White House: Reform Groups Urge President Obama to Veto Omnibus Appropriations Bill if it Clears Senate

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Reform groups today sent a letter to President Obama stating that if the Omnibus Appropriations legislation becomes law, it includes the most corrupting campaign finance provisions ever enacted.

The full text of the letter is below.

Dear President Obama,

The Omnibus Appropriations legislation, if it becomes law, includes the most corrupting campaign finance provisions ever enacted.

The provisions authorize massive increases in the allowable contributions to political parties that can only be made by millionaires and billionaires. These huge contributions would be solicited by federal officeholders with the ability to provide access, influence and results to the donors.

A single individual is authorized under the provisions in the Omnibus Appropriations bill to give a total of $777,600 to the three committees of a national party per year or a total of $1,555,200 in a two-year election cycle.  Such massive federal contributions have been prohibited for more than four decades to prevent corruption and the appearance of corruption.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, the nation’s leading opponent of campaign finance laws, has spent his career in the Senate working to gut existing campaign finance laws and block campaign finance reforms. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had final authority for Senate Democrats on what went into the Omnibus bill.

In a “bipartisan” unholy alliance, Senator Reid and Senator McConnell joined with House Speaker John Boehner to secretly insert into the Omnibus bill the destructive campaign finance provisions, which were unknown to the public and members of Congress until the day the bill was filed in the House. These provisions eviscerate the existing party contribution limits.

We were extremely disappointed that the White House issued a statement on Thursday saying that you intend to sign the Omnibus Appropriations bill.

If you do sign the bill, you will join with Senator Reid, Senator McConnell and Speaker Boehner in being responsible for destroying critically important anti-corruption campaign finance laws enacted to protect the interests of more than three hundred million Americans.  You also will join with Senator Reid, Senator McConnell and Speaker Boehner in being responsible for the national corruption scandals that are bound to follow the enactment of the campaign finance provisions.

We strongly urge you to veto the bill if and when it reaches your desk.

Respectfully,

Campaign Legal Center

Common Cause

Democracy 21

League of Women Voters

Public Citizen