September 14, 1999
The Administration strongly supports House passage of H.R. 417, the
bipartisan campaign finance reform legislation offered by Reps. Christopher
Shays and Marty Meehan. The Shays-Meehan legislation meets the test of
real, comprehensive, bipartisan reform. It would ban unregulated "soft
money" raised by both parties, address backdoor campaign spending by
outside organizations, and strengthen public disclosure. This bipartisan
measure is the best chance in years to reduce the role of special
interests, give voters a louder voice, and treat fairly incumbents and
challengers of both parties.
The Administration strongly opposes any amendments which would undermine the Shays-Meehan legislation. For example, a pending amendment by Rep. Goodling which would prevent labor unions from using worker dues or fees for political, social, or charitable activities without prior written authorization from the worker. This amendment would impose burdensome new financial and disclosure requirements on labor organizations and their members. Imposing such unprecedented requirements on unions and their members would unnecessarily interfere with union democracy and deter unions from collecting the full amounts necessary to perform their duties.