Business Insider: How more than $407 million in taxpayer money got locked away in a forgotten government fund — and lawmakers won’t spend it or return it
Business Insider: How more than $407 million in taxpayer money got locked away in a forgotten government fund — and lawmakers won't spend it or return it
Holed away in a government account is a massive cash stash most anyone — from depleted federal programs to coronavirus-throttled charitable causes — would love to tap.
But it sits idle and untouched.
The intended beneficiaries of the taxpayer-fueled Presidential Election Campaign Fund — presidential candidates — don’t want it, as they’re soured by its restrictions on their election fundraising and spending.
Other prospective recipients, meanwhile, can’t have it.
Congress is what’s preventing this. Conservatives would prefer to disband the fund and repurpose its money. Many Democrats want the money to seed a reimagined public campaign-finance program contained within a broader “democracy-reform” agenda that’s hamstrung on Capitol Hill. Neither side will budge.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Election Campaign Fund’s pot had topped more than $407.2 million as of December 31 — a record amount during the fund’s nearly 50-year history, according to US Treasury records reviewed by Insider. …
Supporters of publicly funded campaigns say this is no time to give up — or to give away more than $400 million that’s already earmarked and available for the public financing of elections.
The For the People Act “represents the boldest democracy reform since Watergate, and any funds currently available for the old system should be used for the new system of federal citizen-funded elections, which must pass so we can get big money out of politics,” Beth Rotman, the director of money in politics and ethics for Common Cause, said prior to the bill’s stall-out.