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House GOP proposes increasing contribution limit

The Washington Post reports: House Republicans are gearing up to push campaign finance legislation that would scrap post-Watergate restrictions on the total amount of money individuals can donate and parties can spend on candidates.

House Democratic leaders, who see the GOP gaining a huge financial advantage, yesterday protested the bill, as did campaign finance advocacy groups. ...

A person can donate $101,400 to federal candidates and parties in each two-year election cycle. The Pence bill would eliminate this limit. The limit an individual can contribute to a candidate or a political party would not change. Instead, individual donors could give Republican or Democratic committees a total of more than $1.1 million every two years: $53,400 to each of the three major (national, senatorial and congressional) party campaign committees and $20,000 to each of the 50 state parties.

Critics of the legislation contend that an enterprising donor could give $1.1 million to one campaign by giving the maximum allowed to all national and state committees, and asking them to put it into one race.

Lifting the limit would also allow any donor to make $4,200 contributions to any number of federal candidates. ...

The Pence legislation, which is co-sponsored by Rep. Albert R. Wynn (D-Md.), would also allow the parties to spend unlimited amounts in behalf of House, Senate and presidential candidates. In Senate races, for example, the limit on the total given by parties ranges from $2.1 million in California to just over $100,000 in such small states as Vermont and Wyoming; under the Pence-Wynn bill, there would be no limits. -- GOP Targets Spending Limit