January 22, 2001
Ninth District Congressman today applauded Senators John McCain (R-Arizona) and Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) for re-introducing the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform legislation in the Senate. Smith will join House sponsors Chris Shays (R-Connecticut) and Marty Meehan (D-Massachusetts) in introducing a similar version in the House by the end of the month.
"The legislation would make common sense reforms to the campaign finance system," explained Smith. "Most importantly, it would ban soft money. Soft money contributions are the unlimited and unregulated amounts of money that are given to political parties and then funneled to candidates. It's a loophole that allows big contributors to exceed federal individual contribution limits and public scrutiny."
Although the House passed the Shays-Meehan bill in the last session, supporters in the Senate failed to get the requisite 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. In the 2000 election, five Republican incumbents who opposed McCain-Feingold were defeated by Democrats who support the bill, and Republican Senator Thad Cochran announced his support this year.
"It looks like we've finally secured the sixty votes we need in the Senate," said Smith. "I support Senators McCain and Feingold in their push to see an early vote in the Senate, and I hope that House leadership will follow suit. I look forward to finally seeing this bill become law."