Fund-Raising Probe Moves Ahead
Democrats win changes in campaign money inquiry, but oppose final plan
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, March 7) -- The Senate's probe of campaign fund-raising practices had its budget trimmed, scope expanded and completion date set, but that wasn't enough for Democrats.
The plan, which authorizes money and sets the rules for the Governmental Affairs Committee's upcoming investigation, passed the Senate Rules Committee Thursday on a party-line vote, with the panel's Democrats opposing it.
The inquiry will look only at "illegal activities," and not larger campaign-finance issues, like soft money and independent political expenditures, a scope narrower than Democrats favored. But it will include congressional races as well as the presidential campaign.
Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle said the issue of defining "illegal activities" could cause "very serious" problems, but he will not attempt to block the probe with a filibuster. "We do need to get on with something," he said.
Governmental Affairs chairman Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) had asked for $6.5 million to conduct his investigation, which was reduced to $4.35 million. The probe must be completed by Dec. 31, and a report written by the end of January 1997.
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