Groups Urge Representatives to Oppose Effort to Kill Presidential Public Financing System

October 18, 2005

Groups Urge Representatives to Oppose Effort to Kill Presidential Public Financing System

Dear Representative:

We, the undersigned groups, strongly urge you to reject a proposed effort in the House to kill the presidential public financing system, enacted following the Watergate scandals to protect the American people against corruption of the presidency and presidential decisions.

The groups include the Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Democracy 21, the League of Women Voters, Public Citizen and U.S.PIRG.

According to an article in Roll Call on October 17, 2005, legislation ''scheduled to hit the House floor early next month'' would eliminate the presidential public financing system. The legislation is sponsored by Representatives Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) and John Doolittle (R-CA) and represents the second effort this year in the House to gut the nation's campaign finance laws.

At a time when the American people are deeply concerned about growing issues of corruption and ethics abuses in Congress, it would be the height of irresponsibility to terminate one of the nation's most important programs to protect our democracy against corruption and the appearance of corruption.

Representatives Neugebauer and Doolittle have written to the Chairmen of the Ways and Means and Budget Committees and requested that repeal of the presidential financing system be included in the reconciliation legislation to be considered shortly in the House.

This approach, if used, would allow the House to repeal anti-corruption legislation that has been on the books for thirty years without any House hearings on the matter and without House members having any opportunity to vote up-or-down on whether the presidential financing system should continue.

Any such effort to ram through the House a repeal of the presidential financing system without hearings or an opportunity for a vote on the specific matter would be undemocratic, wrong and against the interests of the American people.

Read the entire letter (PDF).

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