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H.R. 14 (101st): Federal Election Campaign Amendments of 1989

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.


1/3/1989--Introduced. Federal Election Campaign Amendments of 1989 - Amends the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to provide for voluntary expenditure limitations and partial public financing for House of Representatives general elections. Sets forth eligibility requirements for public financing, including that a candidate: (1) has not and will not make expenditures or accept contributions in excess of specified limitations; (2) will deposit all payments in a separate checking account; (3) will furnish campaign records, evidence of contributions, and other appropriate information to the Federal Election Commission; and (4) will cooperate in any audit and examination conducted by the Commission. Requires eligible candidates to certify to the Commission that: (1) during the period beginning on January 1 of the calendar year preceding the year of a general election, such candidate and the authorized committees of the candidate have received contributions aggregating ten percent of the spending limitation; (2) 80 percent of such contributions have come from individuals residing in the candidate's State; and (3) at least one other candidate has qualified for the ballot. Makes special rules for special elections. Provides that a contribution may not be counted unless: (1) it is made on a written instrument identifying the person making the contribution; (2) it is not considered a contribution by an intermediary or conduit; (3) it is made by an individual and does not exceed the aggregate of $250; and (4) it was received after January 1 of the year preceding the election. Makes special rules for special elections. Prohibits candidates who receive payments from spending more than $40,000 from personal funds during the election cycle. Prohibits such candidates from spending more than $400,000 in the aggregate during the election cycle, or additional expenditures of not more than $150,000 in a primary runoff election. Declares that if independent expenditures which exceed $10,000 are made during an election cycle in opposition to an eligible candidate or for the opponent of a eligible candidate, the eligible candidate may make additional expenditures above the spending limit in an equal amount. Entitles eligible candidates to: (1) matching payments of up to 50 percent of the spending limit in amounts equal to contributions in amounts of $250 or less from individuals, not given through intermediaries or conduits; (2) additional payments when $10,000 or more of independent expenditures are made in the general election in opposition to, or on behalf of an opponent of, such candidate; (3) additional payments if any candidate in the general election receives contributions or makes expenditures in excess of limitations; and (4) reduced rates for mailings made during the general election period. Declares that payments to eligible candidates may only be used to defray expenditures incurred with respect to the general election period. Requires the Commission to certify the eligibility of a candidate to the Secretary of the Treasury for payments under this Act. Directs the Secretary to maintain the House of Representatives Election Campaign Account in the Presidential Election Campaign Fund to make payments of certified amounts. Requires the Commission, after each general election, to audit ten percent of the eligible candidates by random selection. Requires the Commission to audit each eligible candidate after a special election. Provides for candidates to repay the Commission for excess expenditures. Provides for judicial review of Commission actions by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and for the Commission to participate in judicial proceedings. Directs the Commission to report to the House of Representatives after each election setting forth: (1) expenditures made by the candidates and their authorized committees; (2) payments made by the Commission; (3) the amounts of any repayments; and (4) the balance in the Presidential Election Campaign Fund and any account maintained in such Fund. Authorizes appropriations. Requires each candidate to file a declaration with the Commission of whether or not such candidate intends to make expenditures in excess of limitations. Requires each candidate who is not an eligible candidate and who receives aggregate contributions or makes aggregate expenditures which would exceed the spending limits to report to the Commission within a specified time schedule. Directs the Commission to notify each eligible candidate about such report and certify to the Secretary any additional payments to which an eligible candidate is entitled. Authorizes the Commission to make its own determinations as to whether or not a candidate has exceeded spending limitations. Requires any person who makes independent expenditures in excess of $5,000 to report to the Commission within 24 hours after making them. Requires the Commission to notify each eligible candidate of such expenditures. Requires, when two or more persons make an independent expenditure in coordination, consultation, or concert with regard to a House election, that each person report to the Commission when such amount exceeds $5,000. Requires each political committee which maintains a separate account for activities in non-Federal elections to file with the Commission reports of funds received into and disbursements made from such account for activities which may influence an election to a Federal office. Describes such activities as: (1) voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives; (2) general public political advertising; and (3) any other activities which require an allocation of costs between a political committee's Federal and non-Federal accounts. Applies the limitations on expenditures by national party committees to general public political advertising which clearly identifies by name an individual who is, or is seeking nomination to be, a candidate in the general election for President, Senator, or Representative. Declares that such limitations do not apply to direct mail communications designed primarily for fundraising purposes which only make incidental reference to Federal candidates. Prohibits a candidate for the House from accepting any contribution from a nonparty multicandidate political committee with respect to an election cycle which exceeds $100,000 ($125,000 if at least two candidates qualify for the primary and the general election). Limits such contributions to $40,000 for any primary runoff election. Prohibits a candidate for Federal office from establishing, maintaining, or controlling a political committee, other than the candidate's authorized committees or a committee of a political party. Provides for the accountability of contributions made by intermediaries or conduits. Describes when an independent expenditure is not an independent expenditure if there is any type of arrangement, coordination, direction, advice, or counseling directly or indirectly between a candidate and the person making the expenditure. Requires, when independent expenditures are made for television broadcast communications, that a statement appear continuously during such broadcast showing the name of the person or committee making such expenditure. Requires any type of general public print communication paid for by independent expenditure to include such a statement, plus a statement that the cost of presenting such statement is not subject to contribution limits. Amends the Internal Revenue Code to increase the amount an individual may designate to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund from $1 to $2 (and in the case of joint returns, from $2 to $4). Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to require House candidates, in order to qualify for special broadcast rates, to be clearly identifiable during a substantial portion of the time of broadcast.