Center for American Progress: An Appropriations Bill Is Threatening to Make Politicians More Dependent on Big Donors
Instead of taking steps to fight political corruption, some in Congress are attempting to open a new avenue for wealthy donors to ingratiate themselves to political leaders. Currently, an individual can give no more than $2,700 per election to a candidate for federal office, but a little-noticed provision in a draft government funding bill—the fiscal year 2018 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill—could be the beginning of the end of these limits.
As noted by Brendan Fischer at the Campaign Legal Center, candidates can already participate in entities called “joint fundraising committees” (JFCs), which can raise large contributions. Using a JFC, a candidate can solicit funds jointly with national and state political party organizations, aggregating their contribution limits. Most headlines describing fundraisers that cost tens of thousands of dollars per guest to attend—in exchange for access to political candidates—are describing events held by JFCs.