"Today was not the end of this fight for campaign finance reform but the beginning. The Republican leadership and a minority of the Senate used procedural maneuvers to block the obvious will of a majority of United States Senators to support bipartisan c ampaign finance reform legislation. I will fight for this measure as hard as necessary, for as long as necessary. And I call on all Senators to realize that the bipartisan McCain-Feingold measure is our best chance to move forward with reform."President Bill Clinton today reaffirmed his commitment to fight for passage of the bi-partisan McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill despite attempts to block the measure.
President Bill Clinton
Speaking before reform supporters earlier in the day, President Clinton called this our best chance in a generation to fulfill our obligation to renew and strengthen our democracy for a new century.
Republican Leadership's Legislative Maneuvers and "Poison Pill" Block Reform
As they had indicated last week they would do, the Republican leadership today was able to use legislative procedural maneuvers and a "poison pill" amendment to prevent a straight up or down vote on the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill. As re sult the American people were once again denied real reform aimed at stemming the exploding cost of federal campaigns.
But They Can't Deny That Critical Mass Has Been Reached For Reform
A critical mass has been reached for campaign finance reform. Citizen groups, spurred by business executives and civic leaders, have gathered one million signatures on a petition to Congress calling for reform. Presidents Ford, Carter, and Bush have bee n joined by dozens of former lawmakers in calling for reform. All 45 Senate Democrats have made clear their desire to make the bi-partisan McCain Feingold bill the law of the land.
President Clinton Will Continue To Fight For Real, Bi-Partisan Reform
President Clinton has vowed to continue his fight for real, bi-partisan campaign finance reform has proposed in the McCain-Feingold bill. The bill would:
- prohibit unlimited "soft" money contributions
- crack down on so-called "independent expenditure campaigns"
- expand campaign finance disclosure requirements
- strengthen penalties for election law violations