Clinton victory in battle over campaign funds: Senate victory marks turning of the tide
Friday 18 June 1993
Earlier, the Senate's powerful Finance Committee had settled its version of his economic package that would trim public spending by dollars 508bn ( pounds 338bn) over five years, while committees of both houses agreed to allow university students to pay for their tuition with public service work.
Last night, Mr Clinton sought to build on his new momentum by holding the first televised prime-time news conference since he took office. Nothing can be counted certain until the President has written his signature, but after weeks of criticism of the White House, the tide is turning in his favour.
Of the various measures, none will have greater public resonance than the potential overhaul of campaign finance, an issue which Congress has ducked and fudged for years. After the avalanche of abuse heaped upon it during the 1992 campaign and the astonishing popularity of Ross Perot, action could be delayed no longer.
The proposals, which the Senate approved by 60 votes to 38 yesterday, are a compromise falling well short of the switch to full public financing sought by Mr Clinton. But they would rein back the rocketing costs of running for office, ban contributions from special interest political action committees, bar lobbyists from giving money to congressmen, and place limits on the 'soft money' given to parties and then handed on to candidates.
Henceforth a voluntary limit of dollars 600,000 will be set on House races, while ceilings on Senate contests vary between dollars 2m and dollars 8.2m in the costliest and biggest states like California. The result should be a drop in total costs, which rose to a record dollars 678m for the 34 Senate and 435 House elections in 1992 - a sum 50 per cent more than in 1992.
Top of the list last year was the California Senator Barbara Boxer, with dollars 10.4m, followed by Alfonse D'Amato in New York (dollars 9.2m). Three House members spent more than dollars 3m, or five times the new limit, in 1992. If the plan reaches the statute book, it should reduce the huge fundraising advantage traditionally enjoyed by incumbents.
Public funding, however, will be available only to candidates whose opponents breach the voluntary ceilings. That money would be partly raised by the repeal of tax concessions for meals and entertainment by lobbyists, which is already contained in the budget packages of both Senate and House.
The version which emerged from the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday contains a modest 4.3 per cent increase in taxes on petrol and other motor fuels, instead of the broad energy tax which Mr Clinton was forced to jettison this month. But its planned cuts in welfare and social spending are likely to run into bitter opposition among liberal Democrats.
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 3 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 4 UK weather: 'Coldest night of the year' tonight as freezing temperatures plummet to -10C
- 5 Game of Thrones is most-pirated TV show of 2014
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...
£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...