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House Democrats Offer Alternative To McCain-Feingold

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WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Feb. 5) -- A group of House Democrats unveiled an alternative to the McCain-Feingold campaign finance legislation, saying it has a far better chance of becoming law.

In Tuesday's State of the Union message, President Bill Clinton urged Congress to approve the McCain-Feingold measure by July 4, but supporters of the alternative measure say that is unlikely.

"It is of no real political value if it can't get passed," said Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.). "This bill is the only one that has any chance of passing in this Congress."

The new proposal would bar candidates from accepting more than $8,000 in contributions from political action committees during each two-year election cycle. Now the limit is $20,000 for candidates who face both primary and general elections.

The McCain-Feingold legislation, in contrast, would either ban or limit PAC contributions to $1,000.

The McCain-Feingold legislation also would require candidates to raise more of their funds from their home state, another provision that has stirred alarm among some members of Congress.

Both measures attempt to crack down on so-called "soft money" contributions given for generic advertising, political party-building and get-out-the-vote drives. Both proposals also impose voluntary spending limits, with incentives such as free or reduced-price TV time for candidates who agree to cap their spending.


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