mean that specific discussions between a candidate or party and an 
outside group about campaign-related activity can result in a finding 
of coordination, without an ``agreement or formal collaboration.''
  Existing law provides that a campaign-related communication that is 
coordinated with a candidate or party is a contribution to the 
candidate or party, regardless of whether the communication contains 
``express advocacy.'' Accordingly, the bill provides that an 
``electioneering communication'' that is coordinated with a candidate 
or party is considered a contribution to the candidate or party.
  Mr. McCAIN. If the Senator from Wisconsin would yield, let me 
elaborate a bit on his discussion, with which I completely agree, and 
address the specific concern raised by some of these groups.
  It is important for the Commission's new regulations to ensure that 
actual ``coordination'' is captured by the new regulations. Informal 
understandings and de facto arrangements can result in actual 
coordination as effectively as explicit agreement or formal 
collaboration. In drafting new regulations to implement the existing 
statutory standard for coordination--an expenditure made ``in 
cooperation, consultation or concert, with, or at the request or 
suggestion of'' a candidate--we expect the FEC to cover 
``coordination'' whenever it occurs, not simply when there has been an 
agreement or formal collaboration.
  On the other hand, nothing in the section 214 should or can be read 
to suggest, as some have said, that lobbying meetings between a group 
and a candidate concerning legislative issues could alone lead to a 
conclusion that ads that the group runs subsequently concerning the 
legislation that was the subject of the meeting are coordinated with 
the candidate. Obviously, if the group and the candidate discuss 
campaign related activity such as ads promoting the candidate or 
attacking his or her opponent, then coordination might legitimately be 
found, depending on the nature of the discussions. We do not intend for 
the FEC to promulgate rules, however, that would lead to a finding of 
coordination solely because the organization that runs such ads has 
previously had lobbying contacts with a candidate.
  Section 214 represents a determination that the current FEC 
regulation is far too narrow to be effective in defining coordination 
in the real world of campaigns and elections and threatens to seriously 
undermine the soft money restrictions contained in the bill. The FEC is 
required to issue a new regulation, and everyone who has an interest in 
the outcome of that rulemaking will be able to participate in it, and 
appeal the FEC's decision to the courts if they believe that is 

                        CONTRIBUTIONS BY MINORS

  Ms. COLLINS. Madam President, I wanted to ask the sponsors about a 
provision that was not included in the Senate bill--the prohibition on 
contributions by minors. Can you explain the justification for this new 
  Mr. McCAIN. The Senator is correct that section 318 was added in the 
House. It is an important provision, and the Senator from Wisconsin and 
I supported it being included in the bill.
  Under the FEC's current regulations at 11 C.F.R. Sec.  110.1(i)(2), 
children under the age of 18 may make contributions to political 
candidates and committees as long as the child knowingly and voluntary 
makes the decision to contribute. In addition, the child must make the 
contribution out of his or her own funds, which the child is in control 
of, such as the proceeds of a trust or money in a savings account in 
the child's own name.
  Unfortunately, notwithstanding these regulations, we believe that 
wealthy individuals are easily circumventing contribution limits to 
both political candidates and parties by directing their children's 
contributions. Indeed, the FEC in 1998 notified Congress of its 
difficulties in enforcing the current provision. Its legislative 
recommendations to Congress that year cited ``substantial evidence that 
minors are being used by their parents, or others, to circumvent the 
limits imposed on contributors.''
  Accordingly, Section 318 of the bill prohibits individuals 17 years 
old or younger from making contributions or donations to and a 
candidate or a committee of a political party.
  We believe it is appropriate for Congress to prohibit minors from 
contributing to campaigns because we agree with the Commission that 
there is substantial evidence that individuals are evading contribution 
limits by directing their children to make contributions. According to 
a Los Angeles Times study, individuals who listed their occupation as 
student contributed $7.5 million to candidates and parties between 1991 
and 1998. Upon further investigation, some of these contributions where 
made by infants and toddlers. In another instance, the paper found that 
two high school sisters contributed $40,000 to the Democratic Party in 
1998. When asked about the contribution, the high school sophomore 
answered that it was a ``family decision.''
  We believe that this and other examples justify the prohibition on 
minor contributions that is included in the bill as a way to prevent 
evasion of the contribution limits in the law. In our view, this 
provision simply restores the

[[Page S2146]]

integrity of the individual contribution limits by preventing parents 
from funneling contributions through their children, many of whom are 
simply too young to make such contributions knowingly.
  We recognize that many individuals under the age of 18 support 
candidates with great fervor and feel passionately about public issues. 
We do not mean to suggest that children should not be able to 
participate in the political system. They are free to volunteer on 
campaigns and express their views through speaking and writing. We 
simply believe that allowing them to contribute to candidates presents 
too great a risk of abuse, especially since the existing, more limited, 
FEC regulation has failed to prevent such abuse.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. I thank the Senator from Arizona for his remarks on 
this topic. I agree that this provision addresses a serious problem of 
abuse that has been amply demonstrated.
  Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that several 
news reports detailing numerous instances in which wealthy individuals 
have circumvented contribution limits by directing their children's 
campaign contributions be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                  Members Cash In on Kid Contributions

                            (By Alex Knott)

       Nine-year-old John Baxter of Knoxville, Tenn., didn't even 
     know that he had donated $2,000 in 1994 to Republican Fred 
     Thompson's Senatorial campaign. Yet he's one of the 2,100 
     students whose names appear at the Federal Election 
     Commission as having made campaign contributions in the 1993-
     94 election cycle.
       The third-grader at Shannon Dale Elementary School has 
     donated $3,000 to political campaigns since he was eight 
     years old, according to FEC records.
       ``I don't know about that,'' said Baxter. ``My dad takes 
     the money out of our accounts.'' Baxter said he's never heard 
     of the ``Contract with America,'' and did not know whether 
     Thompson is a Republican or a Democrat. Though many parents 
     make donations on behalf of their children without their 
     participation, the FEC warns that these donations are illegal 
     unless made with the child's full knowledge.
       According to Ian Stirton, an FEC public affairs spokesman, 
     students who are minors can legally contribute funds to 
     federal elections, ``but it says in the law that the 
     donations must be make `knowingly and willingly.' ''
       ``Now for an 8-year-old to be able to make these 
     contributions, `knowingly and willingly,' they would be 
     pretty precocious, but it is legal for them to do so,'' 
     Stirton said.
       ``I guess I'm into politics a little,'' Baxter said. He is 
     not alone. His older brother Joseph, 11, says that he also 
     has made donations to a couple of campaigns recently.
       ``I've heard that I've given money to (GOP presidential 
     candidate and former Tennessee Gov.) Lamar Alexander and to 
     Fred Thompson, but I don't know how much I gave them,'' 
     Joseph Baxter said.
       Their older sisters Jennifer, 12, and Elizabeth, 14, have 
     also made political donations. Together, the four children 
     have donated a total of $12,000 in the last three years.
       Their father, William Baxter, is the president of Holston 
     Gases Inc. in Knoxville. He says the donations made by his 
     children are legal because they each have accounts in their 
     names from which the money is drawn, even though some of them 
     are not aware of the contributions.
       ``We have custodial accounts set up for all our children,'' 
     William Baxter said.
       The money in the children's accounts has accumulated 
     through inheritance and annual gifts from their parents, 
     according to their father. William Baxter said he has control 
     of the money in the accounts and has made some of the 
     withdrawals for the children's political contributions.
       The FEC would not comment on the specific case, but Stirton 
     said that not only must all donations by minors be made 
     knowingly and willingly but that the money can't be given to 
     minors for the sole purpose of making political 
       ``People can't just donate money in the names of others, 
     ``Stirton said. ``It would make the laws of disclosure 
       In the past the FEC has investigated incidents in which 
     campaign donations have been made without the named 
     contributor's consent. No specific cases were mentioned by 
     Stirton, but he said that parents who are found to have 
     knowingly and willingly broken these FEC laws could face up 
     to $10,000 in civil penalties or an amount equal to 200 
     percent of any contribution made.
       All the donations made by the Baxter children were in 
     amounts of $1,000 and consisted of contributions to 
     Thompson's Sensational campaign and Alexander's presidential 
       ``It's very admirable,' William Baxter said about his 
     family's contributions. ``I think more people should make 
     contributions. A real change took place during the last 
     election, and I'm glad we were a part of that change.''
       Thompson's spokesman, Paul Clark, said the Baxter children 
     may have forgotten about their donations because of their 
       ``It was a year ago, and it appears that they were fully 
     aware of the contributions,'' Clark said. ``It's not some 
     laundering operation.''
       Clark also said that Thompson's campaign officials tried to 
     be ``extremely careful to follow FEC regulations.''
       Thompson was fourth among the top ten Members to receive 
     campaign funds from donors listed as students in the 1993-94 
     election cycle, with the attorney/actor-turned-politician 
     raking in more than $25,000.
       A Roll Call study of FEC records from that Sens. Ted 
     Kennedy (D-Mass), with $63,300 in contributions; Bill Frist 
     (R-Tenn), $43,500; and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), led the pack 
     in student donations last cycle.
       Rounding out the top ten were Thompson, $25,800, and Sens. 
     Spencer Abraham (R-Mich), $25,750; Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-
     Texas), $25,500; Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn), $24,250; Dianne 
     Feinstein (D-Calif), $23,900; John Kerry (D-Mass), $23,500; 
     and Chuck Robb (D-Va), $20,250.
       For attorney Loren Hershey, of Falls Church, Va., campaign 
     giving is also a family affair. He and his three children 
     have made 22 contributions totaling $26,000, over the last 
     five years.
       Hershey says that his children made their donations 
     knowingly and willingly and that they ``participated in the 
     decisions'' to make contributions to the campaigns.
       Hersey's three children have donated $10,000 since 1992, 
     including his daughter Amelia, 11, who began her generosity 
     to politicians with a $1,000 donation to the Clinton for 
     President Committee at the age of eight.
       Amelia, who is a fifth-grader at Bailey's School for the 
     Arts and Sciences, during the 1993-94 election cycle also 
     made $1,000 contributions to the campaigns of Sen. Chuck Robb 
     (D-Va) and former Rep. Leslie Byrne (D-Va).
       Not all of the students listed by the FEC are minors. Some 
     are university undergraduates, law students, and even 
       In the last election cycle, Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen 
     Kennedy Townsend (D) donated $250 to the Senatorial campaign 
     of her uncle, Ted Kennedy, while she was listed as a student, 
     according to FEC documents.
       Jennifer Croopnick, 24, of Newton Mass., was surprised to 
     find out that she had donated $1,000 to Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-
       ``I don't know what you're talking about,'' said Croopnick, 
     who was then a graduate student at New York University. ``I 
     never donated money for any campaigns. I don't have much 
       Though Croopnick said she hasn't personally donated any 
     money for political campaigns in the past, she did offer a 
     solution as to where the funding may have come from.
       ``I'm not exactly sure how those donations were made,'' she 
     said. ``My father probably made the donation in my name.''
       Croopnick's father Steven, an employee of LTC Management in 
     Cambridge, didn't return numerous phone calls, and his wife 
     Bonnie had no comment regarding the contribution.
       A statement released last week by Kennedy's office read: 
     ``We made a great deal of effort to make sure every 
     contribution is proper. We have never knowingly accepted any 
     improper contribution. We assume that when we receive a 
     contribution, the donor knows they have made it.
       ``In this case, it was a donation from a 24-year-old 
     individual. We had no reason to believe she was unaware of 
     the contribution.''

 Sunday Report; Minor Loophole; Young Donors Are Increasingly Padding 
Political Coffers. Officials Fear That Children Are Being Used To Evade 
                             Election Laws

                (By Alan C. Miller, Times Staff Writer)

       At age 10, Skye Stolnitz of Los Angeles contributed $1,000 
     to the 1996 presidential campaign of Republican Lamar 
     Alexander. Her dad said the funds came from Skye's personal 
     checking account.
       Asher Simon was 9 years old when he gave $1,000 each to 
     Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and two other Democrats in 
     1994. Asher's mother said the boy ``supports candidates he 
     agrees with.''
       Lindsey Tabak, then 15, donated $20,000 to the Democratic 
     Party in 1996. Asked about the source of the money, Lindsey 
     said: ``I know it was in my name.'' These youngsters are part 
     of a developing trend in the world of political money: 
     contributors who donate generously even though they're not 
     old enough to drive a car or register to vote. On paper at 
     least, children and high school and college students gave a 
     total of $7.5 million in political donations from 1991 
     through 1998, according to a Times study of federal election 
       In many cases, as with Skye, Asher and Lindsey, the 
     children's donations came on the same day or about the same 
     time that their parents gave the maximum contribution allowed 
     under federal law.
       Campaign finance experts say the practice of student giving 
     has become one of the most blatant ways that affluent donors 
     circumvent federal limits.
       ``This is an area of great abuse where you have the absurd 
     situation of small children supposedly contributing their own 
     money to a candidate of their own choice,'' said Donald J. 
     Simon, executive vice president of the watchdog group Common 
     Cause. ``Obviously, in many cases, what's going on is simply 
     a way for the parents to beat the contribution limits.''
       Parents interviewed for this story insisted that the 
     children contributed their own

[[Page S2147]]

     funds and were not part of any scheme to skirt federal 
     limits. But the Federal Election Commission has regarded 
     student giving as such a potentially serious loophole that it 
     has urged Congress to ban donations by minors, based on the 
     ``presumption that contributors below age 16 are not making 
     contributions on their own behalf,'' according to the 
     commission's 1998 legislative recommendations.
       Federal law places no minimum age on donors but requires 
     that the funds be ``owned or controlled exclusively'' by 
     contributors and that they give ``knowingly and 
     voluntarily.'' Also, parents are specifically prohibited from 
     giving money to their children to make political 
       In each election, the law allows individual donors of any 
     age to give $1,000 to a candidate and $20,000 to a political 
     party in so-called hard money, which can only be used to 
     advocate the election or defeat of specific candidates. There 
     are no contribution limits on ``soft money'' donated to the 
     parties for a broad range of political uses.
       The analysis, conducted for The Times by the independent 
     Campaign Study Group of Springfield, Va., shows that young 
     contributors are giving increasingly large amounts to federal 
     candidates and campaign committees. Since 1991, donors 
     identified as ``students'' made 8,876 federal contributions 
     of $200 or more and in 163 instances gave $5,000 or more.
       Student donors gave nearly $2.6 million for the 1996 
     presidential election--a 45% increase over 1992. Complete 
     computerized data for the 1998 elections are not yet 
       The study understates the full extent of donations by 
     minors because political committees often fail to report a 
     contributor's occupation as required by law and donors are 
     not asked to provide their ages. The Times identified the 
     ages of donors through public records and interviews.

                    Only One Parent Fined Since 1975

       Youthful donors attract little scrutiny from the FEC, which 
     is responsible for civil enforcement of U.S. election laws. 
     The agency rarely investigates allegations arising form 
     donations by minors: Since 1975, it has investigated and 
     closed only four such cases, levying one $4,000 fine against 
     a parent for donating money through a child.
       Representatives for the Democratic and Republican parties 
     said they do not solicit contributions from the children of 
       Yet veteran campaign operatives, speaking on the condition 
     of anonymity, said that major donors are often reminded that 
     family members may also contribute. While professional fund-
     raisers are instructed to inform such donors of the legal 
     requirements, other individuals soliciting contributions may 
     ``forget the niceties,'' one longtime Democratic campaign 
     advisor said. Campaign finance experts even have a name for 
     the practice: ``family bundles.''
       The sponsors of the sweeping bipartisan campaign finance 
     bill that passed the House last year included a provision 
     that would have banned all donations to candidates and 
     political parties from individuals under 18. The bill stalled 
     in the Senate. The sponsors reintroduced the legislation last 
     month with the same proposed ban on child donors.
       The Times study found at least four donors age 10 or under 
     who gave $1,000 or more. In two additional cases that were 
     previously reported, donors were so politically precocious 
     that they were still in diapers.

                    `. . . On Behalf of My Daughter'

       On Jan. 25, 1996--the same day her parents made identical 
     donations--Skye Stolnitz, then 10, gave $1,000 to the 
     Republican presidential primary campaign of former Tennessee 
     Gov. Alexander.
       ``It was my decision based on what I thought was in her 
     best interest,'' said Skye's father, Scott A. Stolnitz, a 
     dentist in Marina del Rey. ``I felt that Lamar Alexander at 
     the time had the solutions for education in America, which I 
     was very concerned about on behalf of my daughter.''
       He said that the $1,000 came from Skye's checking account, 
     which he funds. Stolnitz said that he discussed the donation 
     with his daughter, ``even at that tender age. I told her what 
     I was doing and why. She did not object.''
       He said he was ``not aware'' of federal laws that require 
     donors to make such decisions on their own and had no 
     intention of exceeding contribution limits.
       When young Asher Simon made $1,000 contributions to 
     Feinstein, then-House Speaker Thomas S. Foley (D-Wash.) and 
     then Rep. Lee H. Hamilton (D-Ind.) in 1994, both his parents 
     also gave to the same candidates during the same election 
     cycle, including the maximum to Feinstein and Foley. This was 
     the only time that Asher, who is now 13, made a federal 
     contribution, records show.
       Herbert Simon, Asher's father, is a leading developer of 
     shopping malls and, along with his brother, owns the Indiana 
     Pacers professional basketball team. Diane Meyer Simon, a 
     former Democratic National Committee member, said that her 
     son ``comes from a very political family that has a long 
     tradition of supporting candidates.''
       The Simons, who own homes in Indianapolis and Santa 
     Barbara, have donated nearly $1 million to candidates and 
     party committees since 1991, records show.
       Asher's four older siblings gave an additional $40,750. 
     Rachel and Sarah Simon contributed the same amounts to the 
     same candidates as Asher when they were about 14 and 12, 
     records show.
       ``Whatever payments were made were in trust accounts and 
     accounted for properly,'' said Robert F. Wagner, an attorney 
     for Diane Meyer Simon. ``This is a very, very decent family. 
     . . . There was no intent to do anything improper.''
       The FEC permits political donations from a trust fund but 
     requires that the beneficiary make the donation ``knowingly 
     and voluntarily.'' The key to the propriety of such a 
     donation is how much control the beneficiary exercises over 
     the trust fund, election law attorneys said.

               High School Sisters Give $40,000 to Party

       Lindsey Tabak was a high school sophomore and her sister, 
     Lauren, a senior in Livingston, N.J., when each contributed 
     $20,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on 
     Oct. 29, 1996. Twelve days earlier, their parents, Mark H. 
     Tabak and Judy Wais Tabak, each gave the maximum legal 
     donation to the committee.
       Lindsey said her contribution ``was like a family decision 
     that we would donate the money to the Democratic Party.''
       Asked whose money it was, she replied: ``It's like the 
     family's . . . I'm not sure where it came from. I know it was 
     in my name.''
       Mark Tabak, who manages a firm that invests in 
     international health-care ventures, said that the money came 
     from his daughter's trust funds, a portion of which is 
     earmarked for political and charitable contributions. He 
     called it ``a collective decision'' to help the Democrats try 
     to retain control of Congress.
       ``I assure you that this was not a scam to bypass hard-
     money limits,'' Tabak said, noting that he and his wife could 
     have given unlimited sums of soft money to the Democratic 
     group. Political parties prefer hard-money donations because 
     of the restrictions imposed on how they spend soft money.
       Both major political parties have benefited from student 
     donors. Since 1991, Democrats have raked in $4.3 million and 
     Republicans received $2.7 million.
       Many of the student contributors were old enough to attend 
     college, according to public records and interviews. Some of 
     these donors contributed to the same campaigns, in similar 
     amounts and at the same times as their parents.

                   contributions often match parents'

       Take the case of Steven P. St. Martin. The son of a wealth 
     Louisiana attorney, he gave a total of $35,000 to various 
     Democratic campaigns between 1991 and 1998 when he was a 
     college and law school student. His contributions often 
     matched those of his father, Michael X. St. Martin, his 
     mother or his brothers, records show.
       ``I make my contributions completely on my own,'' said 
     Steven St. Martin, now an attorney in Houma, La. He declined 
     to explain the correlation between his donations and those of 
     his family. ``It's kind of personal,'' he said.
       Two estranged daughters of Dallas billionaire Harold C. 
     Simmons alleged that their father used trust funds to make 
     political contributions in their names without their 
     permission. This was part of a broader lawsuit claiming that 
     Simmons squandered the trusts on various expenses.
       The trust for one daughter, Andrea Simmons Harris, gave 
     $36,500 to Republican candidates between 1991 and 1993 when 
     she was a student in her mid-20s, records show. Simmons and 
     other family members usually made the maximum legal donations 
     to the same recipient on the same day.
       Simmons, who denied wrongdoing, agreed last year to pay his 
     adult daughters $50 million each to drop the suit seeking his 
     removal as trustee of the family fortune.
       At the other end of the ``student'' spectrum are the diaper 
       Bradford Bainum was 18 months old when he made the first of 
     four contributions to Democratic candidates in 1992 and 1993, 
     records show. He gave $4,000 by the time he was 2.
       His father, Stewart Bainum Jr., executive of a nursing home 
     chain and former Maryland state senator, acknowledged 
     donating in the name of his son as well as exceeding 
     contribution limits in a 1997 settlement with the FEC. He 
     paid a penalty of $4,000.
       This is the only time since the current campaign finance 
     system was established in 1975 that the FEC fined a donor in 
     a case involving contributions by a minor.
       The FEC may impose penalties up to the amount of a 
     contribution for giving in the name of another person or 
     twice the amount if the transgression is knowing and willful. 
     The agency may also find that a parent exceeded the 
     contribution limit by donating through a child.
       ``It's not an easy area of the law to enforce,'' said Ian 
     Stirton, an FEC spokesman. ``Somebody has to know this is 
     going on.''
       Still, the agency has acknowledged serious concerns over 
     the practice of student giving.
       Lois G. Lerner, the FEC's associate general counsel, said 
     that, while commission members have not yet addressed this 
     issue, the agency ``has realized in recent years that 
     people are trying to get as much money into the process as 
     they can and this is an area where it's pretty easy to do 
       Parent donors may also trip over state election laws.
       Al Checchi, the multimillionaire former Northwest Airlines 
     chairman who ran for governor of California last year, 
     acknowledged in 1997 that he arranged two contributions in 
     the names of his children without their knowledge.

[[Page S2148]]

       Checchi's business partner, who controlled the Checchi 
     children's trust accounts, sent $500 checks in the names of 
     Adam and Kristin Checchi to the 1990 gubernatorial primary 
     campaign of Democrat John K. Van de Kamp. That same day, 
     Checchi and his wife each gave Van de Kamp $1,000, the legal 
     limit under California law at the time.
       Checchi said the children--ages 12 and 9 at the time--were 
     unaware of the donations. He said he did not know that such 
     donations would pose a problem; they were returned by the 
       Campaign finance experts said that some parent donors, who 
     are unfamiliar with the intricacies of election laws, may 
     unwittingly use their children as conduits.
       Kenneth A. Gross, an election law attorney and former FEC 
     enforcement chief, said that his advice for clients is 
     simple: ``I certainly discourage any giving by children.''

                       the book on student giving

       Contribution between 1991 and 1998:
       Number of federal campaign contributions: 8,876 (Includes 
     only contributions of $200 or more.)
       Total amount contributed by students: $7.5 million.
       Number of students contributing a total of $5,000 or more: 
       Source: Federal Election Commission records.

                       deep pockets, short pants

       Each of these students gave the same maximum donations to 
     federal candidates or political parties as their parents. 
     Their parents or representatives defended the contributions, 
     saying that the money was their children's that the youths 
     contributed voluntarily and that the parents were not trying 
     to evade federal limits by giving through their children.
       Donor, Recipient and Parents: (Student) Skye Stolnitz (age 
       Amount: $1,000.
       Date: Jan. 25, 1996
       Donor, Recipient and Parents: (Recipient) Lamar Alexander 
     for President
       Donor, Recipient and Parents: (Parents) Dr. Scott A. 
     Stolnitz (father)
       Amount: $1,000
       Date: Jan. 25, 1996
       Donor, Recipient and Parents: (Parents) Cindy B. Stolnitz 
       Amount: $1,000
       Date: Jan. 25, 1996
       Explanation: ``It was my decision based on what I thought 
     was in her best interest,'' her father said.

                           *   *   *   *   *

       Donor, Recipient and Parents: (Student) Asher Simon (age 9)
       Amount: $1,000
       Date: Sept. 12, 1994
       Donor, Recipient and Parents: (Recipient) Sen. Dianne 
     Feinstein (D-Calif.)
       Donor, Recipient and Parents: (Parents) Herbert Simon 
       Amount: $1,000
       Date: May 12, 1994
       Donor, Recipient and Parents: (Parents) Diane Meyer Simon 
       Amount: $1,000
       Date: Oct. 21, 1993
       Explanation: Asher ``supports candidates he agrees with,'' 
     his mother said.

                           *   *   *   *   *

       Donor, Recipient and Parents: (Student) Lindsey Taback (age 
       Amount: $20,000
       Date: Oct. 29, 1996
       Donor, Recipient and Parents: (Recipient) Democratic 
     Congressional Campaign Committee
       Donor, Recipient and Parents: (Parents) Mark H. Tabak 
       Amount: $20,000
       Date: Oct. 17, 1996
       Donor, Recipient and Parents: (Parents) Judy Wais Tabak 
       Amount: $20,000
       Date: Oct. 17, 1996
       Explanation: The contribution ``was like a family decision 
     that we would donate money to the Democratic Party,'' Lindsey 

                           *   *   *   *   *

       Donor, Recipient and Parents: (Student) Elizabeth Heyman 
     (age 7)
       Amount: $1,000
       Date: Sept. 26, 1988
       Donor, Recipient and Parents: (Recipient) Sen. Joseph I. 
     Lieberman (D-Conn.)
       Donor, Recipient and Parents: (Parents) Samuel J. Heyman 
       Amount: $2,000**
       Date: Dec. 12, 1987
       Donor, Recipient and Parents: (Parents) Ronnie F. Heyman 
       Amount: $2,000**
       Date: Dec. 15, 1987
       Explanation: ``The children were asked and they thought it 
     was a great idea,'' said Michael Kempner, a spokesman for the 

                           *   *   *   *   *

       Donor, Recipient and Parents: (Student) Benjamin Lipman 
     (age 9)
       Amount: $1,000
       Date: June 19, 1987
       Donor, Recipient and Parents: (Recipient) Pierre S. 
     ``Pete'' du Pont IV for President
       Donor, Recipient and Parents: (Parents) Ira A. Lipman 
       Amount: $1,000
       Date: June 18, 1987
       Donor, Recipient and Parents: (Parents) Barbara Lipman 
       Amount: $1,000
       Date: June 18, 1987
       Explanation: That was a way ``to expose the children to 
     political candidates and get them involved in the process,'' 
     Ira Lipman said.
       All ages given were at time of donation
       Total includes maximum contributions for both primary and 
     general elections
       Sources: Analysis of Federal Election Commission records by 
     the Campaign Study Group, other public records and interviews

                      Contribution Proposal by FEC

       This is the Federal Election Commission's 1998 
     recommendation for legislation to prohibit contributions by 
       Recommendation: The commission recommends that Congress 
     establish a presumption that contributors below age 16 are 
     not making contributions on their own behalf.
       Explanation: The commission has found that contributions 
     are sometimes given by parents in their children's names. 
     Congress should address this potential abuse by establishing 
     a minimum age for contributors, or otherwise provide 
     guidelines ensuring that parents are not making contributions 
     in the name of another.
       Source: FEC Annual Report

  Mr. LUGAR. Madam President, I rise today to speak on the campaign 
finance reform bill that is before us. I have been involved in 
elections for the school board, for mayor of a major city, for the U.S. 
Senate, and for the Republican presidential nomination. My experiences 
suggest that our present system is outdated and often distorted. Yet I 
have never believed that we should pass a bill just because it has been 
labeled ``reform.'' As dysfunctional as our current campaign finance 
system is, it can be made worse.
  But in 2001, the U.S. Senate held a genuine debate on campaign 
finance reform that embraced multiple points of view on the issue. 
Amendments were considered and debated on their merits. The underlying 
bill changed dramatically. The Senate reached a conclusion that could 
not have been predicted before the debate began.
  This conclusion did not correspond to the ideal system of even a 
single Senator. In reviewing the 28 votes that we cast on that bill, I 
found that I had disagreed with the position of every other Senator at 
least five times during the votes. I expect that most other Senators 
would find that they also took a unique path through the bill. We all 
have our own ideas about what a campaign finance system should look 
like. Although, I do not support every provision of this bill, on 
balance, I believe that it is a constructive attempt to improve a 
deeply flawed campaign finance system.
  Even as we move to pass this bill it is important to admit the 
limitations of our work. The compromise bill before us will not bring 
an end to corruption or attempts to influence politicians improperly. 
We should be skeptical of both extravagant claims of success and dire 
predictions of disaster.
  This update was necessary, in part because the lines between soft and 
hard money were becoming indistinguishable. The development of so-
called ``victory funds'' and other schemes for transferring party soft 
money to candidates was undermining the meaningfulness of hard money 
contribution limits. In addition, soft money fundraising clearly had 
been linked to malfeasance in the 1996 presidential election and had 
assumed a role within the campaign finance structure that almost 
guaranteed future instances of campaign finance violations and improper 
  The bill also takes the important step of raising contribution limits 
for candidates facing an opponent who commits large amounts of personal 
wealth to a campaign. Our current campaign finance system ensures huge 
advantages for independently wealthy candidates, because their personal 
funds are not subject to contribution limits. Parties now spend a great 
deal of energy recruiting millionaires to run for office, because it is 
the simplest way to apply millions of dollars--sometimes tens of 
millions--to a political race virtually free of regulation. As more 
restraints on fundraising are added, the incentive to recruit 
millionaire candidates increases. The risk is that personal wealth will 
become a qualification for candidacy--particularly with respect to the 
Senate. The millionaires amendment in this bill will not eliminate the 
advantage of wealthy candidates, but it will substantially reduce the 
current incentives that place personal wealth near the top of 
qualifications for candidacy.
  Despite some excellent provisions, this bill will not be implemented 
without concern. The history of campaign

[[Page S2149]]

finance law does not provide optimism that restrictions aimed at 
preventing the entry of money into politics will succeed. Our 
experience has been that when one inlet for political money is closed 
or narrowed, that money flows into the system through other inlets. By 
increasing hard money limits left untouched since the mid-1970s, the 
bill encourages some soft money contributions to flow toward hard 
money, the most accountable form of political contribution. But we also 
will see increases in money flowing through interest groups and non-
candidates who seek to influence an election but who cannot be held 
accountable by voters at the polls.

  In addition, any campaign finance reform proposal must come to grips 
with the U.S. Constitution and its guarantee of freedom of speech. 
Protection of political speech was at the heart of the founding of our 
nation. We have little leeway in passing laws that regulate the amount 
or content of political expression. The fact that Congress is charged 
in the Constitution with the responsibility to hold elections does not 
relieve it from the requirement that it do so in a manner that is 
consistent with free speech.
  I do not believe that it is possible for Congress to write a 
comprehensive campaign finance bill in this era without stimulating a 
Court challenge. With the passage of this bill, Congress has made a 
good faith attempt to improve disclosure and protections against 
corruption. However, even proponents should admit that this bill raises 
legitimate First Amendment questions that will have to be reviewed by 
the Supreme Court.
  This bill will not be the end of the campaign finance debate. I am 
hopeful, however, that our experience with McCain-Feingold will improve 
the conduct of future debate. Too often, despite good intentions by 
many participants, the debate on campaign finance reform has not always 
been constructive. Too often the debate has centered on simplistic 
absolutes and cynical implications that all money is corrupting.
  We know that virtually every reform proposal involves complex trade-
offs between preventing corruption and protecting Constitutionally-
guaranteed freedoms of political expression. Americans don't like to 
think in these terms because we want to believe that measures to 
prevent corruption and ensure freedom of speech are goals that should 
not be subject to compromise. We don't like the idea of having to make 
hard choices that might result in less freedom or more corruption.
  Those who support stricter campaign finance laws should admit that 
many such proposals raise legitimate Constitutional questions, 
negatively impact First Amendment freedoms of expression, and could 
produce unintended consequences for political participation. Those who 
have supported the status quo, must recognize that our current system 
is seriously flawed and that campaign contributions have been 
corrupting in some very important cases.
  Campaign finance is an issue that demands elevated debate on the 
nature of freedom of speech and fair elections--the most basic 
instruments of our democracy. Reasonable people should be able to 
differ on prescriptions without questioning each other's motivations or 
integrity. The U.S. Senate should strive to be a model of civility and 
reasoned deliberation on this issue.
  Mr. KERRY. Madam President, today we take an important first step 
toward reforming our campaign finance system. After an election in 
which $3 billion was spent in an effort to elect or defeat candidates, 
we are finally taking action to attempt to make our campaign finance 
laws meaningful. However, there are predictable consequences from this 
legislation that will not be positive and will require further 
attention to the issue of campaign finance reform.
  The money spent on the 2000 election should come as a surprise to no 
one. Soft money, an important target of this bill, has increased at a 
remarkable pace. Year after year, there has been a steady and dramatic 
increase in the amount of money raised and spent on elections. For 
example, in 1992, Democrats raised $30 million in soft money. In 1996, 
the Democrats more than tripled that amount and raised $107 million in 
soft money. In the 2000 Democrats raised $243 million in soft money.
  The Republican party has consistently proven itself to have even more 
fund-raising prowess than the Democrats, but the trends are exactly the 
same, with substantial increases year after year. In 1992, the 
Republican party raised $45 million in soft money. In 1996, they raised 
$120 million in soft money. And in 2000, the Republican party raised 
$244 million in soft money. The American people have become almost numb 
to these kinds of staggering figures, and they have come to expect 
fund-raising records to be broken with each election cycle. And, what 
is far worse for our Democracy is that the public also believes that 
this money buys access and influence that average citizens don't have.
  In addition to the overwhelming amounts of soft money that were 
raised and spent in 2000, hundreds of millions of dollars were also 
spent on so-called issue ads. Now, I'm not talking about television ads 
that truly discuss the issues of the day. I'm talking about ads that 
air just before an election that show candidates, surrounded by their 
families, American flags waving in the background, that tell of the 
candidates' service to the Nation, or heroic actions during a war. 
Anyone who sees an ad like this believes it is a campaign ad. But, 
because of a quirk in the law, even these most blatant of campaign ads 
are called issue ads. As such, the contributions that pay for them are 
unlimited and relatively undisclosed. Yet, in many cases, these ads 
shape the debate in a race, and they most certainly are intended to 
shape the outcome.
  Those ubiquitous television ads are purchased by all kinds of 
organized special interests to persuade the American people to vote for 
or against a candidate. These ads, usually negative, often inaccurate, 
are driving the political process today. Do they violate the spirit of 
the campaign finance laws in this country? They certainly do. But, 
don't take my word for it. Listen to the executive director of the 
National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action, who 
said, ``It is foolish to believe there is a difference between issue 
advocacy and advocacy of a political candidate. What separates issue 
advocacy and political advocacy is a line in the sand drawn on a windy 
  The bill that we are sending to the President takes a step toward 
reform. It is important to know that it is also firmly rooted in prior 
laws. Federal law has prohibited corporations from contributing to 
Federal candidates since 1907. Labor unions likewise have been barred 
from contributing to candidates since 1943. In addition, the post-
Watergate campaign finance law caps individual contributions at $25,000 
per calendar year, and permits individuals to give no more than $20,000 
to a national party, $5,000 to a political action committee, and $2,000 
to a candidate. These limits were put in place after the country 
learned a hard lessen about the corrupting influence of money in 
  Nowhere in these laws are there any provisions for soft money. That 
aberration came into play in 1978 when the Federal Election Commission 
gave the Kansas Republican State Committee permission to use corporate 
and union funds to pay for a voter drive benefitting Federal as well as 
State candidates. The costs of the drive were to be split between hard 
money raised under Federal law and soft money raised under Kansas law. 
The FEC's decision in the Kansas case gives parties the option to spend 
soft money any time a Federal election coincides with a State or local 
race. A creation not of Congress, but of a weak, politically motivated 
Federal agency, soft money is a loophole to our system that is long 
overdue for eradication.
  Despite what the foes of this bill claim, banning soft money 
contributions does not violate the Constitution. The Supreme Court in 
Buckley versus Valeo held that limits on individual campaign 
contributions do not violate the first amendment. If a limit of $1000 
on contributions by individuals was upheld as constitutional, then a 
ban on contributions of $10,000, $100,000 or $1 million is also going 
to be upheld. Buckley, too, said that the risk of corruption or the 
appearance of corruption warranted limits on individual campaign 
contributions. Soft money contributions to political parties can be 
limited for the same reason.
  Like soft money, issue advocacy has a history that defies the intent 
of campaign finance laws. In what remains

[[Page S2150]]

the seminal case on campaign finance, Buckley, the Supreme Court held 
that campaign finance limitations applied only to ``communications that 
in express terms advocate the election or defeat of a clearly 
identified candidate for Federal office.'' A footnote to the opinion 
says that the limits apply when communications include terms ``such as 
`vote for,' `elect,' `support,' `cast your ballot for,' `Smith for 
Congress,' `vote against,' `defeat,' `reject.' '' The phrases in the 
footnote have become known as the ``magic words'' without which a 
communication, no matter what its purpose or impact, is often 
classified as issue advocacy, thus falling outside the reach of the 
campaign finance laws.
  Until the 1992 election cycle, most for-profit, not-for-profit, and 
labor organizations did not attempt to get into electoral politics via 
issue advocacy. That year, one advocacy group pushed the envelope and 
aired what was, for all intents and purposes, a negative campaign ad 
attacking Bill Clinton. Because the ad never used Buckley's ``magic 
words,'' the Court of Appeals decided that the ad was a discussion of 
issues related rather than an exhortation to vote against Clinton in 
the upcoming Presidential election.
  That ad and others like it opened the flood gates to more so-called 
issue advocacy in 1996, when countless special interests started 
overwhelming the airwaves with millions of dollars in ads that looked 
like campaign ads, but, because they avoided those magic words, were 
deemed issue-ads.
  Opponents of this proposal will also argue that any effort to control 
or limit sham issue ads would violate the First Amendment. They argue 
that as long as you don't use the so-called ``magic words'' in Buckley, 
such as ``vote for'' or ``vote against,'' you can say just about 
anything you want in an advertisement. But that is simply not what the 
Supreme Court said in Buckley. It said that one way to identify 
campaign speech that can be regulated is by looking at whether it uses 
words of express advocacy. But the Court never said that Congress was 
precluded from adopting another test so long as it was clear, precise 
and narrow.
  A final argument opponents of reform like to make is that we spend 
less on campaigns than we do on potato chips or laundry detergent. But 
I would ask the proponents of this argument whether what we are seeking 
in our democracy is electioneering that has no more depth or substance 
than a snack food commercial. Despite the ever-increasing sums spent on 
campaigns, we have not seen an improvement in campaign discourse, issue 
discussion or voter education. More money does not mean more ideas, 
more substance or more depth. Instead, it means more of what voters 
complain about most. More 30-second spots, more negativity and an 
increasingly longer campaign period. Less money might actually improve 
the quality of discourse, requiring candidates to more cautiously spend 
their resources. It might encourage more debates, as was the case in my 
own race against Bill Weld in 1996, and it would certainly focus the 
candidates' voter education efforts during the period shortly before 
the election, when most voters are tuned in, instead of starting the 
campaign 18 months before election day.
  Shays/Meehan takes an important step that begins to tackle the 
problems of soft money and issue advocacy. I support this legislation 
that has been championed by two very able colleagues, but I would note 
one serious shortcoming of the bill. It won't curb the rampant spending 
that drives the quest for money. Unfortunately, we all recognize that 
creating spending limits is not a simple proposition. In the 1976 
Buckley case, the Supreme Court struck spending limits as an 
unconstitutional restriction of political speech. An important caveat 
to its decision is that spending limits could be imposed in exchange 
for a public benefit. I wish we had at our disposal a number of 
bargaining chips, public benefits that we could trade in exchange for 
spending limits. However, unless the Supreme Court reverses itself, 
something I am certainly not expecting in the near future, we must 
accept that if we want to limit the amounts spent on campaigns, we must 
provide candidates with some sort of public grant.
  I realize that a lot of my colleagues aren't ready to embrace public 
funding as a way to finance our campaigns. But it is, in my opinion, 
the best constitutional means to the important end of limiting campaign 
spending and the contributions that go with it. Ultimately, I would 
support a system that provides full public funding for political 
candidates. I will continue to support clean money as the ultimate way 
to truly and completely purge our system of the negative influence of 
corporate money. I would also support a partial public funding system 
as a way to wean candidates from their reliance on hard money and get 
them used to campaigning under generous spending limits. I offered an 
amendment to McCain/Fiengold that would have provided sweeping reform 
in the form of a partial public funding system, but I recognize that we 
are a long way away from enacting such a program. Nevertheless I will 
continue to support and work for that type of reform as a way to end 
the cycle of unlimited money being raised and spent on our elections.
  This bill is a way to break free from the status quo. However, as 
with any reform measure, there are always going to be possibilities for 
abuse. The fact that some people will try to skirt the law is not a 
reason for us to fail to take this incremental movement towards 
repairing the system. But, it does mean we must ensure that this the 
first, rather than the last, step for fundamental reform. I have 
supported campaign finance reform for 18 years and I believe that even 
legislation that takes only a small step forward is necessary to begin 
to restore the dwindling faith the average American has in our 
political system. We can't go on leaving our citizens with the 
impression that the only kind of influence left in American politics is 
the kind you wield with a checkbook. I believe this bill reduces the 
power of the checkbook and I will therefore support it.
  Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, today we are at the pivotal point where 
long-sought meaningful campaign finance reform is finally within reach. 
It's been a winding journey spanning seven years. I am pleased to have 
been part of the quest, and proud to have been an original cosponsor of 
the McCain-Feingold bills since my arrival in the Senate in January 
  It was a privilege to have been part of the two-week historic debate 
last March. As I remarked last year, the open and freewheeling debate 
on amendments in which we engaged was truly the United States Senate at 
its finest, and an experience I had hoped to enjoy when I sought this 
  This bill isn't a magic elixir. It won't cure all ills. No one has 
suggested it is a gleaming pot at the end of the rainbow.
  Personally, I am disappointed that it doesn't include what I think is 
an essential ingredient of true reform: ensuring non-preemptible lowest 
unit broadcast rates for candidates, which this body approved 
overwhelmingly by a vote of 69-31 on March 21, 2001, one year ago 
tomorrow. Until we deal with both sides of the equation, the supply and 
the demand, I do not believe we will have solved the whole problem of 
money in politics.
  But this bill does go a long way to change the system set up over 27 
years ago, a system which over time has been severely exploited and 
eroded so far beyond the intent of Congress that the levels of 
unregulated soft money are growing at a far faster rate than increases 
in hard, regulated dollar donations.
  I stand in support of this bill and urge my colleagues to join me in 
voting to send this bill to President Bush.
  I also salute and congratulate Senators Russ Feingold and John 
McCain, valiant partners in a tireless, seven-year roller-coaster ride 
loaded with some spills and turns, filled with a few detours and 
disappointments. These two leaders are true models of how bipartisan 
tenacity and determination can triumph over adversity. I trust that the 
history books will reflect how their persistence and stewardship on 
this issue truly made a positive difference and profound impact.
  To them, I say, thank you. The American people owe you a debt of 
  Mr. KENNEDY. Madam President, as the Senate concludes debate on 
campaign finance reform, I want to commend Senator Daschle for his 
leadership in bringing this important issue to a successful conclusion. 
I thank Senator McCain and Senator Feingold for

[[Page S2151]]

their commitment and hard work in crafting meaningful, bipartisan 
campaign finance reform legislation.
  The enormous amounts of special interest money that flood our 
political system have become a cancer in our democracy. The voices of 
average citizens can barely be heard. Year after year, lobbyists and 
large corporations contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to 
political campaigns and dominate the airwaves with radio and TV ads 
promoting the causes of big business.
  During the 2000 election cycle alone, according to Federal Election 
Commission records, businesses contributed a total of $1.2 billion to 
political campaigns. A Wall Street Journal article reported that $296 
million, almost two-thirds of all ``soft money'' contributions given in 
the last election, came from just over 800 people, each of whom gave an 
average of $120,000. With sums of money like this pouring into our 
political system, it's no surprise that the average American family 
earning $50,000 a year feels alienated from the system and questions 
who's fighting for their interests.
  The first step in cleaning up our system is to close the gaping 
loophole that allows special interests to bypass existing contribution 
limits and give huge sums of money directly to candidates and parties. 
These so-called ``soft-money'' contributions have become increasingly 
influential in elections. From 1984 to 2000, soft money contributions 
have sky-rocketed from $22 million to $463 million--an increase of over 
2000 percent. We cannot restore accountability to our political system, 
until we bring an end to soft money. McCain-Feingold does just that.
  Another vital component of meaningful reform is ending special 
interest gimmickry in campaign advertising. Today, corporations, 
wealthy individuals, and others can spend unlimited amounts of money 
running political ads as long as they do not ask people to vote for or 
against a candidate. These phony issue ads, which are often confusing 
and misleading, have become the weapon of choice in the escalating war 
of negative campaigning. The limits McCain-Feingold places on these ads 
will help clean up the system and make it more accountable to the 
American people.
  Although the reforms in the McCain-Feingold bill are not a magic 
bullet that will solve all our problems, they do represent important 
and long over due changes to the system. Passage of campaign finance 
reform legislation is also a signal to the American people that their 
elected representatives can and will put the interests of the people 
above those of wealthy special interests.
  Mr. MURKOWSKI. Madam President, I rise to elaborate on my vote on 
H.R. 2356, the latest effort at campaign finance ``reform.'' I voted 
against the McCain-Feingold bill earlier this Congress, and I see 
little improvement in the bill we are currently debating. For this 
reason, I will vote against the latest attempt at campaign finance 
  I oppose this legislation on two grounds. First, the bill creates new 
loopholes for groups to exploit, and fails to create a level playing 
field in the political process. Second, the bill continues to impose 
unconstitutional restrictions upon every American's right to free 
speech and association. After 7 years of debate over this legislation, 
we are still left with a fundamentally flawed bill that attempts to 
strip away long-held protections cherished by Americans and restrict 
access to the marketplace of ideas.
  I am particularly dismayed that the proponents of this legislation 
have decided to create loopholes and exceptions for 501(c)(4) 
organizations. Some would suggest that the bill bans ``issue ads'' from 
corporate and nonprofit interest groups 30 days before a primary, and 
60 days before a general election. Yet, the crafters of the language 
have allowed non-profit advocacy groups, 501(c)(4) organizations, a 
free shot at candidates and limited restrictions on their poisonous 
``issue ads.'' As long as their advertisement is not targeted, by name, 
at a political candidate, they face no restriction 60 days, or even 1 
day, before an election.
  These independent groups will be allowed to accept special interest 
contributions, and then fill the airwaves with issue ads--often 
distorting facts in their attempt to attack a candidate's record. While 
these ads will not name a specific candidate, so as to not be deemed 
``targeted'' communications, they will continue to influence elections 
in the favor of special interest groups.
  Also, I continue to object to the proponents' efforts to extinguish 
constitutionally protected free speech rights. The last time Congress 
passed through a ``reform'' bill, in 1974, the Supreme Court 
eviscerated a majority of the provisions. They explicitly rejected as 
unconstitutional efforts to have the Government regulate ``issue 
advocacy,'' limit independent expenditures, and mandate limits on 
campaign spending.
  The Buckley Court wrote that:

       in a republic where the people [not their legislators] are 
     sovereign, the ability of the citizenry to make informed 
     choices among candidates for office is essential, for those 
     elected will inevitably shape the course that we follow as a 

  Participating in government--getting your voice heard, so to speak--
is one of the most valuable and treasured rights that each citizen 
enjoys. This is particularly true when an individual or group wants to 
express their views during the election of those who govern.
  Citizens, candidates, groups, and national parties all should have a 
voice in elections and government. It is at that moment, the moment 
when there is a true marketplace of ideas, that democracy lives up to 
its meaning. Any attempt to stifle comments, criticism, or expression 
is an attempt to limit speech. Political speech is speech, plain and 
  Efforts to regulate political speech are the real reason we're here 
in the first place. Today's abuses are the natural consequence of past 
attempts to suppress free speech. Current campaign finance laws are 
complex and antiquated.
  We need to be enforcing the laws that are currently on the books. We 
need to make sure that every political contribution is accounted for, 
and that disclosures are immediately posted for public scrutiny. 
Clearly the American public has a right to know who is paying for ads, 
and who is attempting to influence elections. Sunshine is what the 
political system needs--not restrictions on basic rights.
  The debate over campaign finance ``reform'' is not over, and I look 
forward to swift review of this measure by the Federal judiciary. I am 
confident that the courts, again, will protect the rights of citizens 
and preserve the openness of our political system.
  Mr. NELSON of Nebraska. Madam President, I rise today to talk about 
campaign finance reform.
  As a veteran of four statewide campaigns, I believe, as many of my 
colleagues do, that the current campaign finance laws are--in a word--
defective. Our country was founded on the principles of freedom and 
justice. As I see it, the present system for financing federal 
campaigns undermines those very principles.
  I believe that in its current form, the campaign finance system tends 
to benefit politicians who are already in office---some folks call it 
incumbent insurance. I prefer to call it a problem.
  Thus, I whole-heartedly believe that the time has come for meaningful 
campaign finance reform. Before us today, we have a bill that purports 
to fix the system. Unfortunately, I do not believe the Shays-Meehan 
bill does the job. In fact, in some respects, I think this bill will 
make the current system worse.
  In the effort to find a culprit for the faults in the present 
campaign finance system, soft money has become a scapegoat. While I 
agree that unlimited soft money contributions raise important 
questions, banning soft money to the parties would be unproductive and, 
ultimately, ineffective. Chances are, if we succeed at blocking the 
flow of soft money from one direction, it will eventually be funneled 
into campaigns from another.
  Furthermore, some soft money contributions are used for get-out-the-
vote efforts--for the promotion of voter registration and party 
building--valuable efforts that encourage voter participation. Though 
some changes were made to ease the inevitable burden on GOTV and voter 
registration efforts, as a practical matter, the effects will still be 
devastating to the political parties and their activities.
  A more realistic approach in lieu of banning soft money would be to 

[[Page S2152]]

the contributions at $60,000, as prescribed by the Hagel-Nelson bill 
that we debated and voted upon last year. I would have offered that 
proposal as an amendment again this year, but I can count the votes as 
easily as everyone else. It failed last year, 60-40. The votes simply 
aren't there. I dislike this bill, but I don't want to hold up the 
  For that reason, I do support cloture on this bill. Although I 
believe it is fundamentally flawed, the bill before us should be 
allowed to stand or fall on its own merits--on a final vote that 
decides the direction this issue will take once and for all. We've been 
at a stalemate on this issue for too long and it is time to move on.
  As an individual who has spent a lot of time on the campaign trail, I 
have put a great deal of thought into what I believe is the right 
direction for campaign finance reform. My campaign experience with one 
group in particular has bolstered my support for efforts to limit so-
called ``issue ads.'' This organization, funded by secret, undisclosed 
contributors, ran issue ads throughout my campaign distorting my 
position on one issue, which was unrelated and irrelevant to their 
purported purpose. This group was accountable to no one and did not 
have to disclose its true agenda. Because it operated in virtual 
secrecy, it was impossible to hold them accountable for distorting the 
  It only follows that I am pleased with the Snowe-Jeffords provision 
in the bill before us, which addresses some of the problems created by 
so-called issue ads funded by special interest groups and corporations. 
This provision will hold these groups more accountable for their ads by 
imposing strict broadcasting regulations and increasing disclosure 
requirements, effectively putting light where the sun doesn't shine in 
issue advocacy.
  Unfortunately, as many of my colleagues have pointed out, this 
provision is arguably the most susceptible to being struck down as 
unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. If the Shays-Meehan bill had a 
non-severable clause that would protect it from selective dissection by 
the Supreme Court--which we unsuccessfully tried to include in the 
McCain-Feingold bill last year--I would be much more inclined to 
support this bill.
  It now seems likely that parts of this bill will be struck down in 
court, creating, in effect an off-balance piece of legislation that 
will penalize some groups--the political parties--while giving ``issue 
advocacy'' groups more influence. This will alter the very basis of our 
political system and give disproportionate power to the least 
accountable groups around.
  I cannot support any legislation that will not only not fix our 
current problems but will create new ones by putting candidates of all 
parties at the mercy of these shadow groups, while at the same time 
taking away much of their ability to respond.
  Accordingly, I simply cannot vote for this bill.
  Mr. CORZINE. Madam President, today the Senate approved historic 
legislation that will change the way we manage our democracy in the new 
century. The changes called for in the McCain-Feingold/Shays-Meehan 
legislation are long overdue and vitally important to restoring the 
integrity of our electoral process.
  For the past several years, the amount of unregulated soft money in 
our campaign system has reached staggering proportions. Soft money has 
had the insidious effect of holding too many political candidates 
accountable to large individual donors rather than the people they are 
elected to represent. In the 1999-2000 campaign season, $495.1 million 
poured into the coffers of both the Democrats and the Republicans. This 
was a truly bipartisan problem, and now we have a truly bipartisan 
solution. Soft money was a scourge on our political process that we are 
much better off without.
  Before I go further, let me express my gratitude to two brave 
Senators: Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and John McCain of Arizona. We all 
know that it was through their tireless work and their laser-like focus 
that this piece of legislation has become law. By the time I arrived in 
the Senate a little over a year ago, the groundwork had already been 
laid. The traps had already been run. Year after year, the two Senators 
who lent their names to McCain-Feingold came to the Senate floor to 
deliver stirring oratory on the importance of this legislation. But no 
bill was passed. They visited with their colleagues in closed-door 
meetings. But many Senators remained unconvinced. Now--finally--these 
two stalwarts can move on to other issues. McCain-Feingold has passed, 
and for that, they have my deepest gratitude and admiration.
  As happy as I am about the passage of this legislation, I would be 
remiss if I did not voice my regret at the failure of the final 
legislation to include a provision to address the skyrocketing cost of 
campaign advertisements. In recent years, television networks have 
reaped tremendous profits by exploiting the importance of broadcast 
advertising in the final weeks of a modern campaign. The price of 
airtime has become prohibitive to cash-strapped campaigns. And the 
simple fact of the matter is that media costs drive campaign costs. Any 
solution to the campaign finance problem is fundamentally incomplete if 
it fails to address what drives the demand for campaign money: 
expensive media.
  During Senate consideration of McCain-Feingold, I was proud to 
cosponsor an amendment introduced by the senior senator from New 
Jersey, Mr. Torricelli. That amendment would have required television 
networks to offer candidates for federal office commercial time that 
cannot be preempted at the lowest price offered to any advertiser. It 
is only appropriate that, in exchange for the lucrative stewardship of 
the public airwaves, broadcasters provide candidates access to the 
airwaves at a discounted rate. It is unfortunate that because Shays-
Meehan does not include the Torricelli provision, the lowest unit 
charge amendment will not become law at this time.
  But, this should not and will not be the last time campaign finance 
reform is debated on the Senate floor. We have many more important 
campaign finance issues to explore, from improving the access of 
candidates to broadcast media to introducing aspects of public 
financing into the system. I look forward to continuing to work to 
improve the system.
  Having said that this legislation is an important step in the right 
direction. I was proud to support it. And I again congratulate my 
colleagues, Senators Feingold and McCain, for their outstanding 
  Mr. SARBANES. Madam President, last spring, after years of debate and 
delay, a majority of the Senate agreed with the American public that 
our system of campaign financing needs repair and passed a significant 
campaign finance reform bill. Last month, the House of Representative 
passed similar campaign finance reform legislation. Now the Senate has 
taken up this House bill, and today this body will pass a comprehensive 
campaign finance reform bill. This legislation is long overdue.
  With every passing election cycle, money plays a greater and greater 
role, and we run the risk of weakening the public's trust in our 
democratic system of government. In short, our constituents are losing 
faith in our ability to serve their interests over the interests of 
those who contribute to our campaigns. People are growing cynical about 
public life. They are staying away from the polling place in 
increasingly large numbers, in large part due to the perception that 
money, rather than the popular will, drives electoral outcomes. Under 
these circumstances, meaningful campaign finance reform becomes 
necessary to protect our system of government and our way of life.
  While no legislation can completely solve the problems in our 
campaign system, this campaign finance reform bill makes real progress 
in the fight against corruption. I wish to express my dismay that this 
issue requires a cloture vote. The Senate debated this legislation for 
two weeks last year, and voted 59-41 to pass it. Yet, some Republican 
Senators still seem bent on derailing this bill, a bill that is clearly 
the will of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and most 
importantly, the American people. After the cloture vote, the Senate 
will be able to do what it should have done long ago, pass meaningful 
campaign finance reform legislation.
  Mr. DOMENICI. Madam President, I rise today to speak about campaign 
finance reform. I want to express my

[[Page S2153]]

concerns about this legislation and explain why I decided to vote for 
it in spite of those concerns.
  I believe there are problems with the way we finance campaigns in 
this country. Many Americans feel there is too much money in politics. 
They believe this money is a corrupting influence on the politicians 
they send to represent them in Washington, D.C. Reports of politicians 
taking money from foreign sources, while already illegal, has served to 
strengthen the perception that money rules the political process.
  The large number of extremely wealthy candidates who spend large 
amounts of their own money to finance their campaigns reinforces this 
perception. Many people believe that candidates are attempting to buy 
their way into office. For that reason, I am very pleased that the 
version we will be voting on contains my wealthy-candidate provision. 
By enacting this common sense provision, the playing field will be 
leveled for candidates who are not able to spend unlimited amounts of 
their own money. Instead, this legislation will raise the limits on 
contributions to their campaigns in proportion to the amount of 
personal money that the wealthy candidate spends.
  Reports of large donations by corporations and unions lead many to 
believe that access to politicians is for sale only to the highest 
bidders. Many will argue that a few corrupt politicians are the problem 
rather than the system. I believe this is true, but for many 
disenchanted voters, perception is reality. Because people are 
disgusted with the system, many choose not to participate. Our system 
is lesser for that lack of participation.
  It is for these reasons that I have decided to vote for Campaign 
Finance Reform.
  When I voted for McCain-Feingold in the Spring of last year, I did so 
with reservations. I also expressed my hope that the House would 
improve on it and, if it came back to the Senate, we would have an 
opportunity to clear up any remaining problems.
  While this legislation did pass the House, and the House did improve 
it in some ways, the House did not address all of my concerns. In the 
original Senate-passed version, we added the Levin amendment so State 
parties could compete with other outside groups. Unfortunately, the 
House weakened this provision, and now the State parties will be at a 
significant disadvantage when it comes to promoting candidates and 
issues. I think it is only fair that these two groups should be able to 
compete on a level playing field.
  An additional concern I have with this legislation is the 
``Coordination'' provision. As this legislation currently defines it, 
there will be a great deal of uncertainty about what is considered 
``coordination'' between a candidate and parties or outside groups. I 
believe we should keep the current rule which requires agreement or 
formal collaboration to establish ``coordination.''
  Perhaps my greatest concern is about the constitutionality of the 
provision that prohibits ``electioneering communication'' within the 
last 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary. There is 
very little doubt that the constitutionality of this and other 
provisions will be challenged shortly after this legislation is signed 
into law. Fortunately, the expedited review clause requires anyone who 
challenges the constitutionality of this legislation file suit in the 
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. A three-judge panel 
will decide the case and any appeal will be directly to the U.S. 
Supreme Court. This expedited review process will ensure that all 
questions about the constitutionality of this legislation will be 
resolved swiftly so that any unconstitutional provisions are quickly 
  Normally, the Senate would have the opportunity to make the small 
changes that most agree would make this legislation much more 
effective. I am disappointed that the most adamant Senate proponents of 
this legislation bunkered down to prevent any improvements. I 
understand that they are concerned about the success of this 
legislation should it go to back to the House or to conference. 
Unfortunately, this concern will probably prevent us from doing as good 
a job as we should have. This leaves us with two disappointing choices: 
send an imperfect bill to the President or do nothing at all. I will 
vote for this legislation because I believe in this instance we must at 
least take a step forward.
  Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Madam President, the Senate is poised to pass H.R. 
2356, the bipartisan campaign finance reform bill. The momentum for the 
bill is building. The President has indicated that he is inclined to 
sign this bill. We could be on the brink of enacting the first 
significant campaign reforms in a generation.
  I would like to make a couple of observations: First, I want to 
salute the sponsors of S. 27, the Senate companion measure, Senators 
McCain and Feingold. We are considering this bill only because of the 
sheer force of their collective will. They have suffered innumerable 
set-backs pushing for this legislation over the past several years. But 
they never got discouraged; they never let up. Their dedication to this 
cause has been extraordinary.
  Second, numerous public opinion polls have indicated that the 
American people overwhelmingly support campaign reform, but do not rank 
the issue as a priority. I think that's because they have grown 
discouraged about the likelihood of Congress passing such reform. 
Maybe, just maybe, we will show the American people that we are capable 
of beating the odds, of coming together and doing something difficult.
  House Resolution 2356, the ``Shays-Meehan'' bill, is sufficiently 
similar to S. 27 that Senators who support campaign finance reform 
ought to have no hesitation voting for final passage.
  Most importantly, both bills get so-called ``soft money'' out of 
Federal elections. The bill we are about to pass prohibits all soft 
money contributions from corporations, labor unions, and individuals to 
the national political parties or candidates for Federal office.
  Furthermore, State political parties that are permitted under State 
law to collect these unregulated contributions would be prohibited from 
spending them on any activities relating to a Federal election.
  The soft money ban is the most significant, and necessary, campaign 
finance reform we can make. Soft money threatens to overwhelm our 
system and the public's confidence in its integrity.
  In 1988, Michael Dukakis, the Democratic candidate for President, and 
Vice President Bush, the Republican candidate, raised a total of $45 
million in unregulated soft money donations.
  Just 8 years later, President Clinton raised $124 million and the 
Republican candidate for President, former Senator Dole, raised $138 
  In the 1999-2000 election cycle, Democrats raised $245 million, and 
Republicans raised just under $250 million.
  One of the very biggest soft money donors during the 1999-2000 cycle 
was Enron.
  In its 1976 ruling in Buckley versus Valeo, the Supreme Court upheld 
limits on so-called ``hard money'' campaign contributions. The Court 
argued that such contributions, unregulated, could lead to corruption 
through quid pro quo relationships, or at least the appearance of 
corruption, which is also harmful to a democracy.
  Well, if we are worried about corruption, or the appearance of 
corruption, with regard to hard money contributions, which are limited 
and disclosed, we ought to be doubly worried about soft money 
contributions, which can be unlimited, and are largely undisclosed.

  Fortunately, we are about to put an end to soft money contributions.
  The soft money ban will work because we came to a reasonable 
compromise with regard to raising some of the existing hard money 
contribution limits by modest amounts, and indexing those limits for 
  I am proud that I helped to negotiate that compromise, along with the 
senior Senator from Tennessee and several other Members from both sides 
of the aisle.
  The Senate voted 84-16 to approve the compromise we worked out.
  Our compromise: doubles the limit on hard money contributions to 
individual candidates from $1,000 per election to $2,000 per election; 
increases the annual limit on hard money contributions to the national 
party committees by $5,000, to $25,000; increases the annual aggregate 
limit on all hard money contributions by $12,500, to $37,500; doubles 
the amount that the national party committees can contribute to 
candidates, from $17,500 to $35,000; and indexes these new limits for 

[[Page S2154]]

  So under the Thompson-Feinstein amendment to S. 27, the individual 
aggregate contribution limit, the amount that can be given to PACs, 
parties, and candidates combined, is increased from the current $25,000 
per year to $37,500 per year.
  That is a $75,000 per cycle limit, but only $37,500 of that can be 
given to candidates because all contributions to candidates are charged 
against the aggregate in the year of the election.
  The House bill creates a $95,000 per cycle aggregate limit. Of that, 
$37,500 can be given to candidates and $57,500 can be given to parties 
and PACs. But to actually max out, an individual must contribute 
$20,000 of the aggregate to national party committees.
  This all sounds very complicated, but the net change is that the 
House bill adds an additional $20,000 per cycle to the aggregate limit, 
but that increase is reserved for contributions national parties. That 
is a reasonable change.
  The hard money increases will reinvigorate individual giving. They 
will reduce the incessant need for fund-raising. They will give 
candidates and parties the resources they need to respond to 
independent campaigns. They will reduce the relative influence of PACs.
  The Thompson-Feinstein amendment, by increasing the limit on 
individual and national party committee contributions to Federal 
candidates, will reduce the need for raising campaign funds from 
political action committees, PACs.
  Our amendment, therefore, will reduce the relative influence of PACs, 
making it easier to replace PAC monies with funds raised from 
individual donors.
  The concern about PACs seems unimportant now, compared with the 
problems that soft money, independent expenditures, and issue advocacy 
present. But we shouldn't dismiss the fact that PACs retain 
considerable influence in our system.
  I know that some campaign reform advocates are uncomfortable raising 
any hard money contribution limits by any amount.
  I would argue that modest increases are imperative for the simple 
reason that the current limits were established under the Federal 
Election Campaign Act, FECA, Amendments of 1974, Public Law 93-443, and 
haven't been changed since. That was 27 years ago!
  I have spoken previously about how the costs of campaigning have 
risen much faster than ordinary inflation over the past 27 years these 
limits have been frozen.
  The advantage of modestly lifting some of the limits is that doing so 
will reduce the time candidates have to spend fund-raising, time better 
spent with, prospective, constituents.
  During the 2000 election, my campaign had over 100 fund-raisers. That 
took time. Time to call. Time to attend. Time to say thanks. And that 
was time I couldn't spend doing what my constituents want me to do.
  The task of raising hard money in small contributions unadjusted for 
inflation is just too daunting, for incumbents and challengers alike.
  Particularly in the larger States such as California, where extensive 
television and radio advertising is imperative, it is not uncommon for 
Senators to begin fund-raising for the next election right after the 
present one ends and they often find themselves ``dialing for dollars'' 
instead of attending to other duties.
  Let's be honest with each other and the American people: campaigning 
for office will continue to get more and more expensive because 
television spots are getting more and more expensive.
  Regrettably, one action the House took during its consideration of 
H.R. 2356 was to strip the provision Senator Torricelli successfully 
offered to S. 27 that entitled candidates and political parties to 
receive the ``lowest unit rate'' for non-preemptible broadcast 
advertisements within 45 days of a primary election or 60 days of a 
general election.
  Under the House bill broadcast television, radio, cable, and 
satellite providers will be able to continue charging candidates and 
national committees of political parties higher advertising rates.
  I am disappointed the House took this action but will support the 
bill nonetheless. A half of a loaf of bread is better than no bread.
  Independent campaigns conducted by groups that are accountable to no 
one threaten to drown out any attempt by candidates or the parties to 
communicate with voters.
  Spending on issue advocacy by these groups, according to the 
Congressional Research Service, rose from $135 million in 1996 to as 
much as $340 million in 1998. Then it rose again, to $509 million in 
2000. Most of this money is used for attack ads that the American 
people have come to loathe.
  It is likely that spending on so-called issue advocacy, most of which 
is thinly disguised electioneering, probably will surpass hard money 
spending, and very soon. It has already surpassed soft money spending.
  Clearly, the playing field is being skewed. More and more people are 
turning to the undisclosed, unregulated independent campaign.
  The attacks come and no one knows who is actually paying for them. I 
believe this is unethical. I believe it is unjust. I believe it is 
unreasonable and it must end.
  Fortunately, the House kept intact the ``Snowe-Jeffords'' provisions 
regarding these sham issue ads.
  The House bill defines ``electioneering communications'' as any 
broadcast, cable, or satellite communications which refer to a clearly 
identified candidate for Federal office and are made within 60 days of 
a general election or 30 days of a primary.
  Anyone making electioneering communications costing $10,000 a year or 
more must disclose to the Federal Election Commission, FEC, the sponsor 
of the communication within 24 hours, and the names of those who 
contribute $1,000 or more to the sponsor within that election cycle.
  The bill prohibits union or corporate treasury funds from being used 
for electioneering communications.
  The bill we are about to pass will staunch the millions of 
unregulated soft dollars that currently flow into the coffers of our 
political parties, and replace a modest portion of that money with 
contributions that are fully regulated and disclosed under the existing 
provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act.
  People aren't concerned about individual contributions of $1,000, and 
I don't think they will be concerned about donations of $2,000.
  No, what concerns people the most about the current system are the 
checks for $250,000, or $500,000, or even $1 million flowing into 
political parties.
  These gigantic contributions are what warp our politics and cause 
people to lose faith in our Government and they must be halted. They 
give the appearance of corruption.
  I represent California, which has more people, 34 million, than 21 
other States combined. I just finished my 12th political campaign. For 
the 4th time in 10 years, I ran statewide. Running for office in 
California is expensive: I have had to raise more than $55 million in 
those four campaigns.
  I can tell you from my experiences over the years that I am committed 
to campaign reform, and I am heartened that we are about to pass H.R. 
  Is it a perfect bill? No. Will it be subject to challenges in court? 
Undoubtedly. But I think it is a strong bill and I'm optimistic that it 
will withstand the courts' scrutiny. And as I said earlier, it is our 
best chance at reform in a generation.
  Campaign reform goes to the heart of our democracy. The way we 
currently finance and conduct our campaigns is a cancer metastasizing 
throughout the body politic.
  It discourages people from running for office and it disgusts voters. 
So they simply tune out, in larger and larger numbers.
  Discouragement, disgust, frustration, apathy, these feelings don't 
bolster our democracy, they weaken it.
  We have an opportunity here, a rare opportunity, to do the right 
thing and pass H.R. 2356.
  Mr. DODD. Madam President, today is, in fact, an historic day. As the 
Senate prepares to go to final passage on the McCain-Feingold/Shays-
Meehan legislation on campaign finance reform, we are taking necessary 
action that the American people have been seeking for years.
  Today's Senate action will accomplish a fundamental rewrite of our 
Nations Federal campaign finance laws. The Senate will approve 
legislation addressing what the American people believe is the single 
most egregious abuse

[[Page S2155]]

of our campaign financing system, the raising and spending of unlimited 
and unregulated ``soft money'' in our Federal elections.
  The exploding use of soft money that permeates our campaign system is 
having a corrupting influence suggesting that large contributions by 
donors to officeholders, candidates, and political parties provide 
those donors with preferred access and influence over public policy.
  The average voter of average means who cannot contribute thousands of 
dollars to campaigns has neither the access nor influence in 
Washington. Even the mere appearance of corruption erodes public 
confidence in the integrity of our electoral process and the 
independence of our democracy.
  The use of ``soft money'' is not the only problem. This legislation 
is not the only answer. But it is the answer around which a majority of 
members could coalesce.
  If the Shays-Meehan legislation does nothing else but eviscerate the 
soft money loophole, it would still be effective and real reform.
  But my colleagues in both Chambers have accomplished much more with 
this legislation. I enumerate the provisions that are most important in 
this Senator's opinion: First and foremost, the bill essentially bans 
the raising, spending and transferring of unregulated and unlimited 
``soft money'' by national parties in Federal elections.
  The bill prohibits the use of soft money to purchase any broadcast 
advertisement that mentions a Federal candidate within 30 days of a 
primary and 60 days of a general election.
  The bill prohibits the use of treasury funds of corporations, labor 
unions, and nonprofit interest organizations to purchase broadcast, 
cable or satellite television advertisements that mention a Federal 
candidate, target the ad to the candidate's voting population and air 
within 30 days of a primary or 60 days of a general election.
  The bill allows an exception for the use of soft money by State and 
local parties to conduct get out the vote and voter registration 
activities that do not mention a Federal candidate so long as no single 
donor contributes more than $10,000 per year.
  The bill deems as a contribution any communication that is 
coordinated with candidates or political parties. The bill also 
requires the Federal Election Commission to promulgate new rules on 
  The bill enhances full disclosure of the money flow. It requires 
disclosure to the Federal Election Commission within 24 hours by any 
one who makes an independent expenditure that is more than $10,000 for 
broadcast, cable or satellite ads within 20 days of a general election.
  The bill increases certain contribution limits. It doubles the 
individual contribution limits, from $1,000 to $2,000 per election, to 
Presidential, Senate, and House candidates and indexes the limit to 
  The individual limit is increased from $20,000 to $25,000 to national 
committees of a political party; and
  The aggregate individual contribution limit to parties, PACs, and 
candidates per year is increased from $25,000 per year to $95,000 per 
election cycle, including not more than $37,000 to candidates and 
$20,000 for the national party committees.
  The bill triples hard-money limits for House candidates facing 
wealthy, self-financed candidates spending $350,000 of their own money 
on a campaign. Senate candidates would qualify for up to six times the 
individual limit depending on the amount spent by their wealthy 
opponents and the population of their State.

  Finally, the effective date is this November 6, 2002, one day after 
the congressional general elections. In addition, the effective date is 
January 1, 2003 for any changes to the contribution limits. This means 
that the 2002 Federal elections will be unaffected by this new law.
  As I noted previously, while I may disagree with certain aspects of a 
few provisions, I fully support this legislation as the best effort 
that Congress can make to enact real campaign finance reform.
  There are two provisions, in particular, that continue to cause me 
some concern.
  First is the so-called ``millionaire's provision'' which purports to 
level the playing field for candidates who face wealthy challengers. 
Arguably a laudable goal, the provision ignores the fact that many 
incumbent who face wealthy challengers have healthy campaign 
treasuries, sometimes amounting to several million dollars. In such 
cases, this provision serves mainly as an incumbent protection 
provision. There continues to be no recognition of the considerable war 
chests that some incumbents have ready for use in Federal elections. 
This kind of provision works against the public policy goals of 
campaign finance reform.
  Second, although I reluctantly supported the Senate amendment to 
increase the individual hard money contribution limits, I did so only 
in the context of achieving broader reform.
  Quite simply, at that time, the increase in the hard money limits was 
the price to be paid to gain sufficient support from our Republican 
colleagues for banning soft money and placing proper restrictions on 
so-called sham issue ads.
  Of particular concern to me is the indexing of these contribution 
increases to inflation. That only ensures the continuing upward spiral 
of more money into our campaign finance system.
  Notwithstanding these two concerns, I am convinced that this 
legislation is narrowly tailored to strike the appropriate, and a 
constitutionally sound, balance between the two competing values 
scrutinized by the Supreme Court in Buckley v. Valeo, protecting free 
speech and limiting the ``actuality and the appearance of corruption.''
  It has been decades since Congress took similar comprehensive action 
with the enactment of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971. The 
one thing we cannot afford to do is wait any longer, now is the time to 
enact the McCain-Feingold/Shays-Meehan legislation. The American people 
have waited long enough.
  I am privileged and honored to be part of the majority in support of 
campaign finance in general and this legislation in particular. In 
fact, there has never been a perfect campaign financing system because 
adjustments will always have to be made as legal and factual ingenuity 
outpaces the laws.
  It is an issue I have supported over the years since arriving in the 
Congress, including my time in both the House as well as the Senate.
  I stand ready to do what I can to make reform a reality in the 107th 
  This final debate may find its place in history, along with the 
Senate debate during the weeks of March 19, 2001-April 2, 2001, as one 
of the greatest Senate debates in the last decade, both in terms of 
substance and impact on our system of democracy.
  I have been privileged and honored to serve as floor manager of this 
measure, along with the Senator from Kentucky, Senator Mitch McConnell. 
As my colleague from Kentucky has alluded to, the stakes in this 
legislation are considerable for many interested parties.
  I thank all of my colleagues for their patience and cooperation 
throughout this winding-down process and compliment them all for a 
difficult job well done in enacting comprehensive campaign finance 
  First, I must acknowledge that the Senate would not be here today in 
this historic posture if not for the determined leadership of Tom 
Daschle. No individual Member has been more consistent in support of 
campaign finance reform than our leader. And, no Member has worked 
harder behind the scenes to hold the Democratic caucus together in 
support of this issue.

  Majority Leader Daschle took several procedural actions to formally 
ensure timely final passage of this measure before recess. The talk of 
overnights and virtually ``around the clock'' sessions to accommodate a 
filibuster, if necessary, were not a threat but a reality. Campaign 
finance is serious business. It is a major priority on the majority 
leader's agenda.
  It is only with his leadership that the Senate's work was completed 
by not only guaranteeing a timely vote on the legislation but also 
guaranteeing an opportunity for all Members to represent their views on 
the matter. I further compliment the majority leader for his 
willingness to provide the opportunity for a free debate even in the 
rush of final passage. This issue is of paramount importance to the 
continued health of this democracy.
  The majority leader's handling of this winding-down process of 

[[Page S2156]]

finance debate exemplified the Senate at its best. The freeflow of 
ideas, the unrestricted opportunity to offer and debate amendments, and 
the ability of all Members to be heard are the hallmarks of this 
Senate, the world's greatest deliberative body.
  At the same time, I must also acknowledge the powerful influence of 
my colleague, the ranking member of the Rules Committee, for his 
devotion to the principles of free speech and association. His 
unyielding belief that most, if not all, proposed campaign finance 
reforms are not only unwise, but unconstitutional.
  I think all my colleagues would agree that Senator McConnell is a 
formidable advocate for his position. While we hear from the good 
Senator today, we are sure to hear from him in the future, even if in a 
different capacity.
  I congratulate my esteemed colleagues and good friends and the 
foremost leaders in campaign finance reform. Since 1995, the Senate 
leaders of campaign finance reform are Senator John McCain of Arizona 
and Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. In the house, the leaders are 
Congressman Christopher Shays of Connecticut and Congressman Martin 
Meehan of Massachusetts.
  I acknowledge them for their vision in recognizing the powerfully 
negative influence of the money chase in our financing system. Their 
dogged persistence and patience in striving to craft a consensus on 
reform legislation that addresses the worst aspects of the current 
system is now paying off.
  I must express my great respect to my colleagues in the Democratic 
caucus, under the very able leadership of Majority Leader Daschle, 
along with a small group of courageous Senators across the aisle, who 
have put aside their own short-term political interests and voted time 
and again in favor of comprehensive, commonsense, and badly needed 
campaign finance reform.
  I also thank the numerous staff who have assisted in facilitating 
consideration of this measure, not the least of which are our 
Democratic floor staff, including Marty Paone, Lula Davis, and Gary 
Myrick, along with the outstanding democratic cloakroom staff.
  I also want to extend my special appreciation to Jennifer Duck and 
Michelle Ballantyne of Senator Daschle's staff, along with Mark 
Childress and Mark Patterson, who were invaluable in offering much 
needed expertise and guidance on bringing this legislation to final 
  Of equal assistance with both the substance and the procedures for 
this legislation were the staff of Senators Feingold and McCain, 
including Bob Schiff, Ann Choiniere and Jeanne Bumpus.
  I also want to acknowledge the contributions of Senator McConnell's 
staff, including Hunter Davis of his personal staff, and Tam 
Somerville, Brian Lewis, and Leon Sequeira of the Rules Committee 
minority staff.
  Finally, I want to thank Shawn Maher and Sheryl Cohen of my personal 
office staff, and Kennie Gill, the Democratic staff director and chief 
counsel of the rules committee as well as Veronica Gillespie, my 
elections counsel on the rules committee staff.
  This has been one of the most remarkable legislative experiences I 
have had the pleasure of working on during my time in the Senate. For 
all these reasons, I am privileged and honored to be associated with 
this legislation. But I must emphasize, the primary winners are all 
American citizens.
  Mr. BENNETT. Madam President, like the Senator from Kentucky, I have 
done everything I could throughout my time in the Senate to see that 
this bill does not become law. As the Senator from Kentucky, I can 
count and have thrown in the towel and become somewhat philosophical 
about it.
  I read in the newspapers about lawyers who are meeting down on K 
street even as we speak drawing up their alternative plan on the 
assumption that the President will sign this measure. It becomes very 
clear that the amount of money in politics will not diminish as a 
result of this bill. It will simply stop flowing to political parties, 
where it is regulated and reported, and start flowing into dark corners 
where we will have no idea how it is gathered. We will have no idea who 
is behind it, and we will see it pop up in campaigns in ways that 
political parties would never use.
  That, I believe, is a genuine and proper aspect of the future that we 
  It makes no difference to me personally because this is an incumbent 
protection bill. It virtually guarantees that parties will be 
handicapped in their effort to recruit challengers since the parties 
can no longer promise the challengers the kind of support they have 
been giving in the past. Challengers will be thrown into the never-
never land of depending upon unknown special interest groups to come in 
without coordination and hopefully help the challenger. But as we have 
seen in my own State of Utah, many times the ads run by these special 
interest groups actually damage the people they are supposed to help.
  When the money was spent by parties, the challenger could call the 
party and say: Knock it off. But when it is spent by a special interest 
group, the challenger loses control of his campaign and is at the mercy 
of unknown forces and unreported money.
  That, I believe, is the future. But that is not why I have been so 
vigorous in opposing this bill. It is not why the Senator from Kentucky 
has been so vigorous in opposing this bill.

  We both took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the 
United States when we came to this body. I believe that oath is the 
most serious statement I have ever made in this Chamber.
  The Senator from Kentucky has led this fight fearlessly and 
courageously. The driving force has been our conviction that this bill 
is an affront to James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and the others who 
created the Constitution and who gave us freedom of speech in the first 
amendment in the first place.
  If you read the 10th Federalist, which I have done in this Chamber, 
you find that Madison lays out very specifically and very clearly how 
the factions can control democracy if they are not handled in a proper 
way. The most significant proper way to deal with the scourge of 
factions is to have full disclosure and full understanding of what is 
going on with this. With this bill, we drive political money into the 
dark corners.
  While it is a sad day, in my view, it is nonetheless a good day. Like 
the Senator from Kentucky, I believe I have fought the good fight. I 
have lost, as has he, but I have been proud to be one of his 
lieutenants as he has been the captain of this fight. He is going to 
carry the fight on through the courts, which is his constitutional 
right. I believe the courts will side with him, and the positions he 
has taken in this debate more often than they will differ.
  We will have a future. The Republic still lives. We will not see 
anything change for the better, in my view. And those of us who have 
stood on principle walk out with our heads held high.
  I congratulate the other side. They have fought fair. They have 
fought vigorously. I have had a number of conversations with Senator 
Feingold in which we have both expressed our affection for each other 
but our deep disagreement on this issue. I trust that affection will 
continue even as the disagreement does.
  I close by paying tribute to Senator McConnell for the leadership he 
has shown, for the valiance that he has demonstrated, and for, in my 
view, the constitutional loyalty and fidelity he has given the United 
States in this time.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, I thank the Senator from Utah, who 
has been in every one of these debates over the last decade. He has 
been a stalwart, articulate supporter of the first amendment. I am 
grateful for his friendship and for his kind words about our work on 
this great cause. I assure him, as expressed, that it is not over yet. 
We have another day in court. I thank the Senator from Utah for his 
kind words.
  I understand I have a minute remaining. Is that right?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Two minutes.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, I ask unanimous consent that I be 
allowed to use those 2 minutes as the last speaker on this side of the 
issue. I don't intend to be the last speaker before the vote but the 
last speaker on this side of the issue.

[[Page S2157]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Wisconsin.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Madam President, I yield 6 minutes to the Senator from 
New Jersey.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Jersey.
  Mr. TORRICELLI. Madam President, I thank the Senator from Wisconsin 
for yielding time and offer my congratulations to Senator Feingold and 
Senator McCain for an extraordinary effort against all the odds over a 
long period of time which brings the Senate to this moment.
  Like many of my colleagues, I intend to join in only a matter of 
moments in voting for the most fundamental campaign finance reform to 
reach this Congress in several decades. It is an important moment for 
the Congress. It is an attempt to restore public confidence and also to 
give ourselves a sense of confidence.
  None of us feels good about the financial pressures under which this 
institution operates. None of us feels good knowing that the public 
believes that all Americans do not stand equally in the eyes of the 
Senate. It is a situation that cannot endure.
  Today, we decide that it will not endure. I have supported every form 
of campaign finance reform for each of the 20 years in which I have 
served in the Congress. This is the most important.
  There are critical components of the legislation that I think make a 
great contribution: Elimination of soft money, raising the hard money 
limits, and the controlling of independent expenditures in the final 
weeks of a campaign. But I also think it is important not to raise 
expectations that all problems are being solved or that this is the 
last time our generation will need to make adjustments in the manner in 
which campaigns operate in America.
  First, the legislative fight over campaign finance reform is about to 
end. The judicial fight is about to begin. All of us recognize that the 
attempt to control independent expenditures may not be constitutional. 
If the courts indeed find that this is an infringement on free speech, 
the delicate balance of this legislation will be broken. Soft money 
will have been eliminated and fundraising by the political parties will 
be controlled. But independent groups would largely operate without 
restriction. It would be regrettable. I believe the courts will be in 
error. But it could happen. If it happens, and if the courts rule that 
the control of independent expenditures is unconstitutional, there is a 
risk that both the political parties and Federal candidates are to be 
nothing more than spectators in American elections with interest groups 
controlling the debate, raising the funds, and distorting the process.
  The challenge for this Congress, if that is the ruling of the court, 
is that we must return and find a way to ensure that candidates and 
political parties are not dominated by these independent voices.
  Second, this is an extraordinary victory for the controlling of 
campaign fundraising in large amounts to restore some sense of equality 
among donors, and, more importantly, among citizens.
  But the greatest unfinished aspect of the agenda in political reform 
is campaign spending. Campaign fundraising will never be brought into 
permissible limits with an acceptable demand on candidate time or 
amounts of money raised until the fundamental problem of campaign 
expenditures is addressed.
  This Senate met that responsibility. By a vote of 69 to 31, the 
Senate voted to reduce the cost of television advertising to the lowest 
unit cost. It was a critical reform, because most Federal candidates 
will tell you, it isn't just how much money is being raised, it is the 
time spent raising it, the extraordinary amounts of money that need to 
be accumulated. And 85 percent of that money is going to television 
  In an extraordinary act of hypocrisy, the same television networks, 
which have championed the cause of campaign finance reform, spent 
millions of dollars on lobbyists and exerted the very kind of financial 
pressure this legislation is intended to eliminate in saving themselves 
from being part of campaign finance reform.
  The provisions reducing the cost of television advertising were 
eliminated in the House of Representatives. We must never give up on 
that fight. Without these provisions reducing the costs of Federal 
campaigns by some manner or some form, money will find its way into the 
political system.
  In this legislation, we may vote to eliminate soft money to political 
parties, but if that demand remains on Federal candidates, some system 
will be invented or found, some loophole developed, to get the money 
into the system.
  I am proud to vote for this legislation. But I challenge the Senate, 
as McCain-Feingold is passed: Make it the beginning of a reform, not 
the end of reform. Let us return, next year, or even in the coming 
months, and challenge ourselves to do better: reduce the cost of 
campaigns, continue to find the mechanisms to assure every American 
that they have an equal chance and an equal voice to be heard.
  Madam President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wisconsin.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Madam President, I thank the Senator from New Jersey. I 
certainly agree, there is much more to be done in our generation on 
campaign finance reform. I look forward to participating in that.
  Madam President, how much time do we have remaining?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Twenty-nine minutes.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Madam President, I yield myself such time as I need.
  Madam President, I thank the many Members of this body, past and 
present, who have helped to bring us to this moment. Most important, as 
I mentioned in my other statement, the most important person I have to 
thank is, of course, my friend, John McCain.
  I also thank our earliest supporters, who gave their support to the 
McCain-Feingold bill when it was first introduced in the 104th 
Congress, Senators such as John Glenn, Paul Simon, Nancy Kassebaum-
Baker and Alan Simpson, who gave us crucial bipartisan support when 
this effort was just getting off the ground. This kind of bipartisan 
bill wasn't totally unprecedented. But it was pretty unusual, and the 
support of those distinguished Senators lent important credibility to 
our effort in its early days.
  I particularly thank Senator Carl Levin for his leadership and 
support during every debate we have had on this bill since 1996. His 
insight on the substance of the issue, and on the workings of this body 
have been absolutely crucial to the advancement of this legislation. 
Senator Levin is as tenacious and committed as any Member of this body. 
We truly would not be here today if he were not on our team.
  I also thank our distinguished colleague, Senator Susan Collins, for 
her invaluable contributions to this effort. She came on board our bill 
as a freshman Senator in 1997, despite tremendous pressure from her 
caucus. Over the years, we have met together with many of our 
colleagues. She has been a tireless advocate for reform, a terrific 
ally in this fight, and I am proud to call her a friend and a 
  I, again, thank Senator Joe Lieberman, who has been a steadfast 
supporter of reform, and who helped to build crucial momentum for this 
legislation with his leadership on the 527 disclosure bill in the last 
Congress. The success of that legislation was a great breakthrough 
after so many years when any reform effort was stonewalled by our 
opponents. The day that bill passed the Senate, I remember thinking 
that enactment of the McCain-Feingold bill was not going to be far 
  And, of course, the great breakthrough at the beginning of this 
Congress was the day when Senator Thad Cochran joined us in introducing 
this bill. I have great respect for Senator Cochran, and his support on 
this bill has been invaluable. I cannot thank him enough for his 
commitment to this legislation. Once he joined our effort, he was with 
us with every ounce of determination and grace that he brings to all of 
his work here in the Senate.
  One of our newest Members, Senator Maria Cantwell, also gave us 
important momentum when she made campaign finance reform a central 
issue in her campaign, and gave this bill her strong support. After her 
victory, the oft repeated claim that no Senator has ever lost an 
election over this issue could simply no longer be made.
  Senator John Edwards and Senator Chuck Schumer have both been 

[[Page S2158]]

assets on this issue, especially right here on the Senate floor. Both 
of them have devoted a great deal of their time, and skill as debaters, 
to this bill, and I am very grateful for their efforts.

  The efforts of Senator Olympia Snowe and Senator Jim Jeffords to 
craft the provision on phony issue ads that came to be known as the 
Snowe-Jeffords legislation have been essential to this bill. They 
worked tirelessly to put together a balanced provision that gets at the 
root of the issue ad problem, and I thank them for their tremendous 
contribution. The Snowe-Jeffords provision is an integral part of our 
bill, and their mastery of this topic was invaluable to us.
  I am deeply grateful to Senator Fred Thompson for his longstanding 
and steadfast support of this bill, and for his great skill and 
fairness in negotiating an agreement on hard money limits that the vast 
majority of this body could support. Without that agreement, we simply 
could not have moved this bill through the Senate. I also pay special 
tribute to Senator Thompson for the work he did investigating the 1996 
campaign finance scandals. Senator Thompson cut his political teeth 
with his work on another great scandal in our Nation's history known as 
watergate, but his work in 1997 showed the Nation that the campaign 
finance issue is truly a bipartisan problem with a bipartisan solution. 
We will miss Fred Thompson leadership in the Senate.
  I also thank Senator Chris Dodd for his tremendous work as floor 
manager on the Democratic side, especially during the extraordinary and 
sometimes unpredictable debate we had last year. He led us through 
those 2 weeks with grace and humor and a fierce passion for reform that 
I deeply respect and for which I am deeply grateful.
  I of course, thank the Democratic Leader, Senator Tom Daschle, and 
his very able staff, for everything they have done to bring about the 
success of this legislation. In the fall of 1997, the entire Democratic 
Caucus united behind this legislation, and that unity has been crucial 
to our success.
  We are soon to have the vote on final passage because Tom Daschle was 
true to the principles of this party and led our caucus to follow 
through on our commitment we made to reform 4\1/2\ years ago. I am 
proud of the bipartisan effort we have made, but I am also proud to be 
a Democrat, and I deeply appreciate the solid support of my caucus on 
this issue.
  This list of thank-yous would not be complete without thanking my own 
staff. They have worked tirelessly to help me move this legislation 
forward, and they have done so with great skill and dedication. First I 
thank my chief counsel, Bob Schiff, for the outstanding contributions 
he has made to this legislation and to the cause of reform, and for the 
various all- night efforts he had to put in to get this thing done. I 
also thank my chief of staff, Mary Murphy, and other staffers, past and 
present, who have worked to make this moment possible, including Kitty 
Thomas, Andy Kutler, Sumner Slichter, Bill Dauster, Susanne Martinez, 
and Tom Walls. I also thank Jeanne Bumpus, Mark Salter, Mark Buse, and 
other members of Senator McCain's staff, past and present--in some ways 
it seemed as if we merged our staffs to accomplish this--and I thank 
them for their outstanding contributions to this bill. They have been a 
pleasure to work with. Many other current and former staffers from my 
office, and from other Senate and House offices, have also made vital 
contributions to the progress of this bill. Madam President, I ask 
unanimous consent that a list of their names be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

       From Senator Feingold's staff and former staff: Mary 
     Bottari, Laura Grund, Ari Geller, Ben Hawkinson, Rebecca 
     Kratz, Anne McMahon, Brian O'Leary, Mary Frances Repko, 
     Thomas Reynolds, Mary Ann Richmond, Hillary Wenzler, Kirsten 
     White, Trevor Miller, Brad Jaffe, Tom McCormick, Rea Holmes, 
     Rebecca Kratz, and many others who have worked for Senator 
     Feingold and currently are on his staff.
       Other Senate Staff: Linda Gustitus, Elise Bean, Andrea 
     LaRue, Laurie Rubenstein, Michael Bopp, Mary Mitshow, Steve 
     Diamond, Jane Calderwood, John Richter, Eric Buehlman, Hannah 
     Sistare, Bill Outhier, Brad Pruitt, Maureen Mahon, Martin 
     Siegel, Sharon Levin, Beth Stein, Nancy Ives, Glenn Ivey.
       From the House staff: Amy Rosenbaum, Glen Shor, Dan Manatt, 
     Paul Pimental, Katie Levinson, Alison Rak, Kristin Miller, 
     Len Wolfsen, Kit Judge, Steve Elmendorf, George Candanis.
       From the Congressional Research Service: Joe Cantor and 
     Paige Whitaker.

  Mr. FEINGOLD. Madam President, I deeply appreciate the hard work of 
so many Members of the other body who fought for years to pass this 
legislation. Of course, especially, my thanks and those of Senator 
McCain go to Representatives Chris Shays and Marty Meehan for their 
determination and outstanding leadership on this issue, as well as to 
the House Minority Leader, Dick Gephardt.
  I also recognize the contributions made by many other House Members, 
including Representatives Zach Wamp, Mike Castle, Lindsey Graham, Nancy 
Pelosi, Jim Matheson, Harold Ford, Sander Levin, Jim Turner, Jim Leach, 
Jim Greenwood, Sherwood Boehlert, Amo Houghton, Nancy Johnson, Mark 
Kirk, Tom Petri, Todd Platts, Marge Roukema, Rob Simmons, John Lewis, 
Charlie Stenholm, Barney Frank, Steny Hoyer, John Conyers, and 
Silvestre Reyes, and former Representatives Tom Campbell and Linda 
  Our bill also benefitted immeasurably from the incredible effort put 
in by outside organizations in support of this legislation. I recognize 
the outstanding contributions made by Fred Werthheimer and Democracy 
21. I also thank Don Simon, Scott Harshbarger, Meredith McGehee, Matt 
Keller and the staff of Common Cause for their tireless work to pass 
this legislation. Joan Claybrook and the staff of Public Citizen, 
including Frank Clemente and Steve Weissman, made crucial contributions 
to the progress of this bill. I also very much appreciate the work of 
Jerome Kohlberg, Cheryl Perrin, and Elaine Franklin of Campaign for 
America and Charles Kolb and Ed Kangas of the Committee for Economic 
Development to move this legislation forward.
  I realize that is a long list of people and organizations to thank. 
But it has been almost 7 years, and the praise I offer is well 
deserved. Without the work of these people, not just during this 
Congress but over many years, we would not have reached this exciting 
moment for reform and for our democracy.
  How much time remains on our side?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Wyden). Twenty-one minutes.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, it gives me enormous pleasure to yield 
15 minutes for the last major comments on this bill on our side to the 
man who made it all happen and started the whole thing and carried it 
to the finish, the Senator from Arizona, Mr. McCain.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I thank my colleague and friend for 
yielding this time to me. I am grateful to my colleagues and the many 
people who have brought us to this point. This legislation will provide 
much-needed reform of our Federal election campaign laws.
  With the stroke of the President's pen, we will eliminate hundreds of 
millions of dollars of unregulated soft money that have caused 
Americans to question the integrity of their elected representatives.
  This is a good bill. It is a legally sound bill. It is a fair bill 
that benefits neither party but that profits our political system and 
that will, I hope, help to restore the public's faith in government.
  So much has been said about the substance of this bill which has been 
hashed out literally for years and considered and reconsidered and 
perfected on the Senate floor in preparation for House passage. 
Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to a 
few people who have made this happen.
  First, I extend my sincere appreciation and gratitude to my friend 
Senator Feingold for his unwavering commitment to this cause. He has 
been a

[[Page S2159]]

wise counsel and a stalwart partner through these years, and I will 
forever be proud to have my name associated with him on this issue and 
other reform issues.
  On occasion, politicians step up and match rhetoric with actions. 
Russ Feingold, at a time when there was about to be a flood of soft 
money advertising into his State in a very close and hard-fought 
political campaign, said no. Russ Feingold showed enormous courage 
because he was willing to put his political career on the line for what 
he believed.
  I thank the majority leader, Senator Daschle, for his steadfast 
support that enabled us to pass the McCain-Feingold bill last April and 
to bring it back this week for a final vote. I thank the Republican 
leader, Senator Lott, for his commitment to an open debate and for 
keeping the process fair. The majority and minority whips, Senators 
Reid and Nickles, have my sincere thanks as well.

  Senator Dodd managed our side of the debate with his typical skill 
and good humor. I thank Senator Levin as well for his critical 
contributions to the compromises that attracted majority support for 
the bill in both Houses of Congress.
  I am grateful to all my colleagues, supporters and opponents alike, 
for their contributions to the bill and to the debate. I would like to 
personally thank Senate Republican supporters, particularly Senator 
Thompson whom I will miss more than I can say. His friendship and wise 
counsel have been not only important to me as a Senator but were a 
critical element in achieving the legislative result we achieved in the 
  To Senator Cochran, one of the senior Members and most well liked and 
respected Members of the Senate, who came on board on this issue at a 
time when we needed the credibility of a man of his stature, I will 
always be grateful. Senators Snowe and Collins, I think the State of 
Maine can be proud of both of those Senators, including Senator Snowe's 
contribution over one of the more difficult aspects of this 
legislation, the so-called Snowe-Jeffords amendment, without which it 
would not have been possible to pass this legislation.
  I am grateful for the valued support of Senators Specter, Chafee, 
Fitzgerald, Lugar, and Domenici, who gave legitimacy to our claims of 
bipartisan cooperation. I am grateful again, as I am so often, to 
Senator Chuck Hagel. It takes a brave and committed soul to take it 
upon himself, as he did a few weeks ago, to attempt to facilitate a 
resolution to this measure between myself and the other supporters of 
this bill and Senator McConnell. It is in large part due to his efforts 
that we have that resolution today.
  Senate passage of a bill, of course, is only half--or less than half, 
really--of the legislative battle. If it were not for the untiring work 
of Congressmen Chris Shays and Marty Meehan, the House sponsors of this 
legislation, we would not be here today. I will always hold them in the 
highest regard for their tenacious, unrelenting commitment to our 
shared goal. House minority leader Gephardt worked many long hours to 
hold the support of the vast majority of his caucus, and I am greatly 
indebted to him.
  I salute also the Members who signed the discharge petition that 
forced House consideration of this bill, and the brave Republicans in 
particular who voted for its passage.
  As I told my colleague Senator McConnell a few weeks ago, I won't 
miss our annual contests on this issue. No one in his right mind would 
want to continue against so formidable a foe. I can only hope, however, 
that should I ever find myself again in a pitched legislative battle--
shy as I am of entering into them--that my opponent is as principled as 
Senator Mitch McConnell. It has been a worthy effort by all involved, 
and I will always appreciate the dedication shown by all of my 
colleagues in their efforts to champion their beliefs.
  I am compelled to mention a few indispensable supporters. In 
particular, I thank Fred Wertheimer of Democracy 21; all the good, 
dedicated folks at Common Cause: Scott Harshbarger, Meredith McGeehee, 
Matt Keller, and Don Simon, including Scott Harshbarger's talented and 
wonderful predecessor Ann McBride; Jerry Kolberg's Campaign for 
America; and the Committee for Economic Development. I am thankful also 
to Trevor Potter, a former FEC Commissioner, for his insight and sound 
political advice, and to Rick Davis who kept us focused on the big 
picture and provided invaluable strategic advice.
  I can't begin to name the many thousands of people not in this 
Chamber who have fought so hard and long and who gathered under the 
umbrella of a group called Americans for Reform. I want to mention the 
efforts by AARP, the League of Women Voters, Public Citizen, a broad 
coalition of religious organizations, Carla Eudy and the staff and 
supporters of Straight Talk America, for their tireless contributions 
in this effort and the honor of their friendship. Thanks also to my 
friend John Weaver for his help and guidance.
  I ask unanimous consent to print in the Record a list of the staffers 
of the Senators who contributed significantly to this legislative 
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                            Senate Staffers:

       Senator Cochran--Brad Prewitt and Clayton Heil.
       Senator Collins--Michael Bopp and Lynn Dondis.
       Senator Daschle--Andrea LaRue and Mark Childress.
       Senator Dodd--Kennie Gill and Veronica Gillespie.
       Senator Feingold--Mary Murphy, Bob Schiff, Bill Dauster.
       Senator Feinstein--Gray Maxwell and Mark Kadesh.
       Senator Hagel--Chad Woff.
       Senator Jeffords--Eric Buchlmann.
       Senator Levin--Linda Gustitus, and Ken Saccoccia.
       Senator Lieberman--Laurie Rubenstein.
       Senator Lott--Sharon Soderstrom.
       Senator McCain--Mark Buse, Mark Salter, Brooke Sikora, Joe 
     Donahue, and Ann Begeman.
       Senator McConnell--Tamara Somerville, Hunter Bates, Andrew 
     Siff, and Brian Lewis.
       Senator Schumer--Martin Siegel.
       Senator Snowe--Jane Calderwood and John Richter.
       Senator Thompson--Bill Outhier, Hannah Sistare, and Fred 

  Mr. McCAIN. In particular, I thank Mary Murphy and Bob Schiff, of 
Senator Feingold's staff, for all their work on this issue over the 
years. Let me also express my heartfelt gratitude to my former staffer 
Mark Buse, who recently left the Hill after working by my side on this 
issue for many years. This would not have been possible without him. I 
thank as well Mark's successor as Republican staff director on the 
Commerce Committee, Jeanne Bumpus, who, in an incredibly short period 
of time, became expert on the many issues involved in this legislation 
and was an invaluable support to me.
  I also want to thank my administrative assistant and alter ego, Mark 
Salter, for his continued efforts not only here but in a broad variety 
of ways. I am grateful for his friendship.
  Mr. President, the proponents of this legislation have had, and 
continue to have, one purpose: to enact fair, bipartisan, campaign 
finance reform that seeks no special advantage for one party or 
another. Once we complete the Senate debate and vote on final passage, 
it will be up to the President to take the action that his spokesmen 
and advisors have led us to believe he will take--to sign the bill into 
law. It is my hope that he will deem it appropriate to do this.
  The supporters of campaign finance reform have differences about what 
constitutes ideal reform, but we have subordinated those differences to 
the common good. We all recognized one very simple truth: that campaign 
contributions from a single source that run to the hundreds of 
thousands or millions of dollars are not healthy to a democracy. Is 
that not self-evident? It is to the American people Mr. President. It 
is to the people.
  The reforms I believe we are about to pass will not cure public 
cynicism about politics. Nor will it completely free politics from 
influence peddling or the appearance of it. But I believe it might 
cause many Americans who are at present quite disaffected from the 
practices and institutions of our democracy to begin to see that their 
elected representatives value their reputations more than their 
incumbency. And maybe that recognition will cause them to exercise 
their franchise more faithfully, to identify more closely with 
political parties, to raise their expectations for the work we do. 

[[Page S2160]]

it will even encourage more Americans to seek public office, not for 
the privileges bestowed on election winners, but for the honor of 
serving a great nation. If by today's vote we make even small progress 
in this direction, I think we have rendered good service to our 
country, and I am proud of it.
  I respectfully ask my colleagues for their votes in support of final 
passage of this bill.
  I reserve the remainder of my time.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, how much time remains?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Nine minutes.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I understand I have 2 minutes left.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator is correct.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, regretfully, this bill is going to pass 
and, in all likelihood, be signed by the President. I say 
``regretfully'' because, for those who wanted to reduce the amount of 
money in politics, this certainly will not do that. Not even close. It 
will dramatically take money away from the parties and then shift it to 
outside groups. The reason we know how much soft money the parties 
raise is because it is disclosed. But we will not know how much is 
given to the outside groups and who gives it because it is not 
disclosed. After this bill passes, outside groups will continue to 
raise unlimited amounts of soft money from all sources. In fact, 
Members of Congress will be able to raise unlimited amounts of soft 
money for those groups. It will be completely legal, and permitted by 
this legislation.
  We could have dealt with the issue of corruption, or the appearance 
of corruption--and I have to say ``appearance'' because there has been 
no evidence whatsoever of actual corruption--we could have dealt with 
an appearance problem by capping soft money, just as we capped hard 
money 25 years ago. That would have allowed the six national party 
committees to still be national committees, to still be able to support 
State and local candidates with non-Federal dollars. But, no, we 
decided to completely eliminate nonfederal money to the parties only--
certainly a step not required to deal with the alleged appearance of 
  So, first, this bill will greatly weaken the parties and shift those 
resources to outside groups that will continue to engage in issue 
advocacy, as they have a constitutional right to do, with unlimited and 
undisclosed soft money.
  Ironically, the bill allows Members of Congress to raise that 
unlimited soft money for outside groups but not political parties. We 
are now able to do more for outside groups than we are able to do for 
our own political parties.
  Secondly, the bill seeks to impose a gag order on groups that have 
the audacity to mention people like us within 60 days of an election, 
by saying they have to go to the Federal Government--to register with 
the Federal Election Commission--and raise hard dollars just so they 
can mention candidates like us within 60 days of an election.
  For those two reasons, and for many more, I urge colleagues to vote 
no on final passage.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wisconsin is recognized.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, thanks to the courtesy of Senator 
McCain, it is my honor to bring the debate to a close. I will make a 
few brief comments and perhaps we can proceed to final passage of the 
  First of all, I wish to indicate my respect for the Senator from 
Kentucky. This has been a tremendous battle. We have had in this 
Chamber 3 weeks in the last 2 years debating this issue. I think it has 
been a very good process, and I certainly take seriously his arguments. 
Although we may have to pursue this matter in the courts, as we have 
done in some other matters, it is always an honorable venture.
  The main point I make, in conclusion, is that I believe in maybe 20 
or 30 years people will say: You know, there was a time when Members of 
Congress could actually ask people for $100,000, $500,000, or a 
million-dollar contribution, and it was perfectly legal. I think it 
will remind people of the stories we have heard about how there used to 
be briefcases full of cash floating around this building.
  It is almost unbelievable that there ever was a time in our recent 
history--in the last few years--when these kinds of almost inherently 
corrupt contributions could be given from corporate treasuries, union 
treasuries, or by individuals. It was a loophole that completely 
swallowed all the laws we had. They were imperfect laws. The hard money 
rules were the rules we had concerns about when we started this 
initiative. We wanted to fix that.
  This soft money system grew in such a way that we invited some of the 
greatest corruption in the history of our country. So it is my hope 
that 25 or 50 years from now people will say: How could you have 
possibly had a time when unlimited contributions were allowed? I look 
forward to people saying that.
  The reason I mention that time in the future is that, more than 
anything else, I care about this issue because of the young people in 
this country. I care about it because, believe it or not, I was once 
18. I am looking at the pages here who help us. When I was 16, 17, 18, 
I thought maybe I would have a chance to go into politics someday. Not 
a single person ever said to me: Well, you have to be a millionaire or 
you have to be able to access $500,000 or a million-dollar 
contribution. I was a person of average means, so it looked to be an 
area that maybe I could go into, and it excited me.
  Nothing has bothered me more in my public career than the thought 
that young people, looking to the future, might think that it is 
necessary to be multimillionaires or somehow have access to the soft 
money system, in order to participate--being able to participate as a 
voter and, yes, even being able to participate as a candidate as part 
of the American dream.
  Today, we hope to return a little bit of that dream to you. Yes, 
someday, as John McCain has said, you are going to have to clean it up 
again because every 20 or 30 years the system needs some work.
  In the name of the young people of this country, whom I know will 
provide the enthusiasm to support future reforms, I want to bring the 
debate to a close.
  I yield the floor and the remainder of my time.
  I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. If there are no amendments to be offered, the 
question is on third reading and passage of the bill.
  The bill (H.R. 2356) was ordered to a third reading and was read the 
third time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The bill having been read the third time, the 
question is, Shall the bill pass?
  The yeas and nays have been ordered and the clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 60, nays 40, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 54 Leg.]


     Nelson (FL)



[[Page S2161]]

     Nelson (NE)
     Smith (NH)
     Smith (OR)
  The bill (H.R. 2356) was passed.
  Mr. REID. I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mr. LEVIN. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  (Disturbance in the Visitors' Galleries.)
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Expressions of approval or disapproval are not 
permitted in the gallery.