Campaign Finance Reform

The House Democratic leaders will get a vote on their campaign finance bill before Thanksgiving recess, but the prospects for a reform act being signed into law next year remain uncertain. Maverick Democrats, with the help of most Republicans, wanted to block the leadership bill and offer a bipartisan alternative they said accomplished true reform. But the leadership managed to bring their measure to the House of Representatives floor on a 220 to 207 vote.

The leadership bill would limit overall political action committee donations to $200,000 per election, but would not bring down the current $5,000 limit for each PAC contribution. The bill also calls for voluntary spending limits of $600,000 per House race, and tax-financed ``vouchers'' for candidates. Even if the House approves the bill, lawmakers would have a tough time reconciling it with a radically different Senate proposal.

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