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ROLL CALL

The House

August 19, 1990

Campaign Finance

By a vote of 255 to 155, the House sent to conference with the Senate a bill (HR 5400) changing the way congressional incumbents and challengers raise and spend campaign money. Thebill was seen as a modest stab at reform compared to the more extensive Senate measure it will meet in conference.

As it relates to House campaigns, the bill sets voluntary spending limits, provides limited public subsidies of broadcast and postal costs to candidates accepting the limits, lessens the influence of political action committee, or PAC, money and encourages small donations from individuals. The Senate bill outlaws PAC contributions, which critics say enable special interests to call the shots on Capitol Hill.

Under HR 5400, House candidates who agree to limits could spend up to $300,000 on a primary race and $550,000 on a primary and general election campaigns, or $715,000 on both if they get less than two-thirds of the primary vote. The primary ceiling is $400,000 in states where that election determines the new House member.

All House candidates, even those who reject spending ceilings, would be limited to $275,000 in PAC receipts in each two-year election cycle. The bill provides a 100% tax credit for in-state contributions of up to $50 by individuals, or $100 by couples, to candidates accepting spending limits. It clamps down on independent fund raising for candidates and on "soft money" given to political parties outside the reach of the federal law.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Anderson (D) X Rep. Dornan (R) X Rep. Dreier (R) X Rep. Dymally (D) X Rep. Hawkins (D) X Rep. Martinez (D) X Rep. Roybal (D) X Rep. Torres (D) X

Public Funding of Campaigns

By a vote of 122 to 128, with 183 members not voting, the House refused to amend HR 5400 (above) to provide for public funding of up to $100,000 to House candidates accepting the bill's spending limits. The amendment also lowered from $5,000 to $1,000 the amount individuals can give to a candidate and capped revenue from PACs at 40% of receipts.

House general election candidates were to have received public funds to match, dollar for dollar, individual in-state contributions of $50 or less, with the public money starting to flow after $25,000 in the individual contributions had been received.

Sponsor Mike Synar (D-Okla.) said his amendment "puts clean, disinterested money" into the campaign finance system.

Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), who spoke against the amendment but did not vote, called public campaign financing "a welfare program for politicians. . . . "

A yes vote supported the amendment.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Anderson (D) X Rep. Dornan (R) X Rep. Dreier (R) X Rep. Dymally (D) X Rep. Hawkins (D) X Rep. Martinez (D) X Rep. Roybal (D) X Rep. Torres (D) X

GOP Substitute

By a vote of 169 to 241, the House rejected a campaign finance substitute offered by Republicans to HR 5400 (above). The GOP plan differed mainly from the pending Democratic bill by setting no spending limits, requiring candidates to raise at least half of their campaign revenue from within their congressional district and reducing from $5,000 to $1,000 the amount a PAC can contribute to a candidate.

Supporter Michael G. Oxley (R-Ohio) called the campaign spending limits sought by Democrats "an incumbent protection racket" designed to keep Democrats in control of the House.

Opponent Barney Frank (D-Mass.) called the GOP plan "a bill for the proliferation of PACs" in that it limits the amount of PAC contributions but not the number of PACs that can give.

A yes vote was for the GOP campaign finance reform proposal.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Anderson (D) X Rep. Dornan (R) X Rep. Dreier (R) X Rep. Dymally (D) X Rep. Hawkins (D) X Rep. Martinez (D) X Rep. Roybal (D) X Rep. Torres (D) X

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