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Congress: House committee approves bill raising campaign contribution limits

The Washington Post reports: The House Administration Committee, acting with the support of the Republican leadership, yesterday approved legislation to dismantle many of the campaign contribution and spending limits enacted over the past 30 years. Under the bill, one donor could direct as much as $1 million in support of a candidate for federal office.

The measure, approved on a 6 to 3 party-line vote, would eliminate the $101,400 ceiling on total contributions to federal candidates and parties by one person. In addition, national parties could give unlimited amounts in support of candidates. ...

The bill is likely to win House approval. Prospects in the Senate, where 40 members can prevent action by filibustering, are dimmer, unless the GOP leadership attaches the bill to popular "must pass" legislation or to a budget resolution that is not subject to a filibuster.

Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), a critic of the bill, said one rich donor could effectively give more than $1.1 million to a candidate by channeling the cash through all 50 state committees and the national, congressional and senatorial campaign committees. Under the law, all the money could then be transferred to a single committee. Under the House Administration bill, that committee would be allowed to spend unlimited amounts for a candidate, working in coordination with the campaign. -- GOP Pushes Bill Easing Election Spending Limits