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Tonko Cosponsors ´Close the Floodgates Act' to Repeal Last-Minute Campaign Finance Changes

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Washington, DC, January 7, 2015 | comments
Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY) this week cosponsored H.R. 154, the Close the Floodgates Act, which would undo last-minute provisions inserted into last year's end-of-the-year government funding bill – the so-called "Cromnibus" – that would allow wealthy donors to increase their contributions to political parties ten-fold. Rep. Tonko listed the campaign finance provision as well as language that reinstated taxpayer funded bailouts for big banks as reasons for voting against the Cromnibus in December.
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Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY) this week cosponsored H.R. 154, the Close the Floodgates Act, which would undo last-minute provisions inserted into last year’s end-of-the-year government funding bill – the so-called “Cromnibus” – that would allow wealthy donors to increase their contributions to political parties ten-fold. Rep. Tonko listed the campaign finance provision as well as language that reinstated taxpayer funded bailouts for big banks as reasons for voting against the Cromnibus in December.

 

“We should be a government of the many – not of the money – plain and simple,” said Tonko. “This legislation repeals a provision that undermines our democracy and puts our government on the auction block. At a time when Americans of every political persuasion want big money out of elections, House leadership has no excuse not to expedite this bill and send it to the Senate without delay.”

 

H.R. 83, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, known as the “Cromnibus,” included a campaign finance provision that was not included in any previous version of appropriations measures and never received any debate in committee or on the House floor. The provision allows political parties to establish new accounts to use for party conventions, construction and renovation of party headquarters, and legal and recount fees. As a result of these provisions, individual donors would now be able to contribute as much as $777,600 per year to a political party—far in excess of the previous $97,200 cap.

 

In the 113th Congress, Tonko worked to reduce big money in politics by:

 
  • co-introducing the Democracy for All Amendment, which would have reversed highly controversial Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United v. FEC and McCutcheon v. FEC, which have given corporations and the nations’ wealthiest individuals the right to buy unlimited influence in our elections.
 
  • cosponsoring the Government By the People Act, which would have prevented Super PACs from drowning out the voices of everyday Americans by incentivizing candidates to abandon special interests and empowering more individuals to participate in the political process through tax credits.
 

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