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S. 1528 (104th): Senate Campaign Finance Reform Act of 1996

The text of the bill below is as of Jan 25, 1996 (Introduced).


S 1528 IS

104th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 1528

To reform the financing of Senate campaigns, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

January 25, 1996

Mr. BRADLEY introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration


A BILL

To reform the financing of Senate campaigns, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Senate Campaign Finance Reform Act of 1996’.

SEC. 2. SENATE ELECTION CAMPAIGN FINANCING.

    (a) AMENDMENT OF THE FEDERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN ACT OF 1971- The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 is amended by adding at the end the following new title:

‘TITLE V--SENATE ELECTION CAMPAIGN FINANCING

‘SEC. 501. SENATE CAMPAIGN FINANCING.

    ‘No Senate candidate or authorized committee of a Senate candidate shall accept any contribution with respect to a general election or make any expenditures with respect to a general election except as provided in this title.

‘SEC. 502. REQUIREMENTS FOR RECEIPT OF BENEFITS.

    ‘(a) ELIGIBLE SENATE CANDIDATE- For purposes of this title, a Senate candidate is an eligible Senate candidate if the candidate files a declaration with the Secretary of the Senate under penalty of perjury stating that--

      ‘(1) the candidate agrees in writing to participate in at least 2 debates, sponsored by a nonpartisan or bipartisan organization, with all other candidates for that office who are receiving payments under this title;

      ‘(2) the candidate and the candidate’s authorized committees will not accept any contribution with respect to a general election or make any expenditure with respect to a general election except from funds provided under this title;

      ‘(3) the candidate and the authorized committees of such candidate did not accept contributions, or make expenditures, for the primary or runoff election in excess of the limitations under subsection (b); and

      ‘(4) the candidate and the authorized committees of such candidate--

        ‘(A) will deposit all payments received under this title in an account insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from which funds may be withdrawn by check or similar means of payment to third parties; and

        ‘(B) will furnish campaign records, evidence of contributions, and other appropriate information to the Commission.

    ‘(b) PRIMARY AND RUNOFF EXPENDITURE AND CONTRIBUTION LIMITATIONS- The requirements of this subsection are met if--

      ‘(1) the candidate and the candidate’s authorized committees have not received contributions from any individual for the primary or runoff election which in the aggregate exceed $100;

      ‘(2) all contributions received by the candidate and the candidate’s authorized committees are from individuals; and

      ‘(3) the candidate and the candidate’s authorized committees did not make expenditures for the primary or runoff election in excess of 50 percent of the total amount that will be available to all candidates in the State for the general election under section 504(b) (based on the State’s estimate of the total amount made 30 days prior to the date of the primary or runoff election).

    ‘(c) TIME FOR FILING- The declaration under subsection (a) shall be filed not later than 7 days after the earlier of--

      ‘(1) the date the candidate qualifies for the general election ballot under State law; or

      ‘(2) if, under State law, a primary or runoff election to qualify for the general election ballot occurs after September 1, the date the candidate wins the primary or runoff election.

‘SEC. 503. CERTIFICATION BY COMMISSION.

    ‘(a) REQUEST- Each eligible Senate candidate seeking to receive benefits under this title shall submit a request to the Commission, at such time and in such manner as the Commission may require in regulations, containing--

      ‘(1) a copy of the declaration filed pursuant to section 502(a);

      ‘(2) such additional information as the Commission may require in regulations; and

      ‘(3) a verification signed by the candidate and the treasurer of the principal campaign committee of such candidate stating that the information furnished in support of the request is correct and fully satisfies the requirements of this title.

    ‘(b) CERTIFICATION-

      ‘(1) ISSUANCE- Not later than 48 hours after a Senate candidate files a request with the Commission to receive benefits under this title, the Commission shall--

        ‘(A) issue a certification to each candidate who satisfies the requirements of section 502;

        ‘(B) calculate the amount of payments to which such candidate is entitled pursuant to section 504; and

        ‘(C) transmit notification of the certification to the Secretary of the Senate.

      ‘(2) REVOCATION- The Commission shall revoke such certification if the Commission determines a candidate fails to continue to satisfy the requirements of section 502.

    ‘(c) DETERMINATIONS BY COMMISSION- All determinations (including certifications under subsection (b)) made by the Commission under this title shall be final and conclusive, except to the extent that they are subject to judicial review under section 505.

‘SEC. 504. BENEFITS ELIGIBLE SENATE CANDIDATES ENTITLED TO RECEIVE.

    ‘(a) USE OF FREE BROADCAST TIME-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- Each eligible Senate candidate shall be entitled to free broadcast time as provided under section 315A of the Communications Act of 1934.

      ‘(2) BROADCAST DURATION- Free broadcast time shall be used in segments of not less than 1 minute.

    ‘(b) GENERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN FINANCING-

      ‘(1) AMOUNT OF PAYMENTS- (A) Each eligible Senate candidate in a State shall receive a payment for the general election in an amount equal to the State share divided by the number of eligible Senate candidates in the State.

      ‘(B) For purposes of this paragraph, the term ‘State share’ means, with respect to a State, the sum of--

        ‘(i) 50 percent of the funds in the Senate Election Campaign Fund which are attributable to donations from taxpayers from such State

and which remain in the fund after the last election for the office of United States Senator in that State, and interest allocable to such portion, plus

        ‘(ii) 50 percent of the funds in the Senate Election Campaign Fund which are attributable to donations from taxpayers from such State after such election and before the 2d calendar year preceding the calendar year of the election, and interest allocable to such portion, plus

        ‘(iii) 100 percent of the funds in the Senate Election Campaign Fund which are attributable to donations from taxpayers from such State during the 2 calendar years preceding the calendar year of the election, and interest allocable to such portion.

      ‘(C) For purposes of this paragraph, donations made to the Senate Election Campaign Fund which are included with an income tax return for a taxable year under section 6097 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 shall be treated as made on the last day of the calendar year in which the taxable year ends.

      ‘(2) FREE BROADCAST TIME- Free broadcast time provided pursuant to subsection (a) shall not be used in calculating the amount a candidate is entitled to receive under this subsection.

‘SEC. 505. JUDICIAL REVIEW.

    ‘(a) JUDICIAL REVIEW- Any agency action by the Commission made under this title shall be subject to review by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upon petition filed in such court not later than 30 days after the agency action by the Commission for which review is sought. It shall be the duty of the Court of Appeals, ahead of all matters not filed under this title, to advance on the docket and expeditiously take action on all petitions filed pursuant to this title.

    ‘(b) APPLICATION OF TITLE 5- The provisions of chapter 7 of title 5, United States Code, shall apply to judicial review of any agency action by the Commission.

    ‘(c) AGENCY ACTION- For purposes of this section, the term ‘agency action’ has the meaning given such term by section 551(13) of title 5, United States Code.

‘SEC. 506. PARTICIPATION BY COMMISSION IN JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS.

    ‘(a) APPEARANCES- The Commission is authorized to appear in and defend against any action instituted under this section and under section 505 either by attorneys employed in its office or by counsel whom it may appoint without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and whose compensation it may fix without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title.

    ‘(b) INSTITUTION OF ACTIONS- The Commission is authorized, through attorneys and counsel described in subsection (a), to institute actions in the district courts of the United States to seek recovery of any amounts determined under this title to be payable to the Secretary of the Treasury.

    ‘(c) INJUNCTIVE RELIEF- The Commission is authorized, through attorneys and counsel described in subsection (a), to petition the courts of the United States for such injunctive relief as is appropriate in order to implement any provision of this title.

    ‘(d) APPEALS- The Commission is authorized on behalf of the United States, to appeal from, and to petition the Supreme Court for certiorari to review of, judgments or decrees entered with respect to actions in which it appears pursuant to the authority provided in this section.

‘SEC. 508. PAYMENTS RELATING TO CANDIDATES.

    ‘(a) ESTABLISHMENT OF CAMPAIGN FUND-

      ‘(1) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established on the books of the Treasury of the United States a

special fund to be known as the ‘Senate Election Campaign Fund’.

      ‘(2) APPROPRIATIONS- (A) There are appropriated to the Fund for each fiscal year, out of amounts in the general fund of the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, amounts equal to any contributions by persons which are specifically designated as being made to the Fund.

      ‘(B) The Secretary of the Treasury shall, from time to time, transfer to the Fund an amount not in excess of the amounts described in subparagraph (A).

      ‘(C) Amounts in the Fund shall remain available without fiscal year limitation.

      ‘(3) AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS- Amounts in the Fund shall be available only for the purposes of making payments required under this title.

      ‘(4) ACCOUNTS- The Secretary of the Treasury shall maintain such accounts in the Fund as may be required by this title or which the Secretary of the Treasury determines to be necessary to carry out this title.

    ‘(b) PAYMENTS UPON CERTIFICATION- Upon receipt of a certification from the Commission under section 503, the Secretary of the Treasury shall promptly pay the amount certified by the Commission to the candidate out of the Senate Election Campaign Fund.

    ‘(c) MANAGEMENT OF FUND- The provisions of section 9602 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 shall apply to the Senate Election Campaign Fund.

‘SEC. 507. REPORTS TO CONGRESS; REGULATIONS.

    ‘(a) REPORTS-

      ‘(1) REQUIREMENT- The Commission shall, as soon as practicable after each election, submit a full report to the Senate setting forth--

        ‘(A) the expenditures (shown in such detail as the Commission determines appropriate) made by each eligible Senate candidate and the authorized committees of such candidate;

        ‘(B) the amounts certified by the Commission under section 503 as benefits available to each Senate candidate; and

        ‘(C) the balance in the Senate Election Campaign Fund, and the balance in any account maintained by the Fund.

      ‘(2) PRINTING- Each report submitted pursuant to this section shall be printed as a Senate document.

    ‘(b) RULES AND REGULATIONS- The Commission is authorized to prescribe such rules and regulations, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c), to conduct such examinations and investigations, and to require the keeping and submission of such books, records, and information, as it deems necessary to carry out the functions and duties imposed on it by this title.

    ‘(c) STATEMENT TO SENATE- Not later than 30 days before prescribing any rule or regulation under subsection (b), the Commission shall transmit to the Senate a statement setting forth the proposed rule or regulation and containing a detailed explanation and justification of such rule or regulation.’.

    (b) PROVISIONS TO FACILITATE VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS TO SENATE ELECTION CAMPAIGN FUND-

      (1) GENERAL RULE- Part VIII of subchapter A of chapter 61 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to returns and records) is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘Subpart B--Designation of Additional Amounts to Senate Election Campaign Fund

‘Sec. 6097. Designation of additional amounts.

‘SEC. 6097. DESIGNATION OF ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS.

    ‘(a) GENERAL RULE- Every individual (other than a nonresident alien) who files an income tax return for any taxable year may designate an additional amount which is not less than $1 and not more than $5,000 to be paid over to the Senate Election Campaign Fund established under section 508 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.

    ‘(b) MANNER AND TIME OF DESIGNATION- A designation under subsection (a) may be made for any taxable year only at the time of filing the income tax return for the taxable year. Such designation shall be made on the page bearing the taxpayer’s signature.

    ‘(c) TREATMENT OF ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS- Any additional amount designated under subsection (a) for any taxable year shall, for all purposes of law, be treated as an additional income tax imposed by chapter 1 for such taxable year.

    ‘(d) INCOME TAX RETURN- For purposes of this section, the term ‘income tax return’ means the return of the tax imposed by chapter 1.’.

      (2) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS- (A) Part VIII of subchapter A of chapter 61 of such Code is amended by striking the heading and inserting:

‘PART VIII--DESIGNATION OF AMOUNTS TO ELECTION CAMPAIGN FUNDS

‘Subpart A. Presidential Election Campaign Fund.

‘Subpart B. Designation of additional amounts to Senate Election Campaign Fund.

‘Subpart A--Presidential Election Campaign Fund’.

      (B) The table of parts for subchapter A of chapter 61 of such Code is amended by striking the item relating to part VIII and inserting:

‘Part VIII. Designation of amounts to election campaign funds.’.

      (3) EFFECTIVE DATE- The amendments made by this subsection shall apply to taxable years beginning after December 31, 1995.

    (c) AMENDMENT OF COMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1934- Title III of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 301 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 315 the following new section:

‘FREE BROADCAST TIME FOR SENATE CANDIDATES

    ‘SEC. 315A. (a)(1) Notwithstanding section 315, a licensee shall make available 2 hours of free broadcast time to each eligible Senate candidate (as defined in section 502 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971) in each State within its broadcast area. The licensee shall make at least 1 hour of the free broadcast time available during a prime time access period.

    ‘(2) A licensee shall make free broadcast time available pursuant to this section during the period beginning on the date that is 90 days before the date of a general election or special election for the Senate and ending on the day before the date of the election.

    ‘(3) As used in this subsection, the term ‘prime time access period’ means the time between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. of a weekday.

    ‘(b) An appearance by a Senate candidate on a news or public service program at the invitation of a broadcasting station or other organization that presents such a program shall not be counted toward time made available pursuant to subsection (a).

    ‘(c)(1) A licensee shall make available free broadcast time in accordance with this subsection to any eligible Senate candidate (as defined in section 502 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971) in each State within its broadcast area if--

      ‘(A) broadcast time was made available by the licensee and the payment for such time constituted an independent expenditure (as defined in section 301(17) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431(17)); and

      ‘(B) such independent expenditure was in opposition to, or on behalf of an opponent of, such eligible Senate candidate.

    ‘(2) A person who reserves broadcast time the payment for which would constitute an independent expenditure within the meaning of section 301(17) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431(17)) shall--

      ‘(A) inform the licensee that payment for the broadcast time will constitute an independent expenditure; and

      ‘(B) inform the licensee of the names of all candidates for the office to which the proposed broadcast relates.

    ‘(3) Free broadcast time under this subsection shall be provided within a reasonable period of time after the broadcast time constituting the independent expenditure described in paragraph (1), and shall be for the same class and amount of time, and during the same period of the day, as such broadcast time.’.

SEC. 3. SOFT MONEY OF POLITICAL PARTIES.

    (a) LIMITATIONS ON POLITICAL PARTY COMMITTEES- Title III of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 is amended by inserting at the end the following new section:

‘POLITICAL PARTY COMMITTEES

    ‘SEC. 324. (a) LIMITATIONS ON NATIONAL COMMITTEES- (1) A national committee of a political party, including the congressional campaign committees of a political party, and any entity that is established, financed, maintained, or controlled by a national committee of a political party, including the national congressional campaign committees of a political party, and any officer or agents of such party committees or entity, shall not solicit or accept contributions or transfers not subject to the limitations, prohibitions, and reporting requirements of this Act.

    ‘(2) Any amount solicited, received, expended, or disbursed directly or indirectly by a national, State, district, or local committee of a political party during a calendar year which might affect the outcome of a Federal election shall be subject to the limitations, prohibitions, and reporting requirements of this Act, including--

      ‘(A) voter registration;

      ‘(B) get-out-the-vote activity;

      ‘(C) generic campaign activity; and

      ‘(D) any communication that identifies a Federal candidate (regardless of whether a State or local candidate is also mentioned or identified).

    ‘(b) STATE, DISTRICT, AND LOCAL COMMITTEES- (1) Subsection (a) shall not apply to expenditures or disbursements made by a State, district, or local committee of a political party for--

      ‘(A) a contribution to a candidate other than for Federal office, if such contribution is not designated or otherwise earmarked to pay for activities described in subsection (a)(2);

      ‘(B) the costs of a State, district, or local political convention;

      ‘(C) the non-Federal share of a State, district, or local party committee’s administrative and overhead expenses (excluding the compensation in any month of any individual who spends more than 20 percent of his or her time on activity during such month which may affect the outcome of a Federal election), as determined under subsection (c);

      ‘(D) the costs of grassroots campaign materials, including buttons, bumper stickers, and yard signs, which solely name or depict a State or local candidate; and

      ‘(E) the cost of any campaign activity conducted solely on behalf of a clearly identified State or local candidate, excluding activities described under subsection (a)(2).

    ‘(2) For purposes of paragraph (1)(C), the non-Federal share of a party committee’s administrative and overhead expenses shall be determined by applying the ratio of the non-Federal disbursements to the total Federal expenditures and non-Federal disbursements made by the committee during the previous Presidential election year to the committee’s administrative and overhead expenses in the election year in question.

    ‘(c) FUNDRAISING EXPENDITURES- Any amount spent by a national committee of a political party, including the congressional campaign committees of a political party, and any entity that is established, financed, maintained, or controlled by a national committee of a political party, including the national congressional campaign committees of a political party, and any officer or agents of such party committees or entity to raise funds that are used, in whole or in part, in connection with the activities described in subsection (b) shall be made from funds subject to the limitations, prohibitions, and reporting requirements of this Act.’.

    (b) RESTRICTIONS ON FUNDRAISING BY CANDIDATES AND OFFICEHOLDERS- Section 315 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 441a) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(i)(1) The limitations, prohibitions, and reporting requirements of this Act shall apply to the solicitation for, and receipt of funds by, a candidate for Federal office, an individual holding Federal office, or any agent of such candidate or officeholder, in connection with any Federal election.

    ‘(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to the solicitation or receipt of funds by an individual who is a candidate for a non-Federal office if such activity is permitted under State law.’.

    (c) REPORTING REQUIREMENTS-

      (1) NATIONAL COMMITTEES- Section 304 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 434) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(d) POLITICAL COMMITTEES- (1) The national committee of a political party, any congressional campaign committee of a political party, and any subordinate committee of either, shall report all receipts and disbursements during the reporting period, whether or not in connection with an election for Federal office.

    ‘(2) Any political committee to which paragraph (1) does not apply shall report any receipts or disbursements that are used in connection with a Federal election.

    ‘(3) If a political committee has receipts or disbursements to which this subsection applies from any person aggregating in excess of $200 for any calendar year, the political committee shall separately itemize its reporting for such person in the same manner as required in subsection (b) (3)(A), (5), or (6).

    ‘(4) Reports required to be filed under this subsection shall be filed for the same time periods required for political committees under subsection (a).’.

      (2) REPORT OF EXEMPT CONTRIBUTIONS- Section 301(8) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431(8)) is amended by inserting at the end the following:

      ‘(C) The exclusion provided in subparagraph (B)(viii) shall not apply for purposes of any requirement to report contributions under this Act, and all such contributions aggregating in excess of $200 shall be reported.’.

      (3) REPORTS BY STATE COMMITTEES- Section 304 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 434), as amended by paragraph (1), is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(e) FILING OF STATE REPORTS- In lieu of any report required to be filed by this Act, the Commission may allow a State committee of a political party to file with the Commission a report required to be filed under State law if the Commission determines such reports contain substantially the same information.’.

      (4) OTHER REPORTING REQUIREMENTS-

        (A) AUTHORIZED COMMITTEES- Section 304(b)(4) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 434(b)(4)) is amended--

          (i) by striking ‘and’ at the end of subparagraph (H);

          (ii) by inserting ‘and’ at the end of subparagraph (I); and

          (iii) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

        ‘(J) in the case of an authorized committee, disbursements for the primary election, the general election, and any other election in which the candidate participates;’.

        (B) NAMES AND ADDRESSES- Section 304(b)(5)(A) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 434(b)(5)(A)) is amended--

          (i) by striking ‘within the calendar year’; and

          (ii) by inserting ‘, and the election to which the operating expenditure relates’ after ‘operating expenditure’.

SEC. 4. PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS.

    Beginning on September 1 and continuing through November 1 of each election year, the Federal Election Commission shall carry out a program, utilizing public service announcements, to provide basic information to the public about--

      (1) voter registration, including locations and times; and

      (2) voting requirements.

SEC. 5. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Except as otherwise provided in this Act, the amendments made by, and the provisions of, this Act shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act, but shall not apply with respect to activities in connection with any election occurring before December 31, 1996.

    (b) CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES BEFORE DATE OF ENACTMENT- This Act, and the amendments made by this Act, shall not apply to contributions and expenditures made before the date of enactment of this Act.