[Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 147 (2001), Part 3]
[Pages 4154-4209]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]


  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, the 
Senate will now resume consideration of S. 27, which the clerk will 
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (S. 27) to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act 
     of 1971 to provide bipartisan campaign reform.


       Torricelli amendment No. 122, to amend the Communications 
     Act of 1934 to require television broadcast stations, and 
     providers of cable or satellite television service, to 
     provide lowest unit rate to committees of political parties 
     purchasing time on behalf of candidates.

                           Amendment No. 122

  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, the 
Senate will now resume consideration of the Torricelli amendment No. 
  The Senator from New Jersey.
  Mr. TORRICELLI. Mr. President, the Senate now turns its attention to 
what is the other half of the campaign finance problem. It is, after 
all, not simply what is raised but why money is raised and where it is 
  This Senate, for 5 years, has had to overcome four filibusters to get 
us to this moment in considering campaign finance reform. We have voted 
on 113 occasions to reform the campaign finance laws. We have 
considered 300 pieces of legislation, heard 3,000 speeches, and filled 
6,000 pages of the Congressional Record. But none of this will mean 
anything, this legislation will accomplish no more than leading to a 
less informed public with less political dialog, if we do not 
complement the reduction in fundraising with more availability of 
information by reducing the cost.
  The McCain-Feingold legislation, as written, will not abate the 
expense of running for political office. It could, if not amended, 
simply lead to an American public, as Senator McConnell has said many 
times, that is less informed with less political speech. I know no one 
in the country who believes that is the kind of reform we genuinely 
  The Alliance for Better Campaigns recently stated:

       Reform must do more than limit the supply of political 
     money. It must also restrain the demand for political money.

  There is a perception in the media and in the public that the entire 
problem of campaign financing is the amount of money. That is a 
problem, but it is not the only problem. Members of this institution 
know that an equal burden that must be addressed is the amount of time 
Senators and Members of the House of Representatives are taken away 
from their legislative responsibilities, not meeting with ordinary 
citizens, to cater to the wealthy to gain access to this money.
  On the chart on my left, I have taken a State at random, New Jersey, 
and given an indication of what it takes in time to run what all future 
Senate campaigns in New Jersey probably will cost--a minimum of $15 
million. This would require, under current campaign finance laws, 
raising $20,833 every day 7 days a week for 2 years, or 150 fundraising 
events, each raising $100,000, or 1,500 events at $10,000 per event, 
1,500 fundraisers at $10,000.
  We can make it more difficult to raise the money. We can eliminate 
soft money. The question remains: Are we simply adding to the burden of 

[[Page 4155]]

much time candidates must spend doing that? If we are eliminating 
categories of money, making it more difficult to get the $15 million, 
all we could be doing is adding to that time which candidates must 
spend finding it. That will not be an achievement. That is why today we 
are dealing with the other half of the equation--not what is raised but 
how much is spent.
  The 2000 elections provide an illustration. Common Cause estimates 
that the 2000 elections cost $3 billion. This is a 50-percent increase 
over 1996, begging the question, At this rate of increase, where is the 
Nation going?
  Obviously, to anyone in the system, by far the greatest component of 
this campaign spending is the cost of television advertising. Indeed, 
one-third of the $3 billion raised and spent in the 2000 elections went 
to pay for political advertisements on television. My predecessor, 
Senator Bradley of New Jersey, probably said it best a few years ago:

       Today's political campaigns function as collection agencies 
     for broadcasters. You simply transfer money from contributors 
     to television stations.

  During the 2000 elections, the broadcast networks enjoyed record 
profits. The placing of political advertisements on the networks is not 
a public service. They do not do this under duress. It is a major form 
of network profits. It is estimated to be at least $770 million and, 
indeed, figures could be as high as $1 billion that was spent by 
candidates on political advertisements--a 76-percent increase over 
  The chart on my left illustrates the rapid increase. President 
midterm spending, in 1982, adjusted for inflation, was $200 million; in 
the year 2000, now reaching $800 million. It is an exponential increase 
that is unsustainable. The Alliance for Better Campaigns recently 
issued its report, ``Gouging Democracy, How the TV Industry Profiteered 
on Campaign 2000.''
  This report illustrates how stations across the country took 
advantage of candidates by increasing their pricing for advertising 
just when they knew that campaigns needed the time the most.
  In Philadelphia and New York City, the two media networks which serve 
my State of New Jersey, the cost of some political ads increased almost 
50 percent between Labor Day and election day--television stations 
recognizing that unlike an automobile manufacturer or a soap 
manufacturer that can advertise at any time of the year, a candidate 
has no choice but to communicate with those voters between Labor Day 
and election day. They have a captive market and they take full and 
unconscionable advantage.
  The letter on my left is a perfect example. This is a television 
station which has had an ad placed by a Federal candidate. Under the 
law, they are required to sell this ad at the lowest unit rate. But as 
is typical of the television networks, they wrote a letter back to the 
candidate saying:

       Activity is a lot heavier than the station anticipated, and 
     your schedules are already getting bumped.

  My colleagues, this is the heart of the problem. The candidate placed 
the ad at $6,300, as required by law. But the television station let 
the candidate know: You may have bought this ad in accord with Federal 
law at $6,300, but you will never see it on television because we will 
bump it. You will not get it for when you bought it. It will be shown 
in the middle of the night when no one will see it.
  So they politely extort another $8,000 in order to guarantee the time 
slot that has been provided. An ad required to be sold at $6,000 by law 
is now in excess of $14,000. This is the heart of the problem. And it 
is typical.
  In our surveys across the country, as in Philadelphia and New York, 
these rates were going up by 50 percent. We have seen in others, 
typically, 30-percent increases in these rates.
  Now, by law, Members of the Senate undoubtedly think this was 
addressed years ago, and they would be right in having that belief. 
Nothing I am now reviewing should be allowed by law. But there is a 
loophole, and the loophole, as I have illustrated, is that they will 
sell you the time. They will just never guarantee it will ever be seen 
on television. That, as I think anybody could assess, is not much of an 
advertising campaign.
  The law is actually being complied with as an exception. The rule is 
the violation. The chart on my left illustrates this point 
conclusively. The heavy red lines are advertisements that are placed 
above the lowest unit rate--remembering that the law requires that 
advertisements be sold to political candidates, as required for 
communication in Federal elections, at the lowest unit rate.
  WCCO in Minneapolis met its public responsibility by selling 4 
percent of all of its advertisements at the lowest unit rate. And 95 
percent of all the ads placed were higher than lowest rates. They are 
paying commercial rates.
  In New York city, an advertising market with which I am familiar, 
WNBC--not some unaffiliated station, but one owned by the National 
Broadcasting Company itself--15 percent of their ads were in accordance 
with the law at the lowest unit rate; for 78 percent they were charging 
commercial rates to Federal candidates for public office. There are 
stations that are better. The chart illustrates that virtually in every 
market in the country, large States and small, rural and urban, the 
responsibilities are not being met.
  In Los Angeles, KABC--once again, an affiliate owned by the network 
itself--34 percent of all advertisements are being sold at commercial 
rates. In Columbus, OH, it is 90 percent. At KYW, one of the most 
popular stations in Philadelphia, it is 91 percent. At WXYZ in Detroit, 
it is 88 percent sold at commercial rates.
  My colleagues, the law as you intended it, to require lowest unit 
rate sales of advertising, has collapsed. It is not happening. 
Broadcasters are auctioning advertising time to Federal candidates in 
competition with the industries of America. Any candidate is facing the 
prospect of a bidding war with General Motors or Ford or IBM when they 
go to place political advertising. The law is simply not functioning.
  Similar patterns, as I have demonstrated, are all over the country. 
To quote the Alliance for Better Campaigns, ``while this law remains on 
the books, its original intent is no longer served.''
  The other part of this equation is not simply that there is price 
gouging of candidates by taking advantage of a loophole in the lowest 
unit rate, but, almost incredibly and simultaneously, the broadcasters 
are violating another responsibility. One responsibility is the lowest 
unit rate to allow advertising, not to increase the cost of campaigns 
and increase fundraising responsibilities and burdens; the other is to 
provide news coverage. These, my colleagues, after all, are the public 
airwaves, licensed by the Federal Government for the interest of the 
American people to promote their debates. The Federal airwaves are not 
to be used entirely for sitcoms and cartoons, or to sell soap or 
automobiles. There is a public responsibility.
  I am going to show the difference between what is going on in 
advertising and news coverage. As you can see on this chart, those ads 
sold at the unit rate are flat. The red line shows that almost all 
advertising is going on to the non-unit rate or commercial rate of 
  We will move on to the news coverage. Now, remembering how the 
advertising was increasing at commercial costs, exponentially the chart 
was rising to the top. Consider this, remembering the two 
responsibilities: selling at lowest unit rate and providing news 
coverage in the public interest.
  In Philadelphia, during the New Jersey Senate primary--remembering 
there was no incumbent--we were choosing a U.S. Senator for New Jersey, 
during a Presidential election, the final 2 weeks of the campaign. In 
Philadelphia, this is the amount of news coverage in the final 14 days 
of the election: WPVI in Philadelphia, an average of 19 seconds per 
evening; WVAU, in the public interest, on a federally licensed station, 
dedicated an average of 1 second per night to informing their viewers 
on the Senate campaign in its closing days. In New

[[Page 4156]]

York, the situation was not very much different. WNBC--once again, a 
network-owned-and-operated affiliate, not some arm's length operating 
station, but NBC's own station in New York, in the final 2 weeks of the 
campaign--gave 23 seconds to covering the primary. At WCBS in New York, 
an average of 10 seconds was given to covering this.
  As Robert McChesney wrote in Rich Media, Poor Democracy:

       Broadcasters have little incentive to cover candidates, 
     because it is in their interest to force them to publicize 
     their campaigns.

  Exactly. Why would anyone provide free coverage in the public 
interest in hard news when, alternatively, candidates must pay millions 
of dollars to the stations themselves to get their message across? 
There is a disincentive to provide news because people have to pay for 
  The Brennan Center reports that, indeed, in the 30 days preceding the 
November elections, the national broadcasters averaged about 1 minute 
per night--1 minute--in substantive campaign coverage.
  Rather than a discussion of substantive issues, the broadcast 
networks covered the campaign 2000 primarily as a horse race. Only one 
in four network news stations aired stories that were, indeed, issue 
  The chart on my left makes this comparison: what is happening in 
advertising in which candidates are now paying nearly a billion 
dollars, and what is happening in news coverage as required by Federal 
license. These are the top four rated TV stations in Philadelphia and 
New York.
  Overall, a viewer in the State of New Jersey is 10 times more likely 
to see a paid political advertisement--10 times--than they are ever to 
see a news story, excepting that most of those news stories are 
scandal, and horse races, and are not news anyway.
  Conceding they really are news, let's operate on the fiction they 
were putting news on the air. Nevertheless, one would be 10 times more 
likely to see a political advertisement.
  Here are examples in Philadelphia: WPVI, 122 advertisements ran 
between May 24 and June 5. The number of news stories was 11. WNBC in 
New York, 99 advertisements, 16 news stories.
  The fact is, news coverage has reached an all-time low. Just as the 
networks are evading their responsibility for the lowest unit cost 
under the law, they are also avoiding their responsibility to provide 
hard news.
  During last summer's political conventions for Democrats and 
Republicans, ABC, CBS, and NBC reduced by two-thirds the hours they 
devoted to convention coverage of 1988, the last time there was an open 
seat Presidential election.
  Broadcasters are in many respects public trustees. They should not be 
putting the public airwaves out to bid when political candidates want 
to communicate with their constituents. They receive their licenses by 
meeting FCC requirements under the 1934 Communications Act in the 
public interest. The law makes clear that the airwaves are public 
property and that they must be used for the ``public interest, 
convenience, and necessity.''
  Indeed, perhaps maybe this Congress deserves some of the blame. In 
1997, the Congress gave broadcasters digital TV licenses which doubled 
the amount of spectrum. If sold at auction, it would have brought in 
$70 billion. William Safire wrote:

       A rip-off on a scale vaster than dreamed . . . by the 
     robber barons.

  Bob Dole called it ``a giant corporate welfare scheme.''
  What all this has meant is broadcasters taking advantage of this new 
technology without any new responsibility, and we have allowed this 
situation to deteriorate to the point of billion-dollar campaigns 
putting enormous burdens of time and money on the political system. 
That is, in my judgment, unsustainable.
  In response to this gift of public assets, President Clinton 
appointed an advisory panel to update the public interest obligation of 
broadcasters. The panel advised broadcasters to voluntarily air 5 
minutes a night in the 30 days before the election. During the 2000 
elections, local affiliates of NBC and CBS agreed to the 5 minutes. 
Although these stations should be commended, they and other stations 
made similar decisions representing 70 percent of the 1,300 local 
  Shockingly, ABC, which was the second biggest beneficiary of 
political advertisement last year, did not make any commitment at all. 
The refusal of ABC to join other broadcast networks was the broadest 
step toward further corporate irresponsibility.
  In sum, what much of this means is that contrary to law and the 
national interest, the broadcasters have now developed a dependency on 
political advertising. As the chart on my left illustrates, this is now 
the source of revenues of television stations and networks, gaining 25 
percent of all of their revenue from the automobile companies, the 
largest industry in America; 15 percent from retailers across the 
country, and, unbelievably, 10 percent of all revenues of television 
stations is now coming from political advertising.
  If this, however, were a chart of Iowa or New Hampshire or early 
primary States, we would find during the Presidential elections that it 
is not third but first.
  Even taking the network's greatest advantage of looking at this 
nationally, it is clear television stations have developed a 
dependency--indeed, an addiction--on political advertising. That is 
clearly not in the national interest.
  What should, however, gain the attention of the American people is 
the almost unbelievable hypocrisy of the networks on this issue. They 
have joined the fight for campaign finance reform by criticizing the 
current finance system, and we welcome their assistance. If there is to 
be genuine reform, we are glad the voices of the networks have been 
part of the drumbeat of criticism to bring this Congress to a change. 
They want change. They just do not want to be part of it, recognizing 
there is a reason this money is being raised, and they are the 
principal reason.
  Outside this Chamber, today the National Association of Broadcasters 
will have its lobbyists attempting to convince Members they should not 
bear any responsibility and they should be able to evade the current 
law and charge commercial rates for their $1 billion in political 
advertising. Indeed, since 1996, the National Association of 
Broadcasters has spent $19 million. While the network broadcasters are 
convincing the American people to change the political system, their 
lobbyists are in the hall spending millions of dollars in lobbying time 
convincing people not to lower costs, do not raise money, but keep 
spending it on us.
  From 1996 through 1998, the National Association of Broadcasters and 
five media outlets together spent $11 million to defeat 12 campaign 
finance bills that would have, if implemented, reduced the cost of 
broadcasting for candidates.
  Time's up. You wanted campaign finance reform and you were right, the 
system should be changed, but you miscalculated because you are going 
to be part of that reform.
  On a bipartisan basis, this Senate is going to vote today to 
implement a law which we intended a long time ago. These are public 
airwaves. There will not be price gouging for candidates for Federal 
office. This time will be sold at the lowest unit rate as was always 
our intention.
  Under the Torricelli-Corzine-Durbin-Dorgan, et al., amendment, we are 
going to bring the letter of the law back in line with the spirit of 
the law.
  Our intention is very simple: One, require broadcasters to charge 
candidates and political parties the lowest rate offered throughout the 
year. Therefore, the gouging that takes place because the networks know 
that we must advertise between Labor Day and election day will end. 
They will base these prices on the lowest rate throughout the year.
  Second, ensure that candidate and party ads cannot be bumped, 
displaced, by other advertisers willing to pay more for the air time. 
Simply stated, to avoid the problem, as in the letter I indicated from 
one television station, where a candidate for public office attempting 
to communicate with their

[[Page 4157]]

constituent is told that General Motors is willing to pay more for the 
same spot; therefore, either you pay what they will pay or your 
advertisement will run in the dead of the night.
  Three, require the FCC to conduct random checks during the 
preelection period to ensure compliance with the law. In 1990, Senator 
Danforth of Missouri requested a similar audit by the FCC and for the 
first time revealed the extent to which broadcasters were not charging 
candidates the lowest unit rate. Although the crackdown resulted in a 
temporary dip in rates as broadcasters followed the law more closely, 
recognizing the FCC controlled their licenses, as soon as the study was 
finished, the monitoring was over, rates went up again, and the law was 
violated. This time we will monitor it, but we will monitor it 
  Savings that will result from this amendment are extraordinary, as is 
the ability to change the national political culture of the fundraiser, 
reducing costs, resulting in reduced fundraising. This is a great 
opportunity. I do not know a member of this Congress who wouldn't 
rather spend their time legislating than raising funds. I don't know a 
Member of this Congress who wouldn't prefer to be at home on the 
weekends with their family or constituents, rather than traveling 
around the Nation raising funds. This isn't something that anybody 
enjoys. There is an endless spiral of fundraising that is out of 
control, but it will not be stopped simply by eliminating soft money or 
making it more difficult to raise money of any kind. Candidates will 
find money within the law under some system unless we address the 
question of costs. In the modern political age, the cost of a campaign 
is easily defined. It is television. This is a network-driven process. 
And it can change.
  My final chart illustrates the difference in running political 
campaigns in three jurisdictions. If the Torricelli-Corzine-Durbin-
Dorgan amendment is adopted, the cost of running advertising in Los 
Angeles, the second most expensive media market in the country, would 
be a 75-percent difference by applying the lowest unit rate; in Denver, 
41 percent; in Birmingham, AL, an incredible 400-percent difference.
  This goes to the heart of the problem. We are simply requiring what 
was asked a long time ago. We do not do this to an industry that is 
struggling. The broadcast industry is making record profits by using 
Federal licenses with new technology that has been given without cost. 
Now, my friends, it is time to ask them to meet their responsibilities.
  A new campaign finance system in America will require 
responsibilities and sacrifices by many people--certainly by every 
Member of Congress. This amendment will welcome the broadcasters into a 
new responsibility in being part of the answer to the problem rather 
than the core of the problem itself.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Fitzgerald). Who yields time?
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I yield 10 minutes to the distinguished 
Senator from New Jersey.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Jersey is recognized.
  Mr. CORZINE. Mr. President, I am pleased to join my esteemed 
colleague, the senior Senator from New Jersey and a number of other 
colleagues in offering this amendment to reduce the exploding costs of 
political advertisements on the airwaves. As Senator Torricelli has 
articulated and effectively demonstrated, this amendment would 
guarantee that candidate advertisements are not preempted by more 
favored, high-spending advertisers and that candidates are given the 
lowest available rate for the reserved time.
  Mr. President, campaigns do cost too much. God knows, I know. To 
communicate with voters, at least in large States like New Jersey with 
multiple and expensive media markets, candidates must use television 
time. And television is very expensive. My campaign was charged as much 
as $55,000 for one 30-second spot alone in the weeks directly preceding 
the election. Others actually paid more.
  When I began my run for the Senate, I was generally unknown to the 
community at-large. I had enjoyed a successful business career, which I 
thought would make a contribution to the Senate, the Nation, and my 
community. But virtually no one in New Jersey knew who I was or, more 
importantly, where I stood on the issues. Meanwhile, my opponents 
included a former Governor and a former Congressman who were very well 
recognized throughout our State. The Governor had run five statewide 
campaigns and the latter had been in Congress 8 years and politics most 
of his adult life. Certainly their experience should not have been 
disqualifying, but neither should a lifetime of participation in the 
private sector preclude the possibility for government service.
  With that background, Mr. President, as you may know, New Jersey has 
no major in-State television market. Rather, north Jersey voters are 
served by New York City television stations while south Jersey voters 
are served by those from Philadelphia.
  The trend in television news coverage is to spend less and less time 
on State and local races, and the problem is exaggerated in New Jersey 
where stations from other States devote little airtime to covering New 
Jersey politics.
  As my senior colleague pointed out, in both the Philadelphia market 
and New York market, as we ran up to the primary, there was very little 
coverage. It averaged, if you looked across the two markets, 13 seconds 
per day during the 60 days leading up to the election. Think about 
that: 13 seconds a day for five candidates to express their points of 
view and get in front of the public. That is some debate. I do hope we 
can do something about it.
  Compounding matters, there is also a trend away from covering 
substantive issues, as Senator Torricelli remarked, in favor of 
covering elections in horseraces, who is up, who is down, what the 
polls say, not what the issues are. For those candidates, such as 
myself, who want to engage voters on the issues, the only option is to 
purchase time from the high priced, out-of-State broadcasters in our 
case. The end result is the candidates, especially challengers, those 
who have not previously held public office, must grapple with hugely 
expensive media costs to stand a chance.
  Let me be clear. Media exposure does not guarantee success. A 
bankrupt message will lose, despite a well-funded media campaign. I 
don't buy the argument you can buy an election. There are many examples 
of candidates who have spent significant amounts of money, only to 
lose. People who argue you can buy elections, in my view, underestimate 
the ability and the judgment of the voters. Still, while adequate 
exposure on television clearly is not sufficient to generate success, 
lack of exposure for many candidates almost certainly will guarantee 
failure, again, particularly for challengers and newcomers who might 
bring different experiences and perspectives to issues.
  Congress recognized this media cost problem in 1971 when it required 
broadcasters to offer candidates the lowest price offered for a similar 
timeslot. Unfortunately, that legislation included a major loophole. 
Under the law, while local stations must offer a candidate the lowest 
available rate, the broadcasters are allowed to preempt those 
commercials and broadcast them at a later time--in the case in New 
Jersey and Philadelphia markets, maybe at 3 a.m., as opposed to prime 
time. To guarantee that an advertisement is shown at a particular time, 
candidates are forced to pay premium rates. These premiums have 
increased the price of on-air time dramatically.
  Not long ago, the Alliance for Better Campaigns issued a report 
entitled ``Gouging Democracy.''
  I ask unanimous consent that the executive summary of this report be 
printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                           Executive Summary

       Local television stations across the country systematically 
     gouged candidates in the closing months of the 2000 campaign, 
     jacking up the prices of their ads to levels that were

[[Page 4158]]

     far above the lowest candidate rates listed on the stations' 
     own rate cards. They did so despite a 30-year-old federal law 
     designed to protect candidates from such demand-driven price 
     spikes. The stations apparently did not break the law; 
     rather, they exploited loopholes in a law that has never 
     worked as intended. In 2000, this so-called ``lowest unit 
     charge'' [LUC] safeguard for candidates was overrun by the 
     selling practices of stations, the buying demands of 
     candidates, the sharp rise in issue advocacy advertising and 
     the unprecedented flood of hard and soft money into political 
       As a result, political advertisers spent five times more on 
     broadcast television ads in 2000 than they did in 1980, even 
     after adjusting for inflation. The candidates made these 
     payments to an industry that has been granted free and 
     exclusive use of tens of billions of dollars worth of 
     publicly owned spectrum space in return for a pledge to serve 
     the public interest. In 2000, the broadcasters treated the 
     national election campaign more as a chance to profiteer than 
     to inform. Their industry has become the leading cause of the 
     high cost of modern politics.
       This study is based on a comparison of political 
     advertising sales logs and rate cards at 10 local television 
     stations; an analysis of political advertising costs at all 
     stations in the top 75 media markets in the country; and 
     interviews with Democratic and Republican media buyers, 
     television station ad sales managers and officials at the 
     Federal Communications Commission. Its key findings:
       Candidates Paid Prices Far Above the Lowest Published Rate. 
     In the final months of Campaign 2000, federal, state and 
     local candidates paid ad rates that, on average, were 65 
     percent above the candidates ``lowest unit charge'' rate 
     published in the stations' own rate card, according to an 
     audit of ad logs at 10 local stations across the country. The 
     10 stations are major network affiliates in large markets; in 
     total, they aired more than 16,000 candidate ads.
       Stations Steered Candidates Toward Paying Premium Rates. 
     Television stations made their lowest candidate rate 
     unattractive to candidates by selling ads at that rate with 
     the proviso that they could be bumped to another time if 
     another advertiser came forward with an offer to pay more. 
     The LUC system is supposed to ensure that candidates are 
     treated as well as a station's most favored product 
     advertisers (e.g., the year-round advertiser who buys time in 
     bulk and receives a volume discount). But unlike most product 
     advertisers, candidates operate in a fast-changing tactical 
     environment and need assurance that their ads will run in a 
     specified time slot. During the height of the 2000 campaign, 
     station ad salesmen routinely took advantage of these special 
     needs and steered candidates toward paying high premiums for 
     ``non-preemptible'' ad time.
       An Explosion of Issue Advocacy Ads Caused Spikes in All Ad 
     Rates. The biggest change in the marketplace of political 
     advertising in recent years has been the explosive growth of 
     party and issue group advertising; in 2000, it accounted for 
     roughly half of all political ad spending. These ads are not 
     entitled to LUC protection. In markets where there were 
     highly competitive races, stations doubled and sometimes 
     tripled issue ad rates in the campaign's final weeks. This 
     had a tail-wags-dog effect on the pricing of candidate spots. 
     The intention of the LUC system is to peg candidate rates to 
     volume discount rates for product ads. But in 2000, 
     candidates paid rates driven up by the demand spike created 
     by the flood of soft money-funded issue advocacy ads.
       Some Candidates Were Shut Out of Air Time. The heavy demand 
     for political ad time squeezed some would-be candidate 
     advertisers off the air. In some markets, television stations 
     either ran out of inventory or refused to sell air time to 
     down-ballot state and local candidates. These candidates are 
     entitled to lower ad rates than issue groups and parties, 
     but, unlike candidates for federal office, they are not 
     guaranteed access to paid ad time.
       Political Ad Sales Were at Least $771 Million . . . 
     Stations in the top 75 media markets took in at least $771 
     million from Jan. 1 to Nov. 7, 2000 from the sale of more 
     than 1.2 million political ads, almost double their 1996 take 
     of $436 million.
       . . . and May Have Hit $1 Billion. The $771 million figure 
     is a conservative estimate. It covers ad spending on the 484 
     stations in the nation's 75 largest markets, but excludes the 
     ad dollars spent on roughly 800 stations in the nation's 135 
     smaller markets. It also fails to account for the spike in ad 
     rates that occurred close to Election Day. Some Wall Street 
     analysts estimate the actual political ad revenue total was 
     closer to $1 billion.
       While Profiteering on the Surge in Political Spending, 
     Stations Cut Back on Coverage. Even as it was taking in 
     record revenues from political advertisers, the broadcast 
     industry scaled back on substantive coverage of candidate 
     discourse. Throughout the 2000 campaign, the national 
     networks and local stations offered scant coverage of 
     debates, conventions and campaign speeches, prompting veteran 
     ABC newsman Sam Donaldson to remark that his network evening 
     news political coverage had ``forfeited the field'' to cable. 
     The industry also fell far short of a proposal by a White 
     House advisory panel, co-chaired by the president of CBS, 
     that stations air five minutes a night of candidate discourse 
     in the closing month of the campaign. In the month preceding 
     Nov. 7, the national networks and the typical local station 
     aired, on average, just a minute a night of such discourse. 
     This minimal coverage increased the pressure on candidates to 
     turn to paid ads as their only way of reaching the mass 
     audience that only broadcast television delivers.

  Mr. CORZINE. According to this report, the cost of political 
advertising last year was $771 million, more than doubling the cost 
just 8 years ago in 1992. That is up from $375 million to almost $800 
million. That is a conservative estimate. The fact is, media costs 
simply are growing out of control.
  This is a chart I would like to see for earnings of a company I 
formally represented.
  To avoid having campaign ads preempted, candidates are forced to pay 
prices above the lowest unit cost. Some 78 percent of the political ads 
on WNBC, a New York network affiliate--one of the prime spots for 
placing your ads in the New York media market--were purchased at a rate 
higher than the lowest published candidate rate for those timeslots in 
the fall of 2000. You will see here: WNBC--78 percent.
  So we compare it equally with Philadelphia, where you also have to 
run in New Jersey, and 91 percent of the ads were sold at or above 
those lowest unit costs.
  It is critical to remember that the public owns the airwaves. They 
are licensed to broadcasters but they belong to all of us. They are a 
public trust, gifted to the broadcasters for commercial use.
  The Television Bureau of Advertising, based on estimates supplied by 
CMR MediaWatch, estimates that ad revenues for the broadcast television 
stations in 1999 exceeded $36 billion. Seemingly, the public spectrum 
has proved profitable for the television broadcasters: $36 billion. 
Consequently, it is not unreasonable to ask the stations to make time 
available so candidates can communicate with the voters.
  An article by David Broder appearing in yesterday's Washington Post 
drives home the underlying motivation for this amendment. I ask 
unanimous consent the article be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the article was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

               [From the Washington Post, March 20, 2001]

                       Where the Money Goes . . .

                          (By David S. Broder)

       The Sunday television talk shows were focused on campaign 
     finance reform, but no one was rude enough to suggest that TV 
     itself is at the heart of the problem. The same subject is 
     conspicuous by its absence in the campaign finance debate now 
     underway in the Senate. For a change, the lawmakers are 
     arguing seriously how to regulate the money coming into 
     politics from business, labor and wealthy individuals. But 
     they are ignoring where that money goes.
       Voters I've interviewed seem to think this money goes into 
     the coffers of the political parties or into the pockets of 
     the politicians. In fact, the parties and the candidates are 
     the middlemen in this process, writing checks as fast as the 
     contributions arrive.
       Many of the checks go to broadcasters for those 30-second 
     ads that, in the final weeks of a campaign, fill the screen 
     during the breaks in local news shows and popular prime-time 
       A report earlier this month from the Alliance for Better 
     Campaigns, a bipartisan public interest group critical of the 
     broadcasters, said that ``stations in the top 75 media 
     markets took in at least $771 million . . . from the sale of 
     more than 1.2 million political ads'' last year. If the 
     figures for stations in the 135 smaller markets were added, 
     it's estimated that the total take probably would be counted 
     at $1 billion.
       That reality is being ignored as senators debate rival 
     measures, all of which have a common feature--reducing the 
     flow of contributions that pay the campaign television bills. 
     Common sense tells you that if the TV bill remains that 
     exorbitant, politicians will continue the ``money chase'' 
     under any rules that are in place.
       But that fact is suppressed in Senate debate for the same 
     reason it was ignored on the TV talk shows: fear of 
     antagonizing the station owners, who control what gets on the 
       The influence that broadcasters exercise in their home 
     markets is reflected in the power their lobbyists wield in 
     Washington. That is the main reason the major proposals 
     before the Senate--one sponsored by Sens. John McCain and 
     Russ Feingold and the other crafted by Sen. Chuck Hagel--have 
     no provisions aimed at reducing the TV charges. Instead, they 
     focus on the high-dollar ``soft

[[Page 4159]]

     money'' contributions to the political parties. McCain and 
     Feingold would eliminate them; Hagel would limit their size.
       The soft-money exemption from the contribution limits that 
     apply to other gifts to candidates and parties was created in 
     order to finance such grassroots activity as voter 
     registration and Election Day turnout. But now most of the 
     soft money is converted into TV issue ads, indistinguishable 
     for all practical purposes from the candidates' 
     electioneering messages.
       The National Association of Broadcasters denies the 
     Alliance for Better Campaigns' charge of price ``gouging'' in 
     the last campaign. But there are no discounts for issue ads; 
     they are sold at whatever price the market will bear. And the 
     heavy volume of issue ads drove up the cost for all TV spots 
     in the weeks leading up to Election Day, including those 
     placed by candidates, thus fueling the money chase.
       Whether the McCain-Feingold bill, or the Hagel substitute, 
     or some blend of the two is passed, campaign cash will 
     continue to flow to those television stations--and they will 
     continue to charge the candidates and parties what the 
     traffic will bear.
       For years, some reform advocates have argued that no new 
     law will be effective unless the cost of television can be 
     brought down. McCain, in fact, has drafted a bill that would 
     require the broadcasters--in return for their use of the 
     public airways--to contribute perhaps one percent of their 
     earnings to finance vouchers that the parties and candidates 
     would convert into payment for TV spots. Estimates are that 
     it would go a long way toward eliminating the need for 
     private funding of the TV side of campaigns.
       But McCain does not plan to offer this as an amendment 
     during the current debate, fearing that the broadcasters' 
     lobby would turn enough votes to kill the underlying bill. It 
     is possible that other senators may offer amendments designed 
     to reduce the need for billion-dollar political TV budgets, 
     but their prospects are poor.
       The reality is that any measure that becomes law without 
     such a provision is likely to be no more than a Band-Aid. As 
     long as broadcasters can continue to treat politics as a 
     profit center, not a public responsibility, the money will 
     have to come from somewhere to pay those bills. The current 
     debate focuses too much on the people who write the checks. 
     It's time to question, as well, where the money goes.

  Mr. CORZINE. He writes:

       Common sense tells you that if the TV bill remains . . . 
     exorbitant, politicians will continue the ``money chase'' 
     under any rules that are in place.

  This amendment seeks to lower the cost of television to reduce that 
money chase by lowering the amount of money necessary to run for 
  Many would argue if we truly want to get rid of this money chase in 
politics, we should guarantee free air time for public debate. I agree, 
but for today we argue only for TV time at the lowest cost per unit. 
That is all this amendment does. It requires broadcasters to make time 
available on a nonpreemptable basis at the lowest cost offered to 
anyone for that time period, and it requires the FCC to conduct 
periodic audits to ensure compliance.
  This does nothing more than enforce the original intent of Congress 
when it first required broadcasters to make time available at the 
lowest unit rate. This simple but powerful reform potentially will 
bring sanity to the cost of 21st century campaigns.
  I urge my colleagues, as Senator Torricelli has before me and others 
will after, to support this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I am about to yield to my colleague and 
friend, Senator Dorgan, but I wish to commend both of our colleagues 
from New Jersey--Senator Torricelli for being the lead sponsor of this 
amendment and Senator Corzine and others for their cosponsorship of it 
and to Senator Corzine for some excellent remarks on the purpose of 
this amendment.
  I will take some time later on this morning to address the substance 
of the amendment, but I commend both of my colleagues for their 
efforts. This is very well thought out. The point Senator Corzine made 
that we sometimes forget is that these are public airwaves which we 
license people to use for commercial purposes. Nothing is more 
important than making people aware of the choices, both issues and 
substantive choices as well as political choices that they make in 
national, local, or State elections. We can't say anything about local 
or State elections, but we can about national--Federal elections.
  I think Senators Torricelli, Corzine, Dorgan, and Durbin have hit on 
a very important point if this bill is to do truly what its authors 
intend it to do.
  I yield 15 minutes to Senator Dorgan.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Dakota.
  Mr. DORGAN. Mr. President, I say to Senator Torricelli and my other 
colleagues who have cosponsored this amendment, they have done a real 
service, in my judgment, in this debate. This is an amendment that can 
hardly be opposed by Members of the Senate. It makes so much sense and 
is so overdue.
  Let me begin in a more general way talking about campaign finance 
reform and then describing why this amendment is critical to the 
success of this effort.
  This Saturday there was a story in one of the major city newspapers 
in this country. I do not think I will identify the people in the 
story, but I want to use this story to make a point. It is a story 
about a group which have gathered to fund certain political campaigns. 
It says they met in a conference room, 40 business executives, 
investors, wealthy folks gathered at a law firm conference room, and 
they had some candidates come in and they would make presentations to 
the gathered potential donors. Then the donors would score them, 1 to 
10, and determine who was best, who were the best candidates.
  It was like a beauty contest without the bathing suits or good looks, 
I guess. You have the candidates come in this law office conference 
room, make their presentation, and they get a score of 1 to 10. 
Apparently after the candidates have made this presentation, this group 
of investors would decide who they were going to support. In this case, 
the story was about a Member of Congress now who went to this 
conference room, made a presentation, scored in the 10s, I guess, and 
then this group of 40 people said: You are our guy. What we are going 
to do is, we are going to do a couple of hundred thousand dollars worth 
of television advertising for you--independent issue ads--and then, 
second, we are going to bundle some money and get you a couple of 
hundred thousand dollars in checks.
  So this little beauty contest produces $400,000 for a candidate. The 
group evolved from a small core of Wall Street bigwigs led by so-and-
so. Their goal is to target large sums of money to specific kinds of 
candidates who come in and survive this little beauty contest they 
  Do we need campaign finance reform? Of course we do. That is just one 
evidence of the desperate need for campaign finance reform. You bet we 
need it. I support the McCain-Feingold bill. I admit it is not perfect. 
I might have written some sections differently. It may need to be 
changed some. But it is a piece of legislation this Congress ought to 
  Fifty years ago we effectively had no rules with respect to 
campaigns. There were no limits, no reporting requirements, and there 
was an exchange of money in this town in paper bags or envelopes; it 
could be in cash. The amount of money was donated and unreported.
  Was that a system that worked? Of course not. That desperately needed 
to be changed and it was in the early 1970s. We had the reforms of 1974 
that tried to establish certain limits and tried to establish certain 
reporting. In many ways it worked, in some areas, but in other ways it 
has not worked. Money and politics are like water finding a hill. They 
run downhill inevitably.
  There is in this political system, rather than a competition of ideas 
is, which is what democracy ought to be about, a mad rush for money in 
order to pay the costs of television advertising, which has become the 
mother's milk of politics. What has happened to their competition of 
ideas in this blizzard of television advertising? Ideas are almost 
gone, nearly obliterated. The orgy of 30-second advertisements in this 
country is a slash-and-burn and hit-and-run negative attack, often by 
nameless and faceless people, in many

[[Page 4160]]

cases by organizations that are not part of political parties. They are 
independent organizations collecting unlimited money from donors who 
are undisclosed.
  Do we need campaign finance reform? Darned right, we do. This system 
is out of control.
  In this morning's Washington Post there is a columnist who really 
makes the case about, what we need in politics is more money, that we 
just need more money in this political system. I wonder, has this 
person been on some kind of space flight somewhere? Did the shuttle 
take him up, and have they been gone for the last 10 years? Could they 
not have failed to see in September and October--and even before in 
every election year, especially last year--the blizzard of 
advertisements, the 30-second ads in every venue of every kind?
  Our political system doesn't need more money. In fact, what has 
happened--and I think that is what has prompted this amendment--is that 
politicians have become collectors of money in order to transfer the 
money to television stations that become the large beneficiaries of 
this new system of ours.
  My colleague, Senator Torricelli, has offered an amendment that says 
the television stations in this country have a responsibility to do 
what the law says they should do--that industry has a responsibility to 
sell political time for political advertisements to candidates at the 
lowest rate on the rate card. But that has not been happening. What has 
happened in the communications business--especially television and 
radio--is a galloping concentration and mergers. Since the 1996 
Telecommunications Act, we have seen a rash of mergers and large 
companies becoming larger. In virtually every State, there are fewer 
television stations owned locally, and more are owned by large national 
  Guess what happened. The result is they make decisions now about the 
ad prices and the rate cards they are going to use for politics. They 
are maximizing their revenue from the political income in this country.
  My colleague described what is happening in New Jersey. I think that 
is important, because he describes the substantial increase in costs of 
television advertising for political purposes in New Jersey.
  Let me describe what happened in North Dakota. The advertisement that 
cost a mere $290 in 1998 to clear an ad on four NBC stations in western 
North Dakota--remember that this is a sparsely populated area, and the 
rates are much different from in New Jersey and New York--but a $290 or 
$300 advertisement 2 years go sold at $753 last fall, nearly tripling 
the advertising rates of the television stations in a small State such 
as North Dakota.
  I am told that the two Federal races paid almost exactly double for 
about the same time on the television stations in North Dakota in the 
year 2000.
  This isn't just about big markets, it is about every market, and it 
is about the television industry deciding it is going to profit as a 
result of being able to ignore, effectively, a provision that exists in 
law requiring the sale of television advertising at the lowest rate on 
the card for political advertising.
  I happen to think we ought to do more in reform with respect to 
advertising. I know some think this would be too intrusive. But, as I 
indicated, I think political campaigns ought to be a competition about 
ideas. They ought to be about competing ideas of what we need to do in 
this country to make this a better place in which to live. They have 
instead become this machine gunfire of 30-second advertisements.
  I would like to see at some point that we require the lowest rate on 
the rate card to be offered to those who purchase a 1-minute ad, 
require the television industry to sell ads in 1-minute increments, and 
require the candidate to appear on the ad three-fourths of the time of 
the 1-minute ad. That would really require people to use television 
advertising to tell the American people what they are about. If they 
want to criticize their opponent, good for them. But they would have to 
do it in person on the air.
  I think that would really change a lot of political advertising in 
this country, and I think America would be better served to have 
positive debate about what the candidate stands for; one would stand 
for one set of ideas, and the other would stand for another set of 
ideas; and let people make a choice. But these days, that is not what 
you have. You have a rush to try to destroy one candidate by the other, 
and in many cases we are seeing expenditures and unlimited money coming 
from undisclosed donors. That doesn't serve this political system at 
  My colleague says let us at least solve this problem by adding to the 
McCain-Feingold bill. As I indicated when I started, I support the 
McCain-Feingold legislation because I think it is a significant step in 
the right direction. But it will be incomplete if we do not add this 
amendment because this amendment will finally tell the television 
industry: You must do what the law requires. Here is exactly what 
Congress says the law has required for some long while that you have 
gotten away from doing. If we don't do this, we will not see an 
abatement to this mad rush for money and the requirement that those who 
are involved in politics collect funds in order to transfer those funds 
to the television stations that are now charging double and triple for 
the advertising that is required in America politics.
  I really believe this is a critically important amendment.
  I must say my colleague from New Jersey, Senator Torricelli, made an 
outstanding presentation. He has done his homework, as I described, 
with one of my colleagues. He has made a very effective presentation of 
why this is necessary.
  Let me make an additional point about the television industry. I 
think the television industry does some awfully good things in our 
country, and all of us take advantage of it almost every day. And we 
appreciate the good things they do. But, as we know, the television 
industry was provided a spectrum. The public airwaves were given to 
broadcasters free on the condition they serve ``the public interest, 
convenience, and necessity.''
  According to a study by the Norman Lear Center at the University of 
Southern California, during the 2000 campaign the typical local 
television station in a major market aired just 45 seconds of the 
candidate's second discourse per night during a month before November 
7. Why? They know what sells on the news. They are chasing ambulances, 
they are not covering political campaigns.
  There were stories about this in the last campaign. Too often 
television stations decided they weren't going to put campaign news in 
the news strip, let people buy it, and at the same time on the 
commercial side of the station they were jacking up the price of their 
ads and preventing candidates from accessing the lowest unit cost.
  I think on the issue of public interest, convenience, and necessity, 
we have a ways to go in the television industry dealing with the 
coverage of political campaigns.
  Major broadcast networks performed only slightly better--airing just 
64 seconds a night of a candidate's discourse per network, according to 
an Annenberg Public Policy Center report.
  The question is, How are the American people to gather information 
about the competition of ideas that ought to exist in the political 
race over the newscast? Hardly. The news industry, including the 
networks, is not covering most of these campaigns. And local stations 
have decided increasingly that there is a menu for their nightly news, 
and they understand exactly what it is. It is often dealing with crime, 
even while crime goes down.
  Incidentally, there are wonderful studies about this which show 
decreased crime rates and increased viewing of stories about violent 
crime on the nightly news because that is what sells.
  It is time for us to ask for something better and something different 
from the television industry. In this circumstance, we are simply 
asking them to do what we believe the law has required them to do but 
what they have

[[Page 4161]]

been refusing to do in recent years, and that is to sell 45 days before 
a primary and 60 days before a general election to candidates for 
public office at the lowest unit charge of the station for the same 
class and amount of time for the same period as for the commercials 
that are aired on those stations. That is what the requirement is.
  It is what they have not been doing, and it is what Senator 
Torricelli and Senator Corzine, Senator Durbin, I, and others say it is 
time to be required to do.
  So I am pleased today to support this amendment. I think it is a very 
important amendment, and I am especially pleased my colleague, Senator 
Torricelli, has taken the lead to offer it today.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, let me inquire, how much time remains on the 
proponents' side?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Seventeen minutes 45 seconds.
  Mr. DODD. How much time remains on the other side?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Ninety minutes.
  Mr. DODD. May I inquire of my colleague from Kentucky--if I could 
interrupt for 1 second--we are down to about 17 minutes on the 
proponents' side. Will my colleague from Kentucky be willing at some 
point to yield us a little time if we need it?
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I would be happy to yield some time. I 
am unaware of speakers at the moment in opposition to the Torricelli 
amendment. There may be some. Actually, I know of one who wants to 
speak. He is not on the floor at the moment. So we will be casual about 
time, and I will make sure we can accommodate all speakers.
  Mr. DODD. How much time does my colleague want?
  Mr. TORRICELLI. Let me inquire. We have several colleagues who want 
to speak on behalf of the amendment. While I want to speak, I do not 
want to take all the time that remains. So I am under the Senator's 
  Mr. DODD. Why not take the time the senator's need, and I am 
confident my colleague from Kentucky will yield us some time if we need 
  Mr. McCONNELL. I say to my colleague from New Jersey, I am not 
exactly swamped with speakers requesting time. I will be glad to work 
with the Senator to have adequate time.
  Mr. TORRICELLI. I thank the Senator very much.
  At this point, I want to deal with several of the questions that have 
been put before the Senate. In the absence of anyone coming to the 
Senate floor to confront the overwhelming logic of our amendment, I 
want to deal with the stealth arguments being presented in Senators' 
offices. Even though no one will rise in defense of this indefensible 
cause of the networks, nevertheless, there are silent arguments being 
waged. I will debate those even if there is not someone in person to do 
  As some of my colleagues have noted, some of the most effective 
arguments were actually made yesterday in the Washington Post by David 
Broder, the columnist. Let me begin by quoting those arguments. I 

       The reality is being ignored--

  That is in dealing with McCain-Feingold--

     as senators debate rival measures, all of which have a common 
     feature--reducing the flow of contributions that pay the 
     campaign television bills. Common sense tells you that if the 
     TV bill remains that exorbitant, politicians will continue 
     the ``money chase'' under any rules that are in place.

  Exactly. Further:

       The reality is that any measure that becomes law without 
     such a provision--

  Parenthetically, that meaning the cost of television--

     is likely to be no more than a Band-Aid. As long as 
     broadcasters can continue to treat politics as a profit 
     center, not a public responsibility, the money will have to 
     come from somewhere to pay those bills. The current debate 
     focuses too much on the people who write the checks. It's 
     time to question, as well, where the money goes.

  That is the heart of the argument for this amendment.
  Where does the money go? Mr. McCain and Mr. Feingold deal with the 
demand for money. We are dealing with the supply of the advertisements. 
This is an equation that inevitably must be dealt with together in the 
  It has been noted by my colleague, Senator Corzine, of our experience 
in the New York metropolitan area, although indeed we do so simply 
because we are the most familiar with it. The arguments we are making 
about New York and Philadelphia could be made in any market in the 
country, al though I want, parenthetically, to deal with how the 
networks are approaching political campaigns today, not as a 
responsibility to enhance communication but as an economic opportunity.
  It should be noted that of the 10 stations that made the most money 
from political advertising in the year 2000, three are in New York: 
NBC, ABC and CBS; two are in Philadelphia, WPVI and WCAU. They range 
from WNBC in New York, which placed $25 million of advertising, and in 
Philadelphia with $11 million for WCAU. It is best described by the 
sales director at the CBS affiliate in Philadelphia as ``the best year 
we've had in forever.''
  Why was it the best year and why all this excitement?
  Let me quote from an article by Paul Taylor, former Washington Post 
political reporter. Quoting the CBS affiliate in Buffalo, WIVB-TV, 
Patrick Paolini, general sales manager, who said:

       We're salivating. No question it will be huge as far as ad 
     revenue [is concerned] . . . It's like Santa Claus came. It's 
     a beautiful thing.

  He was not talking about the quality of the debate. ``Santa Claus 
coming'' was not about substantive arguments to help the people of New 
York. He was talking about the prospects of Hillary Rodham Clinton 
running for the Senate and the potential revenues, recognizing the 
expenditures in a Clinton Senate campaign. ``We're salivating.'' ``It's 
a beautiful thing.'' ``It's like Santa Claus came.''
  It is not by chance that we come today making this argument. There 
has been a calculation by television networks to take advantage of this 
political system and this fundraising to maximize their profits.
  There are arguments going on in Senators' offices as we speak. Papers 
are being circulated, as I have suggested, in the absence of any 
Senators coming to argue against this amendment. Stealth arguments are 
being made to Senators' offices. Let me go through a few of these 
arguments for a moment.
  The National Association of Broadcasters is arguing, first, that we 
are going down the slippery slope of free time.
  My colleagues, there is no amendment before the Senate requiring free 
time. Indeed, there could be an argument for it. All of our European 
allies, in every other industrial democracy in the world, broadcasters 
are required to provide free time to help the public debate. We are not 
doing that today. It would be warranted, but it is not being argued.
  We are simply requiring that the law read as many Senators believe it 
already exists--lowest unit cost. We are closing a loophole in the 
current law.
  Second, the National Association of Broadcasters is arguing in 
Members' offices that: Candidates already receive a 30 percent discount 
on regular commercial ad rates. Oh, my colleagues, if only it were so. 
As I think we demonstrated earlier in my arguments, that is a fiction. 
Candidates are not getting 30 percent. Yes, that is the law. That is 
what should be happening. But as we have demonstrated--in Minneapolis, 
95 percent of advertising is now being done at commercial rates, 4 
percent is at lowest unit rate; in Detroit, 8 percent is at lowest unit 
rate; in Philadelphia, 9 percent; in San Francisco, 14 percent; in Las 
Vegas, 38 percent; in Seattle, 9 percent.
  No, National Association of Broadcasters, you are not providing a 30-
percent discount. That is the exception. The rule is, you are price 
gouging. You are charging commercial rates--contrary to current law.
  Third, arguing that: This has a fundamental, constitutional problem. 
There is no constitutional problem. First, we have had, for more than 

[[Page 4162]]

years, the requirement that ads must be sold at the lowest unit rate. 
We are not doing anything new. We are closing a loophole in current 
law. If there is a constitutional argument now, then there has been a 
constitutional argument for decades; and it has never been raised 
before, although, frankly, even if it had been, it would have failed.
  The fifth amendment's taking challenge would fail in this provision. 
There is no right to a grant of a license or property interest in the 
use of a frequency. The networks have a public license to use the 
public frequencies for their network business. There is no 
constitutional right to it. You apply for a license, and you can get 
that license subject to conditions. Public responsibility is one of 
those conditions.
  Selling air time for the public debate at a reasonable cost is 
another condition. That has always been a condition.
  Under section 304 of the Communications Act of 1934, broadcasters are 
required to ``waive any claim to the use of any particular frequency or 
electromagnetic spectrum as against the regulatory power of the U.S.'' 
There they have waived the constitutional right to claim that the 
spectrum must be used for public purposes.
  In Federal Communications Commission v. Sanders Bros. Radio Station, 
a court decision, the Supreme Court of the United States interpreted 
this provision to mean that:

       No person is to have anything in the nature of a property 
     right as a result of granting a license.

  There simply is no constitutional right impaired by asking these 
reduced rates.
  Finally, the broadcasters are arguing, in correspondence to our 
offices, that broadcasters should not bear the burden of campaign 
reform. Why not? Isn't dealing with the campaign finance problems of 
the country everybody's responsibility? We are saying that candidates 
for public office should no longer avail themselves of soft money, 
should abide by certain rules. Why indeed should broadcasters not bear 
some of the responsibilities? Do they not have public licenses? Do they 
not have responsibility to air the news fairly, cover campaigns, to 
inform the public? Should they be allowed to price gouge?
  They make the argument: What about newspapers? Shouldn't newspapers 
bear this responsibility? I don't know a newspaper in America that 
deals with a Federal license, nor are newspapers under the same 
circumstance of a market that will only permit so many newspapers. The 
spectrum has limited the number of television stations; hence, the 
FEC's requirements and Federal law.
  These National Association of Broadcasters arguments are an insult. 
They confirm the arrogance with which the networks are approaching 
Federal campaigns, the arrogance that is leading to avoidance of 
Federal responsibilities, the selling at lowest unit rate cost, or the 
raising of these extraordinary arguments without merit.
  That is the sum and substance of the case they are making. To the 
credit of my colleagues, they are so meritless in their points that no 
one will actually argue their point of view. Hence, I challenge them 
  We have other colleagues who have come to the floor to make their 
case. I yield the floor. Senator Durbin will be available to speak to 
the Senate.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I commend my colleague from New Jersey, once 
again, for raising the arguments that are being circulated around the 
offices of the Senate and pointing out the fallacy of those arguments.
  The facts are inarguable, when you look at the rates that are being 
charged in major markets all across the country. It goes back to the 
heart of the bill. As we are trying to keep down costs, for many of us 
it runs somewhere around 75 or 80 cents on the dollar that is spent on 
TV advertising. It varies from State to State, I am sure, but that is 
not an unrealistic number in modern campaigns to spend that much of a 
campaign dollar on TV advertising, considering how much the public 
relies on television for its sources of information.
  If we are truly trying to put the brakes on the ever-spiraling cost 
of campaigns, as my colleague from Wisconsin has eloquently described, 
there is no natural law that I know of which says that the costs of 
campaigns ought to continue to rise at the rate they have been rising 
over the last few years. Trying to do something about cost as well as 
the amount of dollars that are raised is the second part of this 
  If we are making the case that we don't need more money in politics, 
that case is more easily made if we are able to demonstrate that we can 
reduce the cost of trying to speak to the American public about what 
our views are, what their choices are, as we encourage people to 
participate in the electoral process.
  I thank our colleagues, the authors of this amendment, for offering 
the amendment and making the case they have. I know our colleague from 
Illinois, who is a cosponsor of the amendment, wants to be heard. I see 
my colleague from Wisconsin. Maybe he would like to take a couple 
minutes before Senator Durbin arrives. I yield a couple of minutes to 
the Senator from Wisconsin.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. I know the Senator from Illinois is coming. I will take 
a moment or two. I appreciate the Senator from Connecticut giving me 
the time so I can indicate my support for this amendment. I think I can 
speak for the Senator from Arizona as well. We are going to support 
this amendment.
  The Senator from New Jersey has laid out the substantive arguments 
very persuasively. I wish to say a word or two about how this amendment 
relates to our overall McCain-Feingold bill and why it is very 
consistent with reform. The Senator from Connecticut has already 
mentioned this, pretty much foreshadowing what I will say.
  The most important point is that the amendment compliments the soft 
money ban. The bottom line of our legislation is, we have to get rid of 
this party soft money that is growing exponentially. The reality, 
though, as the Senator from New Jersey has pointed out, is that in a 
post-soft-money world, the amount of money available for a candidate in 
party advertising will be significantly reduced. That is how it should 
be. That is what we must do.
  Reducing the cost of television time will have the very beneficial 
effect of reducing the impact of the loss of soft money on the ability 
of candidates to legitimately get their message out. The parties will 
only have hard money to spend. For that reason, it is appropriate to 
allow them to use the lowest unit rate as well.
  The fact is, this amendment can help make the legislation work. This 
amendment will help the parties to adjust to the new world of 
fundraising for only hard money, and it will help candidates have the 
sufficient resources to respond to ads that will still be run by 
outside groups.
  Some of the concerns about all the money that would flow to the 
outside groups are overblown. I don't think all the money will flow. It 
is false that all the corporations will give their money in that way. 
The fact is, there still will be these ads and people will still need 
to respond. The Torricelli amendment does make it possible for people 
to have that ability to respond through the legitimate, controlled, 
regulated, and disclosed hard money system.
  Like the soft money ban in this bill, the amendment will take our 
election law back to its original intent. The soft money ban 
reinvigorates the century-old prohibition of corporate spending in 
connection with Federal elections. Lowest unit rate, on the other hand, 
was intended to give candidates a significant discount for advertising 
so they could get their message out. The practice of having preemptible 
and then, on the other hand, nonpreemptible classes of time was not 
contemplated by the lowest unit rate statute. What this amendment does 
is bring the LUR back to what the Congress intended it to be.
  In my mind, it is very similar to what the soft money ban does. It 
takes us back to where we were supposed to be. We are talking in both 
cases about loopholes that have helped destroy an entire system that 
actually was pretty

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well thought out. But loopholes do occur, and this amendment helps us 
close them.
  The Senator from New Jersey already did a fine job on this. I 
reiterate, this is not a slippery slope. This is not the next step to 
free time. I wish it was. There ought to be free time for candidates. 
There ought to be reduced television costs, but LUR is not free time. 
The original McCain-Feingold bill, when Senator McCain and I first came 
together to work on a bipartisan basis, was about voluntary spending 
limits in return for reduced costs for television time. That is 
something we were unable to get a majority of the Senate to support. 
That is not what this amendment does. This amendment simply makes LUR 
effective and useful in practice for candidates.
  I thank the Senator and appreciate his very serious involvement in 
this campaign finance debate and, in particular, for this amendment 
that, as I indicated, Senator McCain and I tried for 5 years to finally 
get this bill on the floor. We always said we have our ideas, but we 
believe that if this bill is brought to the floor of the Senate, the 
Members of the Senate will make it a better bill. Every one of us is an 
expert on this issue. If we come out and have an honest, open debate as 
we are having now, it will get better. The Torricelli amendment is 
proof of that proposition.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I yield myself whatever time I may use. 
I assure my colleagues from Connecticut and from Illinois it will be 
  I have been very pleased by the debate so far on this subject and, 
frankly, somewhat surprised. The comity in the Senate has been 
excellent. There has been a total absence of unsubstantiated charges of 
corruption, which we had on the floor the last time this debate came 
up. That is a step in the right direction.
  On that subject, in today's Washington Post, there was an interesting 
article by George Will, a columnist. I ask unanimous consent that the 
article be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the article was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

               [From the Washington Post, March 20, 2001]

                          Drops in the Bucket

                          (By George F. Will)

       McCainism, the McCarthyism of today's ``progressives,'' 
     involves, as McCarthyism did, the reckless hurling of 
     imprecise accusations. Then, the accusation was 
     ``communism!'' Today it is ``corruption!'' Pandemic 
     corruption of ``everybody'' by ``the system'' supposedly 
     justifies campaign finance reforms. Those reforms would 
     subject the rights of political speech and association to yet 
     further government limits and supervision, by restricting the 
     political contributions and expenditures that are 
     indispensable for communication in modern society.
       The media, exempt from regulations they advocate for rival 
     sources of influence, are mostly John McCain's megaphones. 
     But consider how empirically unproved and theoretically 
     dubious are his charges of corruption.
       What McCain and kindred spirits call corruption, or the 
     ``appearance'' thereof, does not involve personal enrichment. 
     Rather, it means responding to, or seeming to respond to, 
     contributors, who also often are constituents. However, those 
     crying ``corruption!'' must show that legislative outcomes 
     were changed by contributions--that because of contributions, 
     legislators voted differently from the way they otherwise 
     would have done.
       Abundant scholarship proves that this is difficult to 
     demonstrate, and that almost all legislative behavior is 
     explainable by the legislators' ideologies, party 
     affiliations or constituents' desires. So reformers hurling 
     charges of corruption often retreat to the charge that the 
     ``real'' corruption is invisible--a speech not given, a 
     priority not adopted. That charge is impossible to refute by 
     disproving a negative. Consider some corruption innuendos 
     examined by Bradley Smith, a member of the Federal Election 
     Commission, in his new book ``Unfree Speech: The Folly of 
     Campaign Finance Reform.''
       In April 1999, Common Cause, McCain's strongest 
     collaborator, made much of the fact that from 1989 through 
     1998 the National Rifle Association had contributed $8.4 
     million to congressional campaigns. However, that was just 
     two-tenths of one percent of total spending ($4 billion) by 
     congressional candidates during that period. How plausible is 
     it that NRA contributions--as distinct from the votes of 3 
     million NRA members--influenced legislators?
       Common Cause made much of the fact that in the 10 years 
     ending in November 1996, broadcasting interests gave $9 
     million in hard dollars to federal and state candidates and 
     in soft dollars to parties. Gosh. Five election cycles. 
     Changing issues and candidates. Rival interests within the 
     industry (e.g., Time Warner vs. Turner). And broadcasters' 
     contributions were only one-tenth of one percent of the $9 
     billion spent by parties and candidates during that period. 
     Yet, as Smith says, Common Cause implies that this minuscule 
     portion of political money caused legislative majorities to 
     vote for bills they otherwise would have opposed, or to 
     oppose bills they otherwise would have supported, each time 
     opposing the wishes of the constituents that the legislators 
     must face again.
       As Smith says, to prove corruption one must prove that 
     legislators are acting against their principles, or against 
     their best judgment, or against their constituents' wishes. 
     Furthermore, claims of corruption seem to presuppose that 
     legislators should act on some notion of the ``public good'' 
     unrelated to the views of any particular group of voters.
       Although reformers say there is ``too much money in 
     politics,'' if they really want to dilute the possible 
     influence of particular interests (the NRA, broadcasters, 
     whatever), they should favor increasing the size of the total 
     pool of political money, so that any interest's portion of 
     the pool will be small. And if reformers really want to see 
     the appearance of corruption, they should examine what their 
     reforms have done, have tried to do and have not tried to do.
       Smith notes that incumbent reelection rates began to rise 
     soon after incumbents legislated the 1974 limits on 
     contributions, which hurt challengers more than well-known 
     incumbents with established financing networks. After 1974, 
     incumbents' fundraising advantages over challengers rose from 
     approximately 1.5 to 1, to more than 4 to 1.
       Early 1997 versions of the McCain-Feingold and Shays-Meehan 
     reform bills would have set spending ceilings--surprise!--
     just where challengers become menacing to incumbents. Shays-
     Meehan set $600,000 for House races. Forty percent of 
     challengers who had spent more than that in the previous 
     cycle won; only 3 percent of those who spent less won. In 
     1994, 1996 and 1998, all Senate challengers lost who spent 
     less than the limits proposed in the 1995 and 1997 versions 
     of McCain-Feingold.
       There are interesting limits to McCain's enthusiasm for 
     limits. His bill does not include something President Bush 
     proposes--a ban on lobbyists making contributions to 
     legislators while the legislature is in session. Such a limit 
     would abridge the freedom of incumbents. Campaign finance 
     reform is about abridging the freedom of everyone but 
     incumbents--and their media megaphones.

  Mr. McCONNELL. It was on the whole subject of unsubstantiated charges 
of corruption.
  In my view, as I have said in the past, and repeat again today, when 
people make those kinds of charges, they need to back them up. I am 
quite pleased there have been no such charges made during this debate. 
It produces an atmosphere that makes it more likely that we can better 
  This is the second amendment offered in the last 24 hours that I 
think addresses some of the real problems in today's campaign finance 
reform debate. The first problem that we addressed yesterday was the 
problem of the millionaire candidate. It passed 70-30. It was an 
excellent amendment by Senator Domenici and Senator DeWine and Senator 
Durbin that actually addresses a real problem we have in today's 
  Now we have another amendment that addresses a real problem. I 
commend the Senator from New Jersey for a thoughtful, well-researched, 
and, in my view, conclusive case, that the law that has been on the 
books for 30 years requiring the broadcasters to sell candidates time 
at the lowest unit rate ought to be complied with. None of us likes 
having to raise money. But it is my view that it is better than getting 
it out of the Treasury. I assume we will debate later whether or not 
the taxpayers ought to pick up the tab for our campaigns. If it is 
inconvenient for us, it ought to come through our efforts, not somebody 
  As the Senator from New Jersey pointed out, and very persuasively, no 
matter how many hours there are in a day, with the declining value of 
the $1,000 contribution set in the 1970s, when a Mustang cost $2,700, 
and inflation in the television industry, far beyond the CPI--coupled 
with an apparent unwillingness that we have all experienced in our 
States of broadcast

[[Page 4164]]

stations to cover campaigns in the news--we are, in effect, blacked out 
in terms of earned coverage.
  The need for commercials is critical and essential. So what the 
Senator from New Jersey is saying is, let's apply the law, as 
originally written, correctly. Give candidates for public office an 
opportunity to get their message across. I think it is an amendment, 
the passage of which is necessary if we are going to address one of the 
real problems in the current campaign finance system.
  This is something of a historic moment. I think Senator McCain, 
Senator Feingold, and I are going to be on the same side of an 
amendment. Come to think of it, it is the second time.
  I commend the Senator from Wisconsin, also, for his consistent 
opposition to amending the first amendment for the first time in 200 
years. He and I have been on the same side of that issue over the 
years. This will be the second time we have been on the same side. I 
think it bodes well as we move forward in this debate.
  In my judgment, we are actually improving this bill. I hope we will 
make other improvements as we go along. I intend to support the 
Torricelli amendment. I commend the Senator from New Jersey for a 
completely well-researched, documented case that addresses one of the 
real problems we have in American politics in the year 2001.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Illinois is recognized.
  Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I don't know if I need specific time 
yielded. I ask for 20 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time of the proponents has expired.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I had yielded the Senator 20 minutes.
  Mrs. BOXER. If my friend will yield for a moment, I wonder if the 
Senator from Kentucky will give me 5 minutes at the conclusion of 
Senator Durbin's time. I would appreciate it.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I will be happy to do that.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Bunning). The Senator from Illinois is 
  Mr. DURBIN. I thank the Senator from Kentucky for graciously allowing 
me to speak.
  Back in the early 1960s, Newt Minow, of Chicago, was named Chairman 
of the Federal Communications Commission by President John Kennedy. He 
came up with a phrase to characterize television at that moment in our 
history, which has become legendary. Newt Minow called television in 
the early 1960s, ``the great wasteland.'' He took a look at what was 
available on television and suggested that the American people deserved 
better. It triggered a national debate for reform and creative thinking 
about the role of television.
  I say today, if you look at the role of television in this debate on 
political campaigns and public issues, television is not just a great 
wasteland, television has become a killing field because the people who 
run the television stations, the networks and local broadcasters, have 
forgotten the bottom line: their responsibility to the American people.
  You see, they are selling a product. It is something they create; it 
is programming--the types of things we like to watch on television, 
such as sports, news, and entertainment. But their business is 
different than any other. The way they sell their product is on 
something that we as Americans all own--the airwaves. The television 
stations don't own the airwaves. We tell them: You can rent the 
airwaves; you can lease the airwaves, and we will license you to use 
the airwaves, but we expect you to do it in a responsible way.
  Today we are engaged in a debate--and all this week--on campaign 
finance reform. Many people have suggested changes that are 
significant. I salute Senators Feingold of Wisconsin and McCain of 
Arizona. I have been a cosponsor of the bill. They are talking about 
the sources of money that go into political advertising. We all know 
that the sources have become scandalous in size and, frankly, in their 
special interests. I think they are on the right track to clean up the 
money going into political campaigns. But the important thing to 
remember is that just dealing with the supply side, if you will, of 
political campaigns, the sources of campaign contributions misses the 
  Do you want to really reform political campaigns in America? You 
can't even have a serious conversation about that, unless you address 
the role of television. Television used to be a tiny part of political 
campaigns, but it has grown almost out of control.
  Take a look at these numbers--political advertising on broadcast 
television. Starting in 1970, network expenditures were $260,000. Come 
down to the year 2000, 30 years later, and it is $15 million-plus. 
Station TV used to be about $12 million in the 1970 cycle. Now we are 
up to $650 million. The total expenditure for the year 2000 was 
estimated to be some $665 million. Well, the Alliance for Better 
Campaigns came out and said it was going to be between $771 million and 
$1 billion spent on television by political campaigns.
  So what we have, in fact, are efforts by candidates of both political 
parties to raise money to give to television and radio stations in an 
effort to get your message out to the American people. When we created 
these stations and we acknowledged that the public owned the airwaves, 
we also said when it came to political advertising, candidates would be 
treated differently than other advertisers--something called the lowest 
unit charge. We basically said that if there was a bargain at the TV 
station, the bargain should be given to the political candidate. That 
is in the interest of sharing information on public issues, but also in 
keeping the cost of political campaigns under control.
  But, sadly, though the law required, as of 1971, that the lowest unit 
charge be charged to candidates in their campaigns, the fact is that 
candidates are paying more and more. Why? Because if you go to a 
television station in Chicago, or in Springfield, IL, and say you want 
to buy a 30-second ad right before the newscast the night before the 
election, they will say: Senator, great. We will be glad to sell you 
that ad. Incidentally, if we only charge you the lowest unit rate, the 
bargain basement, sadly, if anybody comes and offers a dollar more for 
that ad, we knock you off the air.
  Well, there isn't a political candidate with any good sense that will 
agree to that. If you are going to be knocked off the air right before 
the news and they put you on right before the Pledge of Allegiance and 
the Star-Spangled Banner at the end of the night, you have lost 
everything. Your market doesn't have the benefit of all the good things 
you have to say.
  What candidates are doing is not paying the lowest unit charge, they 
are paying the inflated charges. The television stations have become a 
killing field, because they have taken the law, which said we are going 
to favor candidates in public discourse of issues, and have turned it 
upside down so that candidates, frankly, end up paying dramatically 
more than the lowest unit rate. The cost to the campaign skyrockets, 
and then candidates, incumbents and challengers alike, scramble, beg, 
and plead for people to give them money so they can give it right back 
to the television stations.
  That is why the Torricelli amendment, of which I am a cosponsor, is 
so important. It addresses the demand side of political campaigns--not 
just the supply side, where the money comes from, but how the money is 
spent. Sadly, as we get closer to election day and the demand for their 
TV ads goes up, these stations raise their rates dramatically.
  A gentleman by the name of Paul Taylor, who used to write for the 
Washington Post, created a group called Alliance for Better Campaigns. 
He enlisted the support of a lot of great people, such as former 
President Ford; former President Carter; Walter Cronkite, the legendary 
CBS news commentator; and a former Senator from Illinois, Paul Simon.
  This public interest group said let's take a look at television with 
regard to public information and whether it is doing its job. I was in 
one of their

[[Page 4165]]

meetings in Chicago. They brought in the managers of TV stations and 
said: We noticed you are not covering campaigns, unless the candidates 
pay for it, on your stations. What Mr. Taylor did was to invite the 
radio and TV stations to take a 5-minute segment during the last week 
or two of the campaign and make it available for some public debate and 
public discourse about the issues.
  Sadly, after we take a look at the participation in it, very few 
stations got involved in Mr. Taylor's request.
  Let me tell you some of the statistics they developed. The political 
coverage of these stations shows the result of an analysis of political 
ad costs in all top 75 media markets.
  The alliance advocates scrapping the lowest unworkable lowest unit 
charge and requiring the industry to open the airwaves. When they were 
asked to do it voluntarily, the stations did not comply.
  These stations steer candidates toward premium rates. They pay the 
highest amount. They are shut out of air time.
  America is different in this regard. Many countries make this time 
available to their candidates so they can have literally free access to 
television and radio, but in America you have to pay for it. We do not 
provide free air time. The cost, of course, is going through the roof.
  Let me give an illustration of how bad it is using one market in 
which I have to buy advertising, and the market is in St. Louis. St. 
Louis is one of the toughest markets in which to buy advertising. There 
are some radio stations there which will only sell you four or five ads 
a week. They limit you. You cannot buy any more.
  Listen to what we found when we went to a major network affiliate in 
St. Louis and compared some of the charges they made in the last 
election cycle with what they charged just a few weeks later.
  The cost of nonpreemptible time--in other words, you get a set time 
which is guaranteed--was four times higher than preemptible time. Take 
the lowest unit charge which candidates are supposed to get, and then 
if you want to make sure you get the time you asked for, at this 
station you are going to pay up to four times as much for that 
nonpreemptible time.
  On the early morning weekday news shows, the rate that this station 
charged after the political campaign was over went down 55 percent from 
the political campaign time. During noon weekday news, the rate went 
down 66 percent in the weeks after the election campaign.
  The story goes on. Weekday evening news took 3.3 times the amount to 
buy a nonpreemptible ad, and then as soon as the campaign was over, 
they dropped the overall rate 38 percent. On week night news at 10 
o'clock in St. Louis, they dropped it 45 percent. On the Sunday a.m. 
news talk shows, as soon as the campaign was over, advertising costs 
went down 66 percent; the Sunday p.m. local news, 25 percent.
  The television stations and the network affiliates are gaming the 
system. They understand that candidates are desperate for time. They 
understand that if they tell them it is preemptible, they will pay 
more, and then as soon as the campaigns are over, we see these dramatic 
decreases in the cost of this television time.
  That is why it has become a killing field. They run up the rate cost 
for the candidates, and they refuse to cover the campaigns. They have 
really forgotten their civic responsibility that the airwaves belong to 
the American people. As a consequence of that, we are seeing a 
phenomenon in American politics which we cannot ignore.
  A lot of people are going to argue later about how much money we 
should be able to raise. But keep in mind that if we are raising money 
to pay for electronic media--television--the cost of that media, 
according to a media buyer I contacted, goes up 15 to 20 percent every 
2 years. So your campaign needs to raise 15 to 20 percent more funds to 
do exactly the same thing you did on television 2 years ago. If you are 
running for the Senate, in a 6-year period of time you can see a 60-
percent increase in your television cost.
  Let me give an example in St. Louis again. A moderate television buy 
in St. Louis runs about $186 a point. A point is the way they measure 
the audience. A 1,000-point buy for a week of spots--that is about 30 
or 40 30-second ads a day--will cost you $186,000.
  Under the current rules of raising money, I can ask a contributor to 
give me up to $1,000. So in order to run advertising in one area that 
serves the State of Illinois, I have to get 186 people to give me 
$1,000. Obviously, when one considers the entire State of Illinois and 
the campaign everyone is facing, one can see how the cost of these 
campaigns is going through the roof.
  A $200,000 media buy buys a few 30-second slivers of time to get 
ideas and views out on the public airwaves. It takes just a moment to 
purchase it, and if a person gets up to get a sandwich in the kitchen, 
they miss that 30-second ad. It requires asking 4,000 people to make a 
$50 campaign contribution.
  Former Senator Bill Bradley said a few years ago:

       Today's political campaigns function as collection agencies 
     for broadcasters. You simply transfer money from contributors 
     to television stations.

  It is interesting to me that as we spend more and more money on 
television in these campaigns, as we do our best to get our message 
out, our market--the voters of America--has responded by refusing to 
  If you ran a company and said, ``We are not selling enough of our 
product, let's increase the marketing budget''; and after a quarter or 
two, you brought in the marketing department and said, ``How are you 
doing?'' and they said, ``We have doubled the marketing budget''; you 
went to the sales department and asked, ``How are you doing?'' and they 
said, ``Sales are down''--that is what is happening in political 
campaigns. The marketing budget is increasing, but we are not making 
the sales to the American people. They are not buying what we are 
  Why? Because, frankly, the whole process has been tainted. It has 
been tainted by the expense, by the involvement of special interest 
groups, and by the fact that so many candidates, myself included, spend 
so many waking hours trying to raise money to launch an effective 
campaign such as in a State as large as the State of Illinois.
  This amendment is an important step forward because here is what it 
does: This amendment says that we are going to eliminate class 
distinctions for air time for candidates under the current statute. We 
are going to make time purchases nonpreemptible, we are going to allow 
political parties the benefit of the lowest unit charge, and we are 
going to require random audits in designated market areas to check 
  We cannot say to the TV station how much it charges, but we can say 
they cannot run their ad rates up right before an election, as so many 
stations have done, and then drop them precipitously as soon as the 
election is over.
  All of this money going to television stations from political 
campaigns is, frankly, good for their business, but it is not good for 
America. Let us remember our responsibility: to make sure the airwaves 
are used in a manner that serves all the people in this country, not 
just serving the needs to make a profit. Sadly, that is what has been 
done too many times in the past.
  I hope we will see an increase in voter participation, but I hope we 
will also see an increase in interest in public issues by the networks 
and by the local stations. It is not enough for them to say that a few 
times, in what might not even be prime time before an election 
campaign, they are going to make their station available so there can 
be a debate among the candidates. It is not enough that they will give 
us the Sunday morning opportunities to talk on the shows. As good as 
that is, that just does not make it in terms of selling products--they 
know that--and in terms of convincing voters as to what we have at 
stake in these elections. I think it is time for these networks and 
television stations to be part of campaign finance reform. The original 
version of the McCain-Feingold bill included this reform, included 
efforts to address the television and

[[Page 4166]]

radio costs which candidates face that was taken out of the bill for 
reasons I don't know, but it should be brought forth.
  If we are going to have real campaign finance reform, then we 
definitely have to make sure we are getting candidates an opportunity 
to purchase time at affordable rates. Otherwise, we are going to find 
the cost of campaigning continuing to skyrocket and the sources of 
money for candidates drying up as we cut off soft money, as we cut off 
other sources. I think this amendment is critically important.
  When they asked these stations how much time they would give of their 
own time during the course of the campaign in a survey, it is 
interesting what they found. A national study released by the 
University of Southern California's Norman Lear Center, on February 5, 
2001, of 74 local stations, found that the typical local television 
station spent less than 1 minute of air time a night on candidate 
discourse in the final month of the 2000 campaign--less than a minute.
  The study found all but one local station failed to meet a voluntary 
public industry standard that they air 5 minutes a night of candidate-
centered discourse in the 30 nights before the election. Stations in 
the survey that indicated they would try to meet the standard, which 
was just 7 percent of the Nation's 1,300 local stations, averaged 2 
minutes and 17 seconds a night.
  They are paying no attention whatever to elections and campaigns 
unless the candidates show up with money in hand and are prepared to 
pay the outrageous charges that have been leveled against them in terms 
of these candidates.
  National broadcast networks didn't do much better. They averaged 64 
seconds a night per network of candidate discourse in the final month 
of the 2000 campaign.
  It is no surprise the broadcasting industry, which has profited so 
much from political campaign spending, also vigorously resists any 
campaign finance reform which touches them. The media industry, since 
1996, has spent over $111 million lobbying Congress, partly to block 
campaign finance reform bills that included any kind of discounted or 
free candidate air time. The number of registered media-related 
lobbyists has increased from 234 in 1996 to 284 in 1999. The amount 
spent rose in 1999 to $31.4 million, up 26.4 percent from the 1996 
amount. This is big business. This is big profit. They have a lot at 
  I hope at the end of this debate we will enact this amendment, an 
amendment I have cosponsored with Senator Torricelli, Senator Corzine, 
and Senator Dorgan. If we do not address the real costs of campaigns, 
the demand side of the ledger, we are not going to serve the need of 
real campaign finance reform.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I ask unanimous consent that a vote on the pending 
amendment occur at the expiration of the period of time beginning with 
5 minutes of the remarks by the Senator from California, 5 minutes of 
remarks by the Senator from Nevada, and 7 minutes under the control of 
the Senator from Connecticut.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from California is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I thank my colleague from Kentucky for 
  I strongly support the amendment being offered today by Senators 
Torricelli, Corzine, Durbin, and Dorgan.
  We learn best when involved in the middle of a situation. Anyone who 
runs for office from my State of California knows it is all about 
television. In its wisdom, our founders said if you come from a State 
that has 500,000 people, you get 2 Senators; you come from a State that 
has 34 million people, like my State, you get 2 Senators. It is very 
difficult in a large State to personally meet but a very small 
percentage of the people. So we must rely on television. That is the 
only way.
  What has happened, and the chart shows this, in California, the 
broadcasters have taken tremendous advantage of this situation. To say 
the costs are unreasonable is an understatement. They are confiscatory. 
They are taking 80 percent or 90 percent of our budget after we pay our 
overhead. TV was so expensive in my last race I couldn't even afford to 
have much radio. I didn't even have any left over for radio. I raised 
$20 million and huge sums went to television.
  The facts are, when we approached the TV stations, we thought we were 
entitled to get the lowest rate because that is, in fact, the law. 
However, it is a little bit similar to airline seats. If you see 
airline seats advertised, they say we have a special fare from Los 
Angeles to New York; it is really cheap, $100. Call up and they say: 
Sorry, those seats are sold. Therefore, you have to spend $1,000. It is 
a little bit similar.
  When we went to the broadcasters and asked to buy time and asked for 
the lowest rate, which is required by law, they would say: Absolutely, 
we will give you that rate. But be warned, if someone else comes along 
and wants to pay more, you cannot retain that spot.
  Again, everyone knows if you are running for the Senate you need to 
reach people when they are up and about. Otherwise, it doesn't pay. If 
you say, fine, bump me to another spot, you could be having your 
commercial aired at 3 o'clock or 4 o'clock in the morning. Not that 
many people will see it. So they have you in a very difficult 
  Los Angeles is the second most expensive media market. Senator 
Torricelli's chart shows basically the average 30-second spot is almost 
$35,000 in a good time slot. By the way, I once wanted to buy a couple 
of slots, and I was told it was $50,000, but let's just say about 
$35,000. Under the Torricelli amendment, it comes down 75 percent. That 
is a very big difference.
  The fact is, this is a very good amendment. I am very much for the 
McCain-Feingold bill. I will be opposed to amendments that I think are 
not good amendments, are not meritorious amendments, and cannot be 
defended and might make this veto bait. It would be hard to imagine 
that George W. Bush could look at what the broadcasters are doing to 
candidates, some of whom are struggling very hard to get the money they 
need, and will take the side of the broadcasters who are laughing all 
the way to the bank, nodding their head, saying: We really got them 
this time.
  I have good relationships with the communications industry in my 
State, good relations with the TV people, the radio people, but I have 
asked over and over again, how can they sleep at night knowing what the 
people who own airwaves in this country get so people can find out what 
candidates stand for. It is almost impossible unless you are 
independently wealthy or just raise huge sums of money.
  So to close this statement, I say again how strongly I support the 
underlying bill and how much I respect Senators McCain and Feingold. I 
will be voting against most amendments.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's 5 minutes has expired.
  Mrs. BOXER. I ask for 20 more seconds.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mrs. BOXER. In closing, which I would have done if I had the 
opportunity, I believe there are certain amendments that strengthen 
this underlying bill. This is one of those amendments. It strengthens 
the underlying bill. It makes it even better. It gets at a situation 
that is out of control. I will be supporting this amendment.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada is recognized for 5 
  Mr. ENSIGN. Mr. President, what we are talking about on this 
amendment is something called the lowest unit rate. The spirit of the 
law that was passed was that candidates could have the lowest unit rate 
charged to them by broadcasters so campaigns would be less expensive 
and candidates could get their message out to the masses.
  The Senator from California just talked about how expensive it is in 

[[Page 4167]]

State to advertise. I cannot even imagine, coming from a State like 
Nevada with only 2 million people, what it is like in a State like 
California with 34 million people. But I can tell you, having been 
through 4 campaigns in the last 8 years, that advertising costs on 
television have skyrocketed. The State of Nevada, during that same 8-
year period of time, grew by approximately 50 percent. It was the 
fastest growing State in the country. So you would expect television 
time to go up by a significant amount--maybe by 70 percent or 80 
percent, as it has in other parts of the country. But in Nevada, even 
though we have only grown by 50 percent, our advertising rates have 
gone up by as much as 300 percent to 400 percent. That is at least 6 
times faster than the rate the population has grown.
  My first congressional campaign was the most expensive congressional 
campaign ever in the State of Nevada. I spent around $700,000, and my 
opponent spent around $800,000. Now a typical congressional race in the 
State of Nevada will cost somewhere between $1.5 to $2 million. That is 
a significant change of cost in just 8 years. And almost every dime of 
that increase has come from the increase in the cost of television 
  The broadcasters were just visiting me back here in Washington D.C. 
and we had a discussion about the lowest unit rate and what that means 
for a congressional campaign. During my first campaign we bought time 
for the most part on the lowest unit rate. But in the last couple of 
campaigns, candidates have not been able to use the lowest unit rate 
because when you place an ad, that ad is probably going to be bumped by 
a higher paying customer. There is so much competition for certain time 
slots on television that those commercials always get bumped, and what 
you end up with is terrible placement and you do not get your message 
out to the people you are trying to reach.
  My advisers in the last two campaigns have insisted we not buy the 
lowest unit rate because you cannot direct your message to the people 
to whom you want to direct it. So we are always forced to buy the most 
expensive slot in order for our message to be effective. In addition, 
at the end of a campaign cycle, the broadcasters' rates skyrocket.
  The broadcasters used to dread campaigns because that was the time of 
year they made the least amount of money because of this lowest unit 
rate. Now it is one of their favorite times of the year because it is 
actually one of their highest profit margin times of year. This 
certainly was not the intent of the legislation that brought about the 
lowest unit rate.
  So I applaud the Senators who are bringing this amendment to the 
floor. I add my support to this amendment.
  Before I yield the floor I want to address one final issue. 
Broadcasters have the airwaves for free, and the justification for this 
is that they provide a very important public service to local 
communities by providing news and local politics.
  I talked to the Nevada broadcasters about this last week. While I 
would say in this election their coverage improved--and more of the 
campaigns were covered during this time it was still pathetic.
  When you consider how much time is spent on a sensational television 
story, as compared to the time spent on a message or a story that 
actually affects the lives of the vast majority of people in our 
States, I think you will agree that many of these local broadcasts 
across the country spend a small percentage of their time actually 
delivering important public service to the communities.
  So I think it is the responsibility of the broadcasters to not only 
accept what we are trying to do with the lowest unit rate, and the 
spirit of the law of the lowest unit rate, but also we need to call on 
the broadcasters to cover more of our politics, so that we get more 
people involved in the political system.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The 5 minutes of the Senator has expired.
  Mr. ENSIGN. I ask unanimous consent for another 20 seconds.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. ENSIGN. To close on this, even though I believe the broadcasters 
have made progress in my State, we need to keep the pressure on them 
because we are seeing such a low voter turnout. If we cannot get our 
message as candidates to the general public, we cannot get them 
inspired to come out and participate in elections.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut is recognized.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I am expecting a couple of Members who asked 
to come over and be heard.
  Just to conclude, it is an encouraging sign we have heard nothing but 
strong support for the amendment offered by our colleague from New 
Jersey. I think the argument is quite clear. The facts have been laid 
out about as clearly as possible. There is clearly a loophole, to put 
it mildly--maybe something more serious occurs--when the lowest unit 
rate is not being recognized in major media market after major market 
all across this country, thus raising the cost of campaigns.
  Part of the idea was, of course, to have the lowest unit rate so 
people's voices could be heard during election season to hopefully 
enlighten and educate the public about the choices they would make. I 
do not want to say that is necessarily what occurs in every 30-second 
or 1-minute ad that the public is subjected to, but nevertheless the 
idea is the unit cost would be the lowest rate so the cost of campaigns 
would not get out of hand, which obviously what has occurred in the 
last few years.
  The charts Senator Corzine used, and Senator Torricelli, showed the 
exponential growth in the cost of campaigns. While there are a lot of 
reasons that has occurred, there is no reason any more clear than the 
rising cost of television advertising.
  I note the arrival of my colleague and friend from New York who would 
like to be heard on this issue as well. I commend her for her support 
of this as well and thank the authors of this amendment. This is really 
an important piece of this bill.
  If we are going to try to keep down costs, keep down the rising costs 
of campaigns, we have to address this issue. The Senator from New 
Jersey has done that with this amendment.
  I am happy to yield 3 or 4 minutes to my colleague from New York.
  Mrs. CLINTON. Mr. President, I thank my good friend from Connecticut. 
I also thank Senators Torricelli and Corzine for bringing this 
important issue to the forefront of this debate because clearly we are 
not going to be able to have the kind of campaign finance reform that 
many of us are hoping will come out of this process if we do not 
address the most expensive aspect of modern-day campaigns.
  As we all know, that is the advertising that we have to do in order 
to communicate with voters about where we stand on issues. It is a 
particular challenge in large States. But it is a national one that all 
of my colleagues face.
  The Torricelli amendment, which would amend the Communications Act of 
1934, would require that the lowest unit rate be provided to committees 
of political parties or candidates purchasing time. I think that is in 
the best interest of our democracy. I certainly believe it is the kind 
of reform that goes to the real heart of what the money chase is all 
  I think a lot of us would like to be able to turn the clock back to 
the days that some of our colleagues can remember, but for most of us, 
we just read about it, where you could literally go out into a town 
square or out in the countryside, set up a little platform, visit with 
constituents, make a speech, keep on going, and reach most of the 
people who were going to vote for you or make a decision on an 
important issue. Those days are long gone. The television broadcast 
networks know they are the means by which we must communicate.
  I think this amendment is not only fair but long overdue. I commend 
the Senator from New Jersey for bringing

[[Page 4168]]

it to the floor. I hope the television industry recognizes that there 
is an effort to not just have a level playing field but fulfill what 
many of us thought was the bargain; that when we use the public 
airwaves for communications--and those communications are basically 
controlled by the companies that have been given, in my opinion, the 
privilege of having those airwaves--that there has to be some way they 
give back to keep the first amendment alive, to keep democracy going. I 
am just so pleased that we are going to have a chance to vote on it.
  I thank my good friend from Connecticut for yielding some time so 
that I could weigh in on the importance of this issue.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, there was one other Member who wanted to be 
heard. He is not here. I am going to yield back the time, and I ask for 
the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, if the Senator will withhold for just a 
moment, we wondered if Senator Burns wanted to speak. He may be walking 
through the door momentarily.
  I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LEVIN. If the Senator from Connecticut has any time
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. All time has expired.
  Mr. LEVIN. Are we waiting for another speaker?
  Mr. McCONNELL. The Senate has been waiting for a minute. Why not ask 
unanimous consent to speak for a minute or two.
  Mr. LEVIN. I appreciate the usual courtesy of my good friend from 
  Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that I have 2 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I commend the Senator from New Jersey, and 
the managers of the bill who I understand are supporting the amendment. 
I think it takes an important step towards reducing the money chase and 
leveling the playing field.
  First, the money chase will be reduced somewhat because so much of 
the money which has been raised goes into television. The more 
reasonable these ads are and the closer they come to the lowest rate, 
which is supposed to be provided for anyway under existing law, the 
less demand there will be for money in order to get a minimum message 
on television.
  I think it does some real good in terms of reducing the case for huge 
amounts of money for campaigns.
  Second, it attempts to level the playing field a bit because the less 
funded candidates will have a greater opportunity, as the television 
rates are less, to have at least a minimum message on television that 
they are able to fund.
  I think leveling the playing field is also something we are trying to 
do in the legislation before us.
  The existing law and spirit of the law provide that the lowest unit 
charge of the station is supposed to be provided in the 60 days 
preceding the date of the general election and 45 days preceding the 
  This amendment just carries out what is clearly the spirit, purpose, 
and intent of the existing law, and again I commend the Senator from 
New Jersey for bringing this forward and for those who have indicated 
their support for it, including, I understand, both Senators McCain and 
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, the Senator from Oklahoma wishes to 
speak for a couple of minutes. We expect him to walk in the door 
momentarily. At the end of his 2 minutes, it is our intention at that 
point to go to a vote.
  Mrs. CLINTON. Mr. President, may I ask unanimous consent to 
supplement my earlier remarks?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mrs. CLINTON. Thank you very much.
  Mr. President, I didn't realize it until after I spoke, but my good 
friend, Senator Torricelli from New Jersey, gave me one of the articles 
he read into the Record that I have yet a new title; that is, ``Modern 
Day Santa Claus.''
  I was given an article that was written by Paul Taylor about 
broadcasters and their desire to have political advertising.
  I was delighted to learn that I am a beautiful thing like Santa Claus 
because the campaign I ran brought, I guess, great beauty and good 
cheer to the broadcasters of my State.
  I would like to add to my previous comments in support of this 
amendment that I think this is a good start to ensure that the spirit 
of the current law is enacted and implemented. But I think we should go 
further. And later in the debate I hope we will have a chance to talk 
about even going further, to perhaps legislate the 5 minutes that has 
been suggested by a number of people as being free air time, and even 
to have a debate on an issue I support, which is free broadcast time 
across the board and some way to fulfill the political obligations of 
communications that I think our society so desperately needs without 
having the charges attached to it that we currently are experiencing.
  I know in 1997 when the FCC doubled the amount of the spectrum it 
licensed to television broadcasters, I joined with many others in 
recommending that 5-minute, voluntary, candidate-centered discourse 
during the 30 days leading up to the campaign. We know that is not 
  I think we need to do more to provide free air time for political 
candidates. I hope we will not only pass this amendment but go on to 
consider other ways we can make air time more readily available. If it 
were in my power, as Santa Claus, to give that gift to the American 
people, I would certainly do it. But I am going to try to make that 
case in addition to supporting this very worthy amendment.
  I thank the Senator from Kentucky for yielding me time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I ask unanimous consent that the distinguished 
assistant majority leader have 5 minutes prior to the vote.
  Mr. TORRICELLI. If the Senator would yield, could I have 1 minute, 
then, before the vote, just to close on my amendment?
  Mr. McCONNELL. Sure. Then the vote will occur 6 minutes from now, and 
will be followed by an amendment by the Senator from Minnesota, Mr. 
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. NICKLES. Thank you very much. I thank my colleagues for their 
cooperation. I understand my colleagues are ready to vote and that they 
have held the vote off so I could make a few comments. I appreciate 
  I am going to speak against this amendment. I heard everybody say 
they are for it, so I am sure this amendment will be adopted. But my 
guess is, this amendment should be classified as ``the million-dollar 
gift to Senators'' and maybe for Senate candidates.
  This is a big gift. This is a gift. In reading the language it says:

       . . . to such office shall not exceed the lowest charge of 
     the station (at any time during the 365-day period preceding 
     the date of the use) for the same amount of time for the same 

  What that means is, we get to buy ads at the lowest rate that the 
station charged anybody anytime during the past year.
  These are political ads. Some stations may have lower rates because 
they want to do something to help a charity. Maybe they want to be kind 
to a university and raise money, and there is a fundraising drive, such 
as the University of Kentucky. So they want to have a fundraising 
drive, and the station says, this is a low time of the year, so, yes, 
we will give you good

[[Page 4169]]

rates. And maybe this is in April or maybe it is in January when time 
is pretty cheap because the demand is not very large.
  What we are saying is, we want to have that rate for politicians in 
October and early November, when maybe the demand is very great. The 
rates might be four times as much, three times as much. You have the 
new shows on TV.
  I look at this, and maybe it sounds kind of nice. Somebody says this 
is really enforcing what the existing language is. I say hogwash. This 
amendment is worth millions, and everybody should know it. This 
amendment is worth millions to candidates.
  I question the wisdom of doing it, saying we should have lower rates 
than anybody else in the country. And, oh, incidentally, Mr. 
Broadcaster, we politicians want to check your rates for that entire 
year, and we get the lowest of anybody. Of anybody, anytime, we get the 
lowest. We are special. I question the wisdom of it. I am going to 
support some amendments to help this bill. I do not doubt that this 
amendment is going to be adopted, but I certainly question the wisdom 
of it.
  Some people said: Let's just have free time. This is a gift. This may 
not be free time, but this is a gift that may be greater than free 
  Some people say: Maybe we should have free time for candidates of so 
many minutes or so many hours, and so on. This is an amendment worth a 
lot more than that. So our colleagues should know that. Because rates 
vary significantly throughout the year, and we are saying you get the 
lowest rates.
  I guess if a person is going to buy a rate in August, that is one 
thing; so we check the last 365 days, and then if you are going to buy 
an ad in October, we have to check the last 365 days to see if there is 
a lower rate.
  I think this amendment is very well intended. But, in my opinion, 
this amendment should not be adopted.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
  Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, what is the time circumstance?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is 1 minute remaining for the Senator 
from Oklahoma.
  Mr. NICKLES. I yield the Senator from Alaska whatever time I have 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
  Mr. STEVENS. I rise to agree with the Senator from Oklahoma. This 
amendment in my State is going to be catastrophic. We have many small 
stations that survive on mass marketing throughout the year at low 
rates. This will mean they will have to provide those of us who are 
candidates with the same rates. It makes no sense to me at all. I think 
it is an invasion of the rights of the people who operate these small 
independent stations.
  I agree with what the Senator from Oklahoma said. It is a benefit to 
candidates. If people are meaning to kill this bill, this is one way to 
do it.
  Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I am pleased to be able to support the 
amendment offered by Senators Torricelli, Corzine, and Durbin. I 
believe that allowing candidates the opportunity to let their message 
be known to the public, through television ads, without having to raise 
an obscene amount of money to finance those advertisements is a needed 
step toward truly reforming our campaign finance system. During the 
2000 election broadcasters' advertising prices soared precisely when 
airtime was most valuable to candidates. Due to this dramatic increase 
in prices the broadcasters earned record profits from political 
  David Broder of the Washington Post articulated the need for TV 
advertising price relief. He writes, ``Common sense tells you that if 
the TV bill remains . . . exorbitant, politicians will continue the 
`money chase' under any rules that are in place.'' The rules to which 
Mr. Broder refers are the rules drafted in the campaign finance reform 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New Jersey is recognized for 
1 minute.
  Mr. TORRICELLI. Mr. President, the Senate is now moving beyond a 
simple soft money ban to genuine campaign finance reform, ensuring that 
as we reduce the amount of money in the political system, we are not 
reducing the amount of political debate in the Nation.
  There is nothing new or startling about this amendment. Under current 
law, the broadcast industry must provide the lowest unit rate for 
political broadcasting. The problem is, they have been evading their 
responsibility. Stations now will have to participate in a shared 
sacrifice. Candidates will not raise certain forms of money that are 
undermining political confidence, and the broadcast industry must meet 
its public responsibility to provide low-cost broadcasting.
  I believe this is a critical component to comprehensive campaign 
finance reform. It allows many of us to be part of McCain-Feingold.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  Mr. TORRICELLI. I believe it is a proper addition.
  I thank the Chair.
  I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  Several Senators addressed the Chair.
  Mr. NICKLES. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. BURNS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BURNS. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to be recognized 
for just 1 minute.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mrs. BOXER. Reserving the right to object, and I will not object, 
people keep coming and getting more time. That is fine. But I think we 
need to reserve another matching minute because now the opponents are 
coming to the floor laying out their arguments. People are coming to 
the floor. So if Senator Burns is speaking against this amendment, I 
ask unanimous consent that I have 30 seconds to respond to his 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there an objection?
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I object. I am on the same side as the 
Senator from California on this issue. It seems to me the Senator from 
Montana is not unreasonable to ask for a minute to explain his 
position, after which the regular order would occur.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there an objection?
  Mr. McCONNELL. I object.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Objection is heard.
  Mr. STEVENS. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. NICKLES. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. NICKLES. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent for a minute for 
Senator Burns and a minute for Senator Boxer.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there an objection?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. BURNS. Mr. President, I thank my friend, the assistant leader.
  I have been tied up in a committee all morning trying to get over 
here. We have had some pressing energy business. But I wish to make one 
  How many other industries are we asking to lower their rates on the 
services they perform for the sake of political activity? Are we asking 
the automobile companies? The gasoline companies? The newspapers? The 
direct mailers? The writers? Are we asking them to lower their rates on 
their inventory for the sake of political activity? I think not.
  And the broadcasters, once their time is gone, it is gone forever; 

[[Page 4170]]

they cannot recover it. I don't think we have a right to ask them to do 
that, especially incumbents, as we are here, who have access to the 
news every night.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator's time has expired.
  The Senator from California is recognized for 1 minute.
  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, we are not asking anyone to lower their 
rates. That is a misstatement of the amendment. The Torricelli 
amendment simply says current law should be followed. Current law says 
the lowest rate should apply. May I remind my friends, the airwaves are 
owned by the American people. People get a license. The airwaves should 
be open to the American people.
  In California, they give us 10 percent at the lowest rate, and 90 
percent of it is at the highest rate. You cannot get your message out.
  This amendment is a clarification of existing law. It strengthens 
McCain-Feingold. If you vote against this, it is just a signal to the 
broadcasters to keep on ripping us off and all the money will go to TV.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time of the Senator has expired.
  The question is on agreeing to the Torricelli amendment No. 122. The 
yeas and nays have been ordered. The clerk will call the roll.
  The bill clerk called the roll.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Burns). Are there any other Senators in 
the Chamber desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 70, nays 30, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 41 Leg.]


     Nelson (FL)
     Smith (OR)


     Nelson (NE)
     Smith (NH)
  The amendment (No. 122) was agreed to.
  Mr. DODD. I move to reconsider the vote by which the amendment was 
agreed to.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.

                           Amendment No. 123

  Mr. WELLSTONE. I call up amendment numbered 123.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the amendment.
  The legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Minnesota [Mr. Wellstone], for himself and 
     Ms. Cantwell, proposes an amendment numbered 123.

  Mr. WELLSTONE. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent reading of the 
amendment be dispensed.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

    (Purpose: To allow a State to enact voluntary public financing 
legislation regarding the election of Federal candidates in such State)

       On page 37, between lines 14 and 15, insert the following:


       Section 403 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 
     U.S.C. 453) is amended by adding at the end the following: 
     ``The preceding sentence shall not be interpreted to prohibit 
     a State from enacting a voluntary public financing system 
     which applies to a candidate for election to Federal office, 
     other than the office of President or Vice-President, from 
     such State who agrees to limit acceptance of contributions, 
     use of personal funds, and the making of expenditures in 
     connection with the election in exchange for full or partial 
     public financing from a State fund with respect to the 
     election, except that such system shall not allow any person 
     to take any action in violation of the provisions of this 

  Mr. WELLSTONE. Mr. President, my understanding is Senator Clinton 
will be coming to the floor in a moment.
  Mr. DODD. I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent the order for the 
quorum call be dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent the Senator from New 
York be recognized for 5 minutes as in morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. WELLSTONE. I ask my colleague if we may extend that to 10 
  Mr. DODD. I ask for 10 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The 
Senator from New York is recognized for 10 minutes.
  Mrs. CLINTON. I thank the Chair.
  (The remarks of Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Dodd, and Mr. Wellstone pertaining 
to the introduction of S. 584 are located in today's Record under 
``Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions.'')
  Mr. WELLSTONE. Mr. President, before we go to the Senator from Idaho, 
I ask unanimous consent that in addition to Senator Cantwell as 
original cosponsor of my amendment, also Senator Corzine and Senator 
Biden be included as original cosponsors.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Idaho.
  (The remarks of Mr. Crapo are located in today's Record under 
``Morning Business.'')
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Minnesota.
  Mr. WELLSTONE. Mr. President, I will reserve for myself just a little 
bit of time now because there will be other Senators who will want to 
speak on this subject. This is an amendment to the McCain-Feingold 
bill, a very important piece of legislation in and of itself, which I 
think is a very important step forward for all of us. I hope this 
amendment will have bipartisan support. I think it just adds to the 
McCain-Feingold bill.
  This amendment simply allows States, any of our States, to set up 
voluntary systems of full or partial public financing for Federal 
congressional candidates that involve voluntary spending limits on both 
personal and outside contributions, as long as these systems are not in 
conflict with the Federal Election Campaign Act. So this simply allows 
States, if they want, to set up a voluntary system of partial public 
  This is entirely a voluntary system, and we leave it up to our State.
  Historically, the States have been a ``laboratory of reform''--the 
term was coined by Supreme Court Justice William Brandeis--where 
innovative policies have been created.
  This States rights amendment allows these laboratories to do their 
work in a safe way--I want Senators to listen to this--because the 
electoral regulation that Congress has written into Federal law remains 
the floor. That is the law.
  In other words, while States will be given wide latitude to set up 
voluntary systems of public financing, they will not be able to enact 
laws that will allow candidates, whether covered by public financing or 
not, to engage in conduct that will otherwise be in violation of 
Federal election laws.
  While the Federal law is the floor, I think it is a low floor, 
indeed, although McCain-Feingold makes it better. Many believe our 
system is awash in special interest money. I agree with them. It is not 
a matter of individual corruption. I almost wish it was. It goes way 
beyond I don't wish it was, but I think it is a more serious problem.
  I don't think we are talking about the wrongdoing of individual 
officeholders. But we are talking about a

[[Page 4171]]

huge imbalance of power where some people, by virtue of their economic 
resources, have way too much wealth access and too many people are left 
  Please remember that 80 percent of the money spent in the year 2000 
was hard money. Please remember as these campaigns--we just had an 
amendment that was an effort to deal with part of the problem--become 
more capital intensive, more television expensive, as communication 
technology becomes the main weapon in every electoral conflict, the big 
money matters even more.
  This amendment says: Look, if our States want to--we leave it up to 
them--set up a voluntary system of partial or public financing to apply 
to our races, they should be able to do so.
  This debate in the Senate about big money and politics and the ways 
in which too often our elections have become auctions and the ways in 
which all too often Senators have to be concerned about cash 
constituencies as well as real constituencies couldn't have come at a 
more perfect time.
  Let me give a few examples. Several weeks ago we had an effort that 
took 10 hours to overturn 10 years of work. The National Academy of 
Sciences said repetitive stress injury is the most serious injury in 
the workplace. It endorsed taking action, did the research, did the 
study, endorsed a standard that was promulgated by OSHA, but big 
business said jump. So we jumped, and we turned our back on reasonable 
standards. We turned our back on science, and we turned our back on a 
lot of workers and their pain. We made them expendable.
  Then we had the bankruptcy bill. I gave enough speeches about the 
bankruptcy bill to deafen all the gods. I will not repeat any of it, 
just to say ultimately what we got with this bill was a wish list for 
the credit card industry which is not held accountable at all for their 
reckless and sometimes predatory lending practices but very harsh for a 
whole lot of people who find themselves having to declare bankruptcy--
not because they are trying to game any system but because of a major 
medical bill, because they have lost their job, or because there has 
been a divorce in the family.
  Then we have the news today that the arsenic standard that EPA had 
promulgated to make sure we had safe drinking water has been overturned 
by the Administrator of EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency.
  Then we have a tax cut--I am not going to spend a lot of time on 
this. It will be in the budget debate in about 2 weeks. If I am proven 
wrong, I will be glad to be proven wrong. I believe my colleagues will 
find that ultimately a rigorous sort of measurement, if you will, of 
what the surplus really is--and then alongside of that what the tax cut 
really amounts to--will mean two or three things.
  It will mean there won't be a dime for any of the investments to 
which we say we are committed. There are going to be some harsh 
discretionary domestic spending cuts. What that means is anything from 
energy assistance, to housing, to programs that try crimes against 
women who have been battered--you name it. In addition, you have tax 
cuts that represent a Robin- Hood-in-reverse philosophy so that over 40 
percent of the benefits go to the top 1 percent.
  What I said before I will say again. The President talks about 
leaving no child behind. One-third of all the children in America live 
in families who will not receive one dime from this tax cut, and 50 
percent of African Americans live in families who will not receive one 
dime, and 57 percent of Hispanic children live in families who will not 
receive one dime, but over 40 percent goes to the top 1 percent of the 
  So forget any commitment to making sure that every child in America 
has a good education. The vast majority of people believe in that goal. 
Forget any commitment to making sure that elderly people--I argue there 
are a lot of families as well who are hurt by this--can afford the 
prescription drugs they need for their health. And forget any 
commitment to expanding health care coverage for the 43 or 44 million 
people who have no coverage at all. For that matter, forget any 
commitment to beginning to get serious about home health care so that a 
lot of elderly people aren't institutionalized, aren't forced into 
nursing homes but can still live in home in as near normal 
circumstances as possible with dignity, or people with disabilities.
  From where is the money going to come?
  How about the veterans? I will tell you about the veterans budget. 
There is a $1 billion increase, but $900 million of it is medical 
  Then we have all of these commitments which we say we are going to 
make for the millennium program--elderly, home-based care, in addition 
to mental health services; in addition a bill I have with Evan Bayh to 
finally deal with the distress about the fact that 30 percent of the 
adults in the homeless population are veterans--many of them Vietnam 
veterans--and we need to reach out and help them. I tell you, I don't 
think any of this is by accident because for the sake of the top 1 
percent of the population making sure they get the tax cuts--by the 
way, these are the same people who are the heavy hitters. They are the 
big givers who give the contributions, whether it is soft money or hard 
  We are at the same time not going to live up to our commitment of 
leaving no child behind. We are not, if this administration has its 
way, going to do much about prescription drug costs, or expanding 
health care coverage, or making sure there is a good education for 
every child. Obviously, we have an all-out assault on basic workplace 
protections and environmental protections.
  I think a lot of people in Minnesota and a lot of people in the 
country have reached the conclusion that the Congressional agenda is 
not their agenda; that the Congressional agenda is the agenda of the 
powerful; that the Congressional agenda is the agenda of the heavy 
hitters; and that the Congressional agenda is the agenda of the 
investors in both political parties.
  For so many people, when it comes to their concerns for themselves, 
their families, and their communities, their concerns are of little 
concern in the corridors of power in this Congress.
  Who could fault them for this belief? Many people believe there is a 
connection between big special interest money and the outcomes in 
American politics.
  People believe what is on the table and what is off the table is 
based upon who has the money and power. People believe who gets to run 
and who does not get to run and who wins and who loses is quite often 
determined by the mix of money in politics. People believe that some 
people march on Washington every day, and they have the lobbyists, and 
they have the lobbying coalitions, but that when it comes to their 
concerns, they are not well represented. People believe that if you 
pay, you play, and if you don't pay, you don't play.
  So people have lost faith in this system. I do not know what I think 
is worse: That so many citizens have this disillusionment and 
disengagement toward Government and public affairs. I hate that. I 
state that as the son of a Jewish immigrant born in the Ukraine who 
fled persecution in Russia. I love this country. I hate it when people 
feel that way about public affairs. Sometimes I think it is even worse 
when I talk to people who are so excited about public affairs, and they 
tell me they will never run for office. They say they do not want to 
spend all their time raising the money. They cannot bear the thought of 
  Frankly, I think it gets to the point where we have this horrible 
self-selection process where a lot of the very best people never will 
run for office, for a Senate seat or a House seat. I think that is a 
tragedy for the country.
  I know the sponsors of the new McCain-Feingold bill hope this bill 
will have the votes to pass. I hope it does. But this bill is scaled 
down. It is a step toward comprehensive reform, but I do think this is 
an ideal time to let States take the lead. While we should not allow 
States to undermine Federal election law, the law should not be an 
artificial ceiling that prevents States from setting up systems of 
public financing that allow them to address

[[Page 4172]]

this money chase, to address voter apathy, to address corruption, 
actual and perceived.
  Mr. President, by way of background to this amendment, my own State 
of Minnesota attempted to set up a public financing system for Federal 
candidates 9 years ago, when the State legislature passed a law 
offering partial public financing to candidates for Congress from 
  Unfortunately, the Federal Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit 
struck down Minnesota's law in 1993 in Weber v. Heaney. The court ruled 
that because the Federal Election Campaign Act, FECA, did not 
specifically allow States to create this kind of voluntary public 
financing program, then FECA prohibited it. I think what the court was 
saying was: If you want to do it, fine, but we want to see the 
  The amendment I am offering would correct that by adding one simple 
sentence to FECA which specifically allows States to set up voluntary 
public financing programs for the election of their own Members of the 
Senate and House, as long as no such program violates any provision of 
the current FECA law. That is all this amendment does.
  In other words, if a State--Minnesota, Montana, Connecticut; I will 
talk about States that have already done this --wants to create a 
public financing fund and give its congressional candidates the 
option--a voluntary option; it is not required--of financing their 
campaigns partially or wholly with public money rather than private 
contributions, that State will be able to do so--again, provided there 
is no violation of any of the current FECA provisions.
  I want to stress to colleagues, because I do not want there to be any 
misinformation about this amendment, that these programs must be 
strictly voluntary, just as the public financing for Presidential 
elections is voluntary. Candidates who would rather finance their 
campaigns with private dollars, adhering to the existing campaign 
finance rules, would be free to do so. However, the courts have made it 
clear, in some cases, by upholding the very public financing systems 
for election of State officeholders, which are models for this 
legislation, that a State may offer public financing or other 
enticements to make contribution limits and spending limits attractive.
  This amendment, giving States the option of creating their own 
voluntary alternatives to the current system, is perfectly 
  Some States have already moved in this direction. Twelve States 
already offer partial public financing to candidates for State offices. 
In fact, one of the most advanced of these programs is in my colleague, 
Senator McConnell's own State of Kentucky. In Kentucky, there is a 
system of partial public financing for gubernatorial candidates.
  In my own State of Minnesota, there is a voluntary public financing 
system for statewide candidates as well as candidates for the 
legislature. Candidates agree--it is voluntary--to spending limits, and 
in return they receive public funds.
  The State of Minnesota provides a tax credit for contributions to 
State candidates of up to $50.
  In addition, four States have gone even further and have recently 
passed full or nearly full public financing systems for their 
elections--it is inspiring--in Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, and in 
Senator McCain's own State of Arizona. They have passed legislation 
similar to the Clean Money, Clean Elections Act.
  Senator Kerry and I have introduced this as national legislation. 
Eventually, I would like to get there. Basically, that is what they are 
saying in these States to the citizens. And the citizens said: Yes, 
let's do it.
  I want to talk about these inspiring examples. They have said: 
Listen, if each citizen will contribute a small amount into a clean 
money, clean election fund--maybe $5--and then candidates draw from 
that fund--candidates who have passed a threshold to show that they are 
viable candidates--then these candidates do not have to be involved in 
the money chase. They do not have to be dependent on these private 
dollars. You, the people of Maine, you, the people of Vermont, you, the 
people of Arizona, you, the people of Massachusetts, you own the 
elections. You own your own State government. You own the political 
  In Maine it is just incredible. There was broad participation in the 
Clean Elections program during this last election, with 116 out of 352 
general election candidates--both Republicans and Democrats--
  What these clean money, clean election States have done is 
dramatically reduced the influence of special interest money by 
providing a level playing field, by offering candidates a limited and 
equal amount of public funds.
  I am saying to colleagues today, at the very minimum, we ought to 
allow our States to move forward with these voluntary systems if they 
want to do so. That is the only proposition you vote on. Will you or 
will you not at least be willing to allow your States to provide for a 
system of voluntary full or partial public financing for our races, 
understanding full well that everything else about Federal election law 
stays as is.
  I want to offer some comments about Maine, giving some indication of 
what happened in Maine, because I think it inspires a lot of hope. 
These comments tell us something about what they have done and why it 
is so important to allow States to do so.
  Here are some of the comments of people who ran.
  Shlomit Auciello, a Democrat challenger:

       Without Clean Elections, I couldn't even think about 
     running for office. I just couldn't afford it.

  Chester Chapman, a Republican challenger:

       The main reason I did it was that this is what people want.

  Glenn Cummings, a Democrat challenger:

       I spent a lot of kitchen table time explaining the system 
     to people. Once they knew what it was they really liked it. 
     They liked that it means no soft money and no PAC money will 
     be used. I want to work for the people of Maine and I don't 
     want to be beholden to anyone else.

  Gabrielle Carbonear:

       It will definitely change some things. For one thing I will 
     have about half the amount of money I raised last time but 
     much more time to talk with people which is a good thing.

  Just one more:

       We have an obligation to put into practice the system that 
     was approved by voters in 1996. Maine is in the lead in this 
     area. It will only work if it is used, and it is important 
     for incumbents to embrace it. Also, the Clean Election Act is 
     making it easier to recruit candidates to run for office.

  That was said by Rick Bennet, Republican incumbent, assistant senate 
minority leader, and candidate for reelection.
  I simply say to my colleagues, I am all for McCain-Feingold, as long 
as it does not get too weakened. I think the amendment we just 
adopted--the Torricelli amendment--was a step in the right direction. 
But, honest to goodness, 80 percent of the money is hard money. You 
still have this huge problem of the system being so wired for 
incumbents. It is so hard for challengers to raise the money and for 
there to be a level playing field. I can remember what happened when I 
ran in 1990; I can remember in 1996. I am now in a reelection.
  At a very minimum, there ought to be a vote on public financing in 
the Senate, but this amendment doesn't say we vote on public financing 
directly. We don't vote on this at the Federal level, and we don't 
really vote on it saying that Montana or Minnesota has to do it. Given 
the experience of some of the States, such as Maine, Vermont, 
Massachusetts, Arizona, and other States that have moved forward, let 
us at least allow States, on a voluntary basis, to have a system of 
partial public financing that they could apply to Federal races.
  If they want us to have the opportunity to volunteer to be involved 
in clean money and clean elections as opposed to all this big 
interested money that will continue to dominate the process, even with 
McCain-Feingold passing--there is still so much of that money; we are 
still so awash in that

[[Page 4173]]

money--at the very minimum we ought to allow States to light a candle 
and lead the way.
  I know there are other Senators who are going to be coming to the 
floor. I can speak a much longer time about this and will, but if my 
colleague from Connecticut is going to speak, I will yield the floor 
for now.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Nelson of Florida). The Senator from 
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I thank my friend from Minnesota. I commend 
him for this amendment.
  This is a very creative amendment because it doesn't go to the heart 
of what many of us have felt for a long time, and that is that as we 
have done with Presidential elections--I don't know if my colleague 
from Minnesota spent time on this point--we have had public financing 
of Presidential races. Ronald Reagan, George Bush, this President Bush, 
and President Clinton have all used public moneys in Presidential 
elections going back to the late 1970s. I believe President Reagan was 
the first--maybe President Carter was the one--to use public moneys and 
public financing of a Presidential election.
  All would agree that as a result of that, the costs of Presidential 
elections, while they are expensive, have been reduced by having a 
public financing scheme where, as a result of accepting public dollars, 
candidates agree to certain caps, certain limitations on how much money 
will be spent by a Presidential candidate.
  This country is not without precedent in dealing with public 
financing. My colleague has talked about some of the States that have 
done things. We have done it at the national level and with some 
success. This amendment doesn't call for Federal public financing, as I 
understand it. It merely says to the States, if they would like to 
establish a public financing mechanism for candidates running for the 
House of Representatives or the Senate, the two Federal offices for 
which there are elections in each State, then the States would be 
allowed to construct such a mechanism that then-candidates who would 
agree to accept public moneys in those States would also accept certain 
limitations, principally financial ones, as one way of trying to get a 
better handle on this ever spiraling cost of campaigns.
  I don't have the charts with me that some of our other colleagues 
have used which point to the exponential increase in the cost of 
running for Federal office. There is not a person in this Chamber who 
holds a seat who can't bear witness to that fact. We wouldn't be here 
if we hadn't gone through the excruciating gauntlet of having to raise 
the money and spend the dollars in order to be on television and run 
all the various elements of a successful campaign. We are all familiar, 
every one of us, with how vastly these campaigns have increased in 
  I have often cited the statistic that when I first ran for Congress, 
some 24 years ago, Ella Grasso was running for Governor of the State of 
Connecticut, the first woman to be elected in her own right as a 
Governor in the United States. Ella Grasso spent about $500,000, an 
unprecedented amount of money, in the State of Connecticut to win a 
statewide race. I think she even bought New York television time, which 
always adds considerably to the cost of a campaign in Connecticut. And 
$500,000 was an outrageous sum of money 24 years ago.
  My colleague from Connecticut, Senator Lieberman, and I--I can't 
recall the exact amount, but I will pretty much be in the ballpark to 
tell the Senate that a contested race in Connecticut is now somewhere 
between $4 and $6 million. I promise you, if you went back 24 years, 
prior to 1974, you would have found an increase in the cost of 
campaigns but nothing like we have seen in the last 25 years, with no 
indication this trend line is going anywhere but up in the coming 
  The issue before us is whether or not we can come up with some 
mechanism which reduces the money chase, brings down the cost of these 
campaigns, which is what the Torricelli amendment tries to do by 
insisting the lowest unit rate be charged for campaign costs for 
advertising, and now what our colleague from Minnesota has proposed--
that is, the creative idea of saying to the 50 States that if you 
decide you would like to have this kind of a mechanism for your 
candidates for Federal office, we should not necessarily stand in the 
  If this were a mandate, then I think it would run into immediate 
constitutional problems. There may be some with this anyway. I know 
States in the past have tried to pass legislation which would put 
limitations on us, such as term limits. In every one of those cases, 
the courts have overruled State statutes which would limit the ability 
of people to serve here. We ourselves could put limitations in the 
Constitution on our service, but States don't have the right, according 
to the Supreme Court or the Federal courts, to do that.
  I do not think this amendment falls into that category. This is not 
some limitation on a Member's right to run or to serve. It merely 
offers the option of a different mechanism for financing the campaign. 
While I am not a constitutional scholar, I am sure there will be those 
who make the case that this may suffer from a constitutional flaw. I am 
sure there will be others who will argue that this does not.
  In my view, because this does go in a direction that contributes 
significantly to the underlying bill Senator McCain and Senator 
Feingold have submitted to us, it is worthy of support.
  I commend my colleague from Minnesota for offering this creative 
idea. We are constantly hearing from our colleagues how we need to give 
our States more flexibility. It is a call we hear quite frequently in 
one piece of legislation after another. My colleague from Minnesota and 
I serve on the Education Committee of the Senate. We have just spent a 
number of days--marking up, as we call it--writing up the education 
bill for elementary and secondary education.
  One of the important debates was how much flexibility we would give 
our local communities and our States in using Federal dollars. It is a 
worthy debate because most of us embrace the idea that local 
communities ought to have a great deal of latitude in deciding how the 
education system ought to work in those communities.
  I will be interested to know if those who are most vociferous in 
arguing for greater flexibility at the State level in the education of 
our children would not similarly be inclined to support this amendment 
which would offer greater flexibility to our States that may decide 
that the cost of campaigns in their States has gotten out of control; 
that they would like to do something about it; that they would like to 
offer Federal candidates an option that would reduce those costs.
  I am attracted to this amendment. I think it has value. I urge my 
colleagues to read it carefully, to raise questions to my colleague 
from Minnesota, if they have them, and then vote for this amendment. I 
think it deserves our support. I know others will come to the floor to 
address this matter. I don't know if my colleague care to take a few 
more minutes or not. I am prepared to stay with him and engage in some 
debate. If not, we could suggest the absence of a quorum and urge 
Members to come to the floor to discuss the amendment.
  Mr. WELLSTONE. Mr. President, first of all, I thank my colleague from 
Connecticut. There are three or four Senators who want to speak, and I 
have more to say. Frankly, I don't want to use up all of our time 
without hearing from the opposition. I will take a few more minutes. If 
nobody is here, I will suggest the absence of a quorum and ask that the 
time be charged to the opponents of this amendment. I would like to 
hear from them rather than burning off all my time.
  Mr. DODD. Well, I suggest that the time be charged to both sides 
equally. That is normally how we proceed. Why not go ahead, and I am 
sure others will come to the floor.
  Mr. WELLSTONE. All right. Mr. President, there are 65 organizations 
that support this amendment. I ask unanimous consent that this list be 
printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the list was ordered to be printed in the 
Record, as follows:

[[Page 4174]]

 Sixty State and National Organizations Supporting ``States' Rights'' 

     ACORN--Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now
     Alliance for Democracy
     American Friends Service Committee of Northeast Ohio
     Arizona Clean Elections Institute
     California Clean Money Campaign
     Campaigns for People, Texas
     Citizen Action of New York
     Citizen Action of Illinois
     Colorado Progressive Coalition
     Connecticut Citizen Action Group
     Democracy South
     Equality State Policy Center, Wyoming
     Fannie Lou Hamer Project
     Florida Consumer Action Network
     Florida League of Conservation Voters
     Georgia Rural-Urban Summit
     Global Exchange
     Gray Panthers
     Hawaii Elections Project
     Indiana Alliance for Democracy
     Iowa Citizen Action Network
     League of United Latin American Citizens
     Louisiana Democracy Project
     Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs--
     Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
     Maine Citizen Leadership Fund
     Maryland Campaign for Clean Elections
     Massachusetts Voters for Clean Elections
     Michigan Campaign Finance Network
     Midwest States Center
     Minnesota Alliance for Progressive Action
     Missouri Voters for Clean Elections
     Money in Politics Research Action Project, Oregon
     National Voting Rights Institute
     NETWORK: A Catholic Society Justice Lobby
     New Hampshire Citizen Alliance for Action
     New Jersey Citizen Action
     New Mexico Alliance for Community Empowerment
     New Mexico Progressive Alliance
     North Carolina Alliance for Democracy
     Northeast Action
     Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada
     Progressive Maryland
     Public Campaign
     Rainforest Action Network
     Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
     Rural Organizing Project, Oregon
     San Fernando Valley Alliance for Democracy
     Sierra Club
     South Carolina Progressive Network
     United Methodist Church--
     General Board of Church and Society
     United for a Fair Economy
     United Vision for Idaho
     Utah Progressive Action Network
     Vermont Pirg
     West Virginia Citizen Action
     West Virginia Peoples' Election Reform Coalition
     Western States Center
     Wisconsin Citizen Action

  Mr. WELLSTONE. Mr. President, these different organizations range 
from the national AFL-CIO to AFSCME and SEIU. Also, at the State level, 
there are a lot of different State organizations, including the 
California Clean Money Campaign, Arizona Clean Elections Institute, the 
Maine Citizen Leadership Fund, Maryland Campaign For Clean Elections, 
Massachusetts Voters Information Clean Elections, Public Campaign, 
Missouri Voters For Clean Elections, the Catholic Social Justice Lobby, 
New Hampshire Citizen Alliance For Action, Florida Consumer Action 
Network, and it goes on.
  Then there is one organization I mention, which is the Fannie Lou 
Hamer Project. I mention that project because I think in a lot of 
ways--and I hope I say this the right way because I have such deep love 
and respect for the memory of Fannie Lou Hamer. For colleagues who 
don't know about her, Fannie Lou Hamer was the daughter of a 
sharecropper in Mississippi. There were 14 children in her family, and 
she grew up poor. She was one of the great leaders of the civil rights 
  The reason I mention the Fannie Lou Hamer Project is that Fannie Lou 
Hamer uttered the immortal words, ``I am so sick and tired of being 
sick and tired.'' She was talking about economic justice issues. I 
think the reason the Fannie Lou Hamer Project is one of the 
organizations that is most behind this amendment is that a whole lot of 
people in the country--and I think this whole issue of campaign finance 
reform--when you say it that way, it doesn't have passion. It is about 
civil rights. I hear colleagues talking about freedom of speech and 
that more money is freedom of speech--the more money, the more speech, 
and then some people who have all of this money use a megaphone to 
drown everybody else out.
  I am all for freedom of speech. I think the Supreme Court is right, 
although I didn't agree with the decision in Buckley v. Valeo. If there 
was a problem of corruption, that is the time for reform, they said. If 
you think the standard of a representative democracy is that each 
person should count as one, and no more, we have violated that 
  I will put this in a civil rights context for a moment. A lot of 
people believe they don't have the freedom to be at the table, the 
freedom to participate in the political process, or the freedom to run 
for office; and they don't have the freedom to be people who can affect 
who runs for office because they don't have the big dollars.
  Honest to goodness, I believe that ultimately this debate is all 
about--I wish I had brought the brilliant speech that Bill Moyers gave 
called ``The Soul of Democracy.'' This is about the soul of democracy. 
If my father Leon was alive today--the Jewish immigrant I mentioned 
earlier--he would say this is all about this wonderful, bold, beautiful 
experiment we have had in self-rule in the United States of America. We 
don't want to lose that. We don't want to have a minidemocracy or a 
psuedodemocracy, when only certain people can run for office, when some 
people matter a whole lot more than other people, in terms of who can 
affect our tenure and who can't. This becomes a justice issue.
  I say to my colleagues--and I will be very frank about it--the reason 
for this is absolutely constitutional. Not in one court case--and I 
mentioned the Minnesota court of appeals case--has any judge raised a 
constitutional question. We make it crystal clear that we are simply 
saying that--it is almost like consumer law, where we make it clear, 
hey, there is a Federal standard that no State can go below it. But if 
the State of Florida or Minnesota want to do better, they can do so.
  Colleagues, we can do a lot better when it comes to financing 
campaigns. Justice Brandeis was right; the States are laboratories of 
reform, and I challenge Senators to come to the floor and vote for the 
proposition that if your State wants to apply a full or partial public 
financing on a voluntary basis to congressional races so that the 
people of Florida, or Connecticut, or Arizona, or Wisconsin, or 
Minnesota, or you name it, can feel like, by God, we have put together 
a model program for the Nation--we are leading the way--then let them 
do so.
  I am for McCain-Feingold unless it gets too weakened. We had this 
debate yesterday where Senators came to the floor and said we were 
presenting the millionaires amendment. Their answer to the problem of 
people who have their own wealth and can finance their own campaigns 
was to dramatically raise the spending limits. So now somebody can go 
from $1,000 to $6,000 a year. I recited the figure yesterday that one-
quarter of 1 percent of the population contributes $200 or more, and 
one-ninth of 1 percent of the population contributes $1,000 or more. 
Now we are raising it to $6,000.
  Well, if you are worried about the great advantage the wealthy 
candidates have, then what you want to do is move toward a system of 
clean money, clean elections. I wish we could pass it at the Federal 
level. That is what makes it a more level playing field. But if we 
can't pass it at the Federal level, at the very minimum--and if we 
can't pass it at the Federal level because some of the folks who have 
such power can basically block that, so we have to move along with 
McCain-Feingold as a first step, fine; but would it not make McCain-
Feingold stronger to allow States to move forward if they want to do 
  I met with some of the legislators and some of the candidates, both 
Democrats and Republicans, from the State of Minnesota, and it was one 
of the most inspiring meetings I have had. Oh, God, how I yearned that 
this could be our elections. They were telling me: Paul, I was an 
incumbent and I had the money and I could have beat a challenger, but 
it wasn't the right thing to do any longer. So I agreed to participate 
in a clean money, clean election campaign. I felt so much better about 
it. I did the right thing. That was a Republican.

[[Page 4175]]

  Then you had challengers saying: If we didn't have this clean money, 
clean election system, there would be no way, as a challenger, I could 
have raised the money. This created, more or less, a level playing 
  Everybody was saying: We had to spend less time at these big-dollar 
fundraisers and less time with cash constituencies and a lot more time 
with real constituencies. We could be at the coffee shops, we could be 
not chasing the big dollars but focusing on the big issues.
  Well, Senators, vote for this amendment and at least let your State 
lead the way. If they want to pass it in the legislature, or by 
initiative, or referendum, however it is done, a law that would apply a 
voluntary partial, or some form of public financing, to the Senate and 
House races from States, let them do so. Let them become the laboratory 
of reform. See how the people like it. You know something. You will be 
striking a blow not only for clean money, clean elections, but you will 
also, as my colleague from Connecticut pointed out, be consistent about 
being a decentralist and letting States lead the way if they have a 
model program.
  The third thing you are going to do, and I do not know if I should 
make this argument because it may be a reason people vote against it, 
but the third is you are going to be nurturing and promoting a lot of 
grassroots politics at the State level because once people realize at 
the State level they might be able to achieve this--since it looks like 
we are not there yet, though we are going to take a good step forward, 
I hope, with McCain-Feingold--there is going to be a wave of grassroots 
involvement where people in the States are going to try to win this. 
And that is great.
  I am looking to win this vote. I am looking for a vote for every 
reformer. Every Senator who says he or she is a reformer should vote 
for this amendment. I am looking for a vote from Democrats. I am 
looking for a vote from those Senators who voted against the so-called 
millionaire amendment because they did not think it was much of a 
reform to get to the point where you have a contest with someone who 
has a lot of resources versus someone who is dependent on the top 1 
percent for their economic resources. I am looking for their vote for 
this. I am looking for support from Democrats and Republicans.
  Some of my Republican colleagues come from States that have passed 
clean money, clean election legislation, a voluntary system at the 
State level. They are doing it, and they are doing it well. Can we not 
vote for the proposition that we ought to at least let the people in 
our States decide? That is all this amendment says.
  If there are colleagues who want to speak, that is fine. I have been 
told other Senators are on their way. I will suggest the absence of a 
quorum, and I ask unanimous consent that the time be charged equally to 
both sides. But I ask those opponents to come to the floor--we do not 
want to use up all of our time, unless the opponents want to throw in 
the towel right now and vote for this amendment. That would be OK, too.
  I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum, with the time 
to be charged equally to both sides.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The clerk 
will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Reid). Without objection, it is so 
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
distinguished Senator from Florida be recognized to speak for 5 minutes 
as in morning business and that the time not be charged to the present 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The 
Senator from Florida.
  (The remarks of Mr. Nelson of Florida are located in today's Record 
under ``Morning Business.'')
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, on the subject of the Wellstone 
amendment, if my understanding is correct, I believe the Senator from 
Minnesota allows each State legislature to determine whether or not 
there could be a system of taxpayer funding and spending limits imposed 
on Federal elections from that State.
  There are a lot of issues we don't know much about in terms of public 
opinion. But we do have a pretty good sense of how people feel about 
having their tax dollars used to elect public officials. In a research 
project in September of 1999, the question was asked: Should public 
funding be provided for all candidates running for Congress? It was 
very simply put. The public responded yes, 25 percent; no, 56 percent; 
not sure, 18 percent.
  The use of the term ``public funding'' produces a better result for 
the proponents of taxpayer funding of elections because ``public'' is 
presumed to be sort of a benign thing producing a positive response. I 
am unaware of what the answer would have been had the words ``taxpayer 
funding'' of elections been inserted, but we do know when Americans 
know it is their tax money that is being used, it produces a response 
sometimes ranking right up there with anger.
  We have an opportunity every April 15 to have the biggest poll on 
this subject ever taken in America. It is the check off on our tax 
returns which doesn't add anything to our tax bill. It simply diverts 
$3 of taxes we already owe to the Presidential election campaign funds. 
It doesn't add to our tax bill. Last year, only about 12 percent of 
Americans checked off indicating they wanted to divert $3 of their tax 
bill away from children's nutrition or defense of the Nation or any 
other worthwhile cause the Government funds into a fund to pay for 
buttons and balloons at the national conventions which get some of the 
tax money, and the Presidential campaigns, which get some of that tax 
  Interestingly enough, this has continued to drop over the years. It 
was originally $1 when it was set up back in the mid-1970s. The high 
water mark of taxpayer participation was 29 percent in 1980. It has 
gone consistently down since then. Ten years ago, in order to make up 
for the lack of interest, when the other party was in charge of both 
Houses and the White House, the $1 check was upped to $3 so that fewer 
and fewer people could designate more and more money to make up for the 
lack of public interest in having their dollars pay for political 
  In short, with all due respect to the Senator from Minnesota, who has 
been very straightforward about the fact he would like to have taxpayer 
funding of all elections in America, this is not an idea widely 
applauded by the American people. In fact, they hate it. Almost any way 
you ask the question, there is a negative response.
  I hope this amendment will be defeated. It certainly takes us in 
exactly the wrong direction if the idea is to produce a campaign 
finance reform bill out of the Senate which might subsequently at some 
point be signed by the President of the United States. I think it is 
further noteworthy that the Presidential system is collapsing anyway. 
President Bush was able to raise more money because of his broad 
support across America and chose not to accept the public's subsidy and 
the speech restrictions on his campaigns that go along with that on a 
State-by-State basis.
  Another candidate, Steve Forbes, obviously because of his own 
personal wealth, chose not to take public funding. I think that is a 
trend. I think you are going to see more and more candidates for 
President on both sides of the aisle deciding they do not want to use 
taxpayer funds for their elections because a number of bad things 
happen to you once you do that.
  We know that once you opt into the system, you are stuck then with 
all the auditors and all the restrictions. We know one out of four of 
the dollars spent in Presidential elections has been spent on lawyers 
and accountants trying to help the candidates comply with all the rules 
that come along with it and of course also telling them how they can 
get around those rules.
  So it is a pretty thoroughly discredited system that I think most 

[[Page 4176]]

of the Senate are not going to want carried over to congressional races 
as well. It is bad enough the Presidential elections are stuck with it. 
And of course they are ignoring it.
  Issue advocacy was huge in the Presidential election. One of the 
reasons both sides have gone to using issue ads is the scarcity of hard 
dollars, even when supplemented with tax dollars in the Presidential 
race, a genuine scarcity in terms of the enormous audience you have to 
reach in America.
  This is a system that simply does not allow the candidates for 
President to get out their own message. To give State legislatures the 
opportunity to impose that on us without our will, without acting at 
the Federal level, seems to me a particularly bad idea. I hope this 
amendment will not only be defeated but be soundly defeated.
  I yield the floor and retain the remainder of my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Minnesota.
  Mr. WELLSTONE. Mr. President, there are two colleagues on the floor, 
and I will just take 1 quick minute to respond. How much time do we 
have left?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Just under 24 minutes.
  Mr. WELLSTONE. Just under 24 minutes. I say to all Senators--or 
staffs, because quite often staffs follow this debate as well--it all 
depends upon how you frame the question. Actually, when you talk to 
people and say, do you want to try to get some of the private money out 
and big dollars out and you want to have clean money, clean elections 
where they are your elections and your government, people are all for 
it. It depends on how you frame the question.
  But all the arguments my colleague from Kentucky made do not apply to 
this amendment. Mr. President, 24 States including the State of 
Kentucky have a system of public financing or partial public financing. 
They must like it. But the point is, we give people in our States the 
right to decide. That is all this amendment says.
  I made the argument for clean money, clean elections. But that is 
beside the point. What we are saying is let the States be the 
laboratories of reform and let the people decide--what they did in 
Maine, or what they have done in Massachusetts, or what they have done 
in Arizona, or what they have done in Vermont, or, for that matter, 
what they have done in a lot of other States with partial public 
financing. Let them decide whether, on a voluntary basis, they want to 
apply that to congressional races. That is the point. We do not get to 
make that decision for them. You are just voting on the proposition of 
whether or not you want to let the people in your States make the 
  Mr. President, I yield 10 minutes to the Senator from Washington.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington.
  Mr. REID. Will the Senator yield just for a unanimous consent 
  Ms. CANTWELL. Yes.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, after consultation with the assistant 
Democratic leader, I ask unanimous consent that the vote on the 
Wellstone amendment occur at 2:15.
  Mr. KERRY. Reserving the right to object, Mr. President, I would like 
to ascertain how much time remains and how much time might be 
  Mr. McCONNELL. If I may finish, I say to my friend from 
Massachusetts, the thought we had was 20 minutes of the time between 
now and then would be for your side and 10 for our side.
  Mr. REID. I think that is about all the time we have anyway, isn't 
it, on Senator Wellstone's time.
  Mr. KERRY. How much time remains on our side?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There remain 21 minutes 52 seconds.
  Mr. KERRY. Could I ask for 12 minutes?
  Mr. REID. Senator Cantwell, I think, indicated she would like 8 
  Mr. WELLSTONE. I would like to reserve. There are others coming. 
Unfortunately, when we went into a quorum call, the time was equally 
divided because we didn't have people down here. I would like to 
reserve the last 3 minutes for myself.
  Mr. REID. I say to my friend from Minnesota, we have 21 minutes.
  Mr. WELLSTONE. Let's do 10 and 8.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I will be glad to accommodate your side. Senator 
Wellstone wants to speak again, Senator Cantwell, Senator Kerry--are 
there others?
  Mr. REID. Senator Corzine wanted 5 minutes.
  Mr. WELLSTONE. You tell me how to do that.
  Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that, after the 
Senator from Washington, I be permitted to speak for 10 minutes and we 
have the vote at the conclusion of that amount of time, and allowing 
for the time for the use of the Senator from Kentucky as the manager on 
his side.
  Mr. McCONNELL. What I would like to do is set a time for the vote in 
consultation with the Senators on the floor, and we will divide the 
time after that.
  Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, could I suggest perhaps we allow the 
Senator from Washington to begin speaking and arrange the time?
  Mr. REID. How much time does the Senator need?
  Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, 12 minutes.
  Mr. REID. Corzine 5 minutes; Wellstone, 5 minutes.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Cantwell?
  Mr. WELLSTONE. Mr. President, 10 minutes. Vote at 2:30.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent a vote occur on 
the Wellstone amendment--on or in relation to the Wellstone amendment 
at 2:30.
  Mr. REID. And the time be allocated----
  Mr. McCONNELL. The time be allocated in the following manner: 12 
minutes for Senator Kerry, 5 minutes for Senator Corzine, 5 minutes for 
Senator Wellstone at the end, 5 minutes for Senator Cantwell--10 
minutes for Senator Cantwell.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. McCONNELL. And 2 minutes before the vote for the Senator from 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Washington.
  Ms. CANTWELL. Mr. President, I rise today in support of the McCain-
Feingold campaign finance reform legislation and the Wellstone 
amendment. I ran for the U.S. Senate because I believe it is time for 
us to reform our political system and bring it into the 21st century. 
At a time where citizens are more empowered than ever with information, 
where access to technology and communications tools makes it possible 
for citizens to track and understand on a daily basis our legislative 
progress, and where citizens understand exactly the tug and pull of the 
legislative process, that is, who is getting tugged and who is getting 
pulled. It is time to respond with a political system that is more 
inclusive in the decision process. That meets the best long term needs 
of our citizens, instead of a political system of financing campaigns 
that rewards short-term expedient decisionmaking.
  But before I go on about the Wellstone amendment that I rise to 
support, I want to thank the authors of the bill, Senators John McCain 
and Russ Feingold, for the commitment, determination, courage and 
perseverance that they have demonstrated on this issue. Campaign 
finance reform has few friends. It has many enemies. It suffers from a 
public that simply believes that we can not reform ourselves or this 
system. John McCain and Russ Feingold, at great personal expense, have 
championed this cause for many years and I am proud to join them in the 
heat of this battle.
  I rise today in support of the Wellstone amendment that I am 
cosponsoring along with Senators Corzine and Kerry because I believe it 
will truly start us down the road of progress. Progress in allowing 
clean money and clean money efforts to finance campaigns. There is 
almost a grassroots effort popping up in many States such as Maine, 
Vermont, Arizona, and Massachusetts, and hopefully with this amendment, 
in many more States across our country.

[[Page 4177]]

  The clean money effort allows us to put our political system where it 
belongs--back in the hands of the public, making it more accountable 
for the people we represent. This is the political reform that our 
country so badly needs.
  The money we raise from special interests plays a role in politics. 
It plays a role in setting the terms of the debate. It plays a role in 
what issues get placed at the top of the legislative agenda. And, most 
importantly, it keeps the focus in the wrong place.
  Elizabeth Drew, wrote a book called ``Whatever It Takes,'' that 
chronicled some of the way business and the Congress operate. 
Paraphrasing her remarks, some of the interest groups oppose 
legislation because it is the camel's nose under the tent. It is 
something they can stop, and so they do.
  We need a political decision making process in Congress in an 
information age where people are brought together, and not just met 
with because we agree with them. Our failure to act to reduce the 
amount of money in politics is feeding the skepticism and cynicism 
about politics and government among our citizens, and particularly our 
  At a time when we are not far from Internet voting, we ought to have 
a system of financing campaigns that encourages our citizens to be more 
involved. Our citizens believe the current campaign finance system 
prevents us from acting in their interest.
  We have been through a technology revolution in this country, and we 
have to have a governing system, and a campaign system that will keep 
pace with it.
  I was reminded in this last cycle--going around the State of 
Washington, I met a constituent who wanted to tell me about a piece of 
legislation. They turned around to their desktop and printed off the 
bill that was being considered, circled the sections of the bill they 
were most interested in, and said: Now tell me why we can't get this 
passed by the U.S. Senate.
  I didn't have to answer this person. They knew very well why it was 
not getting addressed in the Senate. And that is why we need to change 
our system.
  I welcome Senator Wellstone's amendment and his recognition that 
States can be leaders in this area. I hope my colleagues embrace the 
spirit of this amendment and recognize it for what it is--a great 
opportunity to watch, to see, and to learn from those experiments that 
are happening at the State level.
  As Senator Wellstone said, States are great laboratories. By letting 
States that are interested in doing so set up public funding systems 
for their Federal candidates, we will be providing ourselves with 
valuable research on how we can level the playing field and get the 
money out of politics.
  Think about that: The time that Members spend raising money instead 
spent listening to the voters in their States.
  We have already learned from the clean money election systems in 
Maine that candidates taking part in that voluntary system have had the 
following things say:
  It was easier to recruit candidates to run for office.
  It is what the people want.
  I will only have about half the money I raised last time but much 
more time to talk to the people.
  We have learned that voluntary limits can work. In his Senate race in 
1996, Senator John Kerry and his opponent, then-Governor Bill Weld, 
agreed to a voluntary spending limit, and the result was a campaign 
waged largely on the issues. Senator Kerry proved there are incentives 
for both sides to improve the political discourse.
  In Arizona, 16 candidates were elected under the clean money system, 
including an upset victory over the former speaker of the State senate. 
And the challenger spent only one-quarter of the money that his 
opponent took.
  In Maine, 49 percent of the State senate candidates won their seats 
while participating in the clean money program.
  Overall, States implementing public financing have seen more 
candidates run, more contested primaries, more women running for 
office, and, most importantly, it is proving that good candidates can 
run winning campaigns and participate in a system that limits spending.
  The only way we have to truly level the playing field, both between 
candidates and parties of opposing ideologies, and more importantly, 
between new candidates and incumbents, is to commit the resources to 
the process of getting people elected.
  Not until we create a campaign system with a shorter and more 
intensive campaign period--something I think the public would truly 
applaud--funded with finite and equal resources available to all 
candidates, will we be able to really listen carefully to what the 
people want.
  Not until then will we be able to free candidates from the time, and 
the energy drain that is needed for dialing for dollars. Not until then 
will we be able to improve the quality of political discourse, to play 
down the dominance of polls, to render tax-driven negative ads 
ineffective, and to remove the appearance that political decisionmaking 
is not based on principle but on the dependence on funds.
  We can't in an information age and a technology age be smart enough 
to figure out how to make prescription drugs and new therapies improve 
the quality of life and health care and yet not even have the debate to 
make prescription drugs more affordable.
  Why is that? Because it, too, has gotten clogged in this debate and 
campaign finance reform. Senator Wellstone's amendment removes the 
roadblock to exploring new options for getting people elected in a new 
information age. I support the right of States to experiment with new 
ideas to help level the playing field and to improve our election 
process and our campaign system.
  Thank you, Mr. President.
  Mr. WELLSTONE. Mr. President, I thank Senator Cantwell but remind her 
that actually we worked together on this amendment. It is really our 
amendment--the Wellstone-Cantwell-Kerry amendment.
  I thank the Senator for her help on the amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts.
  Mr. KERRY. I thank the Chair.
  Mr. President, let me begin my comments by making it as clear as I 
can that I am a strong supporter of the McCain-Feingold legislation. I 
have had the pleasure of working with both of them through the years on 
campaign finance reform. I want McCain-Feingold to pass the Senate and 
ultimately be signed into law.
  But let me also make it equally as clear to my colleagues and all 
Americans who are focused on and care about this issue that what we 
might achieve, if we pass McCain-Feingold, is only a small step towards 
what we ought to be trying to do in this Congress. The fact is that 
even if we pass McCain-Feingold, all that we would have achieved is a 
reduction--it is not all, but it is significant and it is important--in 
the soft money flow to our campaigns through either corporate 
contributions or private contributions.
  Nothing in McCain-Feingold is going to restrain the arms race of 
fundraising in the United States. Nothing in McCain-Feingold is going 
to restrain ultimately the dependency of people in Congress to have to 
go out and ask people for significant amounts of money in total--
because of amounts of money that you can give Federally--hard money up 
to the $25,000, which may well be lifted in the course of this debate--
people who have $20,000, $25,000, or $15,000 to make in a contribution 
will have far more capacity to be able to affect Federal campaigns than 
the average American citizen.
  I do not know if my colleagues are aware of this, but almost all of 
the soft money that was contributed in the last election cycle for both 
parties came from about 800 people. Obviously, those 800 people have 
the capacity to be able to put up larger Federal contributions or match 
Federal dollar contributions.
  What the Congress ought to be doing and what we ought to be focused 
on is how to put the greatest distance between each of us in the 
fundraising and create the greatest proximity between

[[Page 4178]]

each of us and the people who vote for us or who are asked to vote for 
  The Senator from Kentucky said earlier in this debate that this 
amendment by Senator Wellstone, myself, and Senator Cantwell is a bad 
idea because it would tell the States how to run a Federal election, or 
it would take our campaigns--I think was the language--and prevent the 
States from somehow living by the rules that the Federal Government has 
set up or espouses. Nothing, again, could be further from the truth.
  First of all, it is not our campaign. It is the voters' campaign. 
This election belongs to the voters of each of our States. How 
presumptuous of us to stand here and say we should deny the voters of 
our States the right to elect us the way they might like to elect us.
  Moreover, this amendment is purely voluntary. No Member of Congress 
is compelled to go with the system even if a State requires it. So it 
is really only a half preemption. It is a way of saying to those 24 
States--almost half the States in the Union; among them the State of 
the Senator from Kentucky. They have already adopted some form of 
public financing. Every one of those States has decided they do not 
want special interests governing the elections. They want to reduce the 
election process to the simplest connection between candidate and 
  I am pleased to say that ever since I ran in 1984--the first time for 
the Senate--I have been able, thus far, to run without taking the 
larger conglomerate funds, the PAC money funds. I think I am the only 
Member of the Senate who has been elected three times without taking 
PAC money. I am proud of that. That is not because PACs are inherently 
evil or a bad part of the process. I think it is fine under the 
Constitution for people to come together and give money jointly through 
a PAC. The problem is, when it is conglomerated the way it is, in the 
amounts that it is, it leaves our fellow citizens with the perception 
that the system is up for grabs; that the money is what controls the 
elections of our country.
  Senator John McCain, in the course of his Presidential campaign, 
elicited from his countrymen and women a great sympathy for that 
notion. Part of what propelled that campaign was people's conviction 
they do not get to control what happens in the Senate and the House of 
Representatives, but the large money has more control over what happens 
here than their conglomerate votes they express on election day.
  What the Wellstone-Kerry-Cantwell amendment seeks to do is simply 
give a choice to States. If you are a conservative and you believe in 
States rights, here is the ultimate States rights amendment because 
what we are saying is that a State has the right to offer to its 
candidates a different way of getting elected. And if the candidate for 
Federal office wants to take advantage of that, they may. It does not 
require you, there is no mandate, any person in the Senate who wants to 
go out and rely on their amounts of money they can raise can do so. But 
it gives to the State the right to put that as an offering to those who 
  Why is it that we should stand here and take ownership of the 
campaign away from the people who elect us, and deny them the right to 
say they would like to see the races for the House and the Senate run 
by the same standard that we run our race for Governor and for our 
local legislature?
  As I said earlier, nothing in McCain-Feingold will ultimately resolve 
the terrible problem of Senators having to raise extraordinary sums of 
money. The reason for that is we are still going to have to go out and 
raise tens of millions of dollars, except it will be without soft 
money; it will be so-called hard money.
  Let me say to my colleagues, they will still--each of them--be 
completely subject to the same kinds of questions that exist today 
about the linkage of money and politics. The only way we will 
ultimately divorce ourselves from that perception which leads most 
Americans to believe that this whole thing is somehow out of their 
reach and out of their control, and that it is gamed and they cannot 
really make a difference--the only way you will affect that, 
ultimately, is to adopt some form of public financing.
  I know the votes are not here today. I know too many of my colleagues 
are comfortable with the status quo. I know we cannot win that vote in 
the Senate today. But that does not mean we should not put it in the 
debate. And it does not mean we should not require a vote because the 
real test of whether or not people want our democracy to work is 
whether or not we are going to do the most we can, in a most reasonable 
way, to separate ourselves from the fundraising that is so suspect and 
that taints the entire system.
  I respectfully suggest to my colleagues that a voluntary system--once 
again, purely voluntary; no challenge to the first amendment at all; no 
mandate whatsoever; no constitutional issue --simply a voluntary system 
that would allow a candidate to go for matching money, in the same way 
that we do in the Presidential race, and have done for years--and, I 
might add, contrary to what the Senator from Kentucky said, with great 
success--even President George W. Bush in the general election took the 
public funding. He ran for President of the United States with public 
money. Bob Dole ran for President of the United States with public 
money. President George Bush first ran with public money. President 
Ronald Reagan ran with public money. Why is it that if it is good 
enough to elect a President of the United States, it should not at 
least be voluntarily available to those who run for the Senate?
  The reason is too many of my colleagues know that might put the 
opposition on an equal footing with them. Too many of my colleagues are 
comfortable with the system where they can use the incumbency to raise 
the large amounts of money and not allow for a fair playing field that 
enhances the democracy of this country.
  That is why the Senate has more than 50-percent membership of 
millionaires--because most people in this country cannot afford to run 
for the Senate. That is how our democracy in this country is, in fact, 
distorted. We do not have a true representation in the so-called upper 
body of America because too many people cannot even begin to think 
about running for office in this country.
  Last time I ran in the State of Massachusetts, the Governor of the 
State, a Republican, joined with me in putting a limit on what we would 
spend. We voluntarily agreed to no independent expenditures. We 
voluntarily agreed to no soft money. We voluntarily agreed on a total 
limit of how much we would spend in our campaign on the ground and in 
the media.
  The result of that was, we had nine 1-hour televised debates. And in 
the course of those nine 1-hour televised debates--in the course of all 
the free media--the people in the State were able to hear a debate 
about Social Security, a debate about Medicare, a debate about health 
care, a debate about the economy; and they ultimately made a decision.
  I say to my colleagues, I warrant that 95 percent or 100 percent of 
the dollars we spent on paid advertising--which were equal amounts--was 
a complete wash, a mishmash that ultimately did not affect the outcome.
  We are hocking the Congress of the United States to our fundraising 
efforts in order to be able to run paid advertisements that result, 
generally speaking, in a clouding of the issues, not a shedding of 
light to people about what these issues are really about.
  The only way to stop having Americans ask about the influence of 
money is to adopt the greatest division between us and the influence of 
the money. And that will come through some form of public financing.
  I will be speaking more about this in the next few days. I will be 
offering an amendment to this bill that tries to go further than what 
we currently have on the table. I know the reason Senators McCain and 
Feingold have settled where they are is because this is the best chance 
we have for the votes we have today. But that does not mean the

[[Page 4179]]

Senate should not be called on to debate and vote on an issue that 
ultimately will be the only way out of this morass that we find 
ourselves in.
  I think my time has expired.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Ms. Stabenow). The Senator's time has expired.
  Mr. KERRY. I thank the Chair and hope my colleagues will support this 
voluntary opportunity that the Senator from Minnesota offers.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Minnesota is recognized.
  Mr. WELLSTONE. Madam President, do we have, all together, 10 minutes 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is a total of 20 minutes preceding the 
vote. The Senator from Minnesota has 5 minutes remaining, and the 
Senator from New Jersey has 5 minutes.
  Mr. WELLSTONE. I say to my colleague from Massachusetts, if he would 
like, I will yield an additional 5 minutes to him. I will reserve the 
final 5 minutes. We are in complete agreement. He is making a very 
strong statement for clean money, clean elections.
  Mr. REID. Madam President, if the Senator will yield, the Senator 
from New Jersey is on his way. He has 5 minutes. The Senator from 
Minnesota has 5 minutes. The rest is under the control of the Senator 
from Kentucky. That was the understanding we had.
  Mr. WELLSTONE. I am sorry, I was under the impression that the 
Senator from New Jersey would not be able to make it at all.
  Mr. REID. He is on his way.
  Mr. WELLSTONE. I will take my time now. This is a joint effort. There 
are a number of different Senators who are part of this: Senator 
Cantwell worked very hard on this, Senator Kerry; Senator Biden is an 
original cosponsor; Senator Corzine is an original cosponsor; Senator 
Clinton is an original cosponsor. There are other Senators as well.
  My colleague from Kentucky has made the argument before--in fact, I 
remember debating him on MacNeil, Lehrer that public financing, a clean 
money, clean election bill, which Senator Kerry and I have written, 
would amount to ``food stamps for politicians.'' The problem with that 
argument is that it presupposes that the election belongs to the 
politicians. The election belongs to the people we represent.
  I argue that McCain-Feingold is a step in the right direction, but if 
we want to have a system that gets out a lot of the big money, brings 
people back in, is not so wired for incumbents, and assures that we 
have a functioning representative democracy where we do live up to the 
goal of each person counting as one, and no more than one, frankly, 
clean money, clean elections is the direction in which to go, as has 
already been accomplished by a number of States. Maine, Vermont, 
Massachusetts, and Arizona have led the way, but there are about 24 
States in the country that have some system of public or partial 
  We are not voting today for clean money, clean elections. We are just 
voting on the following proposition: Will we vote to allow our States, 
the people in our States and their elected representatives, the right 
to decide whether or not a system of voluntary partial or full public 
financing should be applied to U.S. House and Senate races. Why don't 
we allow the people in our States the chance to make that decision?
  This is a Brandeis amendment. States are the laboratories of reform. 
For Senators who say they want States to decide on the most fundamental 
core issue of all, which has to do with representation, let them 
decide. If they don't want to adopt such a system, they won't, but let 
them decide.
  Secondly, by doing that, we will nurture and provoke a wave of 
grassroots citizen involvement because people will realize that at 
their State level not only can they adopt clean money, clean elections 
that affect State races, but they can do it so that it will affect our 
  This is simply an amendment that says: Let the States, our States, 
make the decision whether they want to adopt such a voluntary system of 
partial or full public financing or clean money, clean elections.
  Senator Corzine and Senator Biden are on the floor. I yield the final 
6 or 7 minutes equally divided between the two of them. I yield 3 
minutes to the Senator from Delaware.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Minnesota has used his 5 
  The Senator from Delaware.
  Mr. BIDEN. Madam President, I thank my colleague from Minnesota, 
Senator Wellstone, for bringing this amendment to the Senate, and I am 
pleased to join him in this effort to finally break the ice on getting 
rid of special interest money in our campaigns--once and for all.
  He and I have been at this for a long time, a very long time. And 
while I support the McCain-Feingold bill, we have to remember that it 
only addresses a portion of the problems we have.
  Indeed, the effort to secure real reform of the way we finance 
political campaigns has been a central concern of my entire Senate 
career, almost three decades. In fact, the first Committee testimony I 
ever gave as a U.S. Senator, back in 1973, was to speak in favor of 
public financing and spending limits for campaigns.
  And if you think campaign finance reform is a tough issue today, let 
me tell you, as some of my colleagues well remember, it was truly 
unpopular then.
  As I continued to push for public funding of campaigns in 1974, my 
goal was to get rid of special interest money--money that pollutes the 
system and drowns out the voices of ordinary persons. Special interest 
money has a tendency to influence anyone running for public office, or 
at a minimum, casts that impression that elected officials are beholden 
to someone other than the American people.
  Public financing also helps to level the financial playing field for 
challengers taking on well established incumbents who had virtually all 
of the fund-raising muscle.
  But again, I encountered a lot of opposition, from colleagues on both 
sides of the aisle. A story I know I have told before: One senior 
Senator pulled me aside in the cloakroom, and told me that he had 
worked hard and earned his seniority, and he was not going to open the 
door for some challenger to be able to raise as much money as he could. 
He basically asked me--I expect when he would tell the story, he didn't 
ask me, he told me--to stop what I was doing.
  In that same year, 1974, I wrote an article for the Northwestern 
University Law Review, outlining the three principal reasons that I was 
pursuing campaign finance reform. First, a political process that 
relied totally on private contributions allowed for, at the very least, 
the potential of wealthy individuals and special interest groups 
exercising a disproportionate influence over the system.
  Second, such a process meant that wealthy candidates had an almost 
insurmountable advantage. And third, incumbents had an equally daunting 
advantage; the system virtually locked them into office.
  We did make some progress in 1974, largely because of documented 
abuses in the 1972 presidential campaign, with the passage of 
Amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, known as the 
FECA. The 1974 amendments, which I supported, established the Federal 
Election Commission to help ensure proper enforcement of campaign laws, 
and also set the now familiar federal campaign contribution limits of 
$1,000 for individuals and $5,000 for political action committees.
  The amendments further established campaign spending limits and 
expanded public financing for presidential campaigns.
  Not unexpectedly, the constitutionality of the 1974 amendments was 
challenged almost immediately, and the Supreme Court decided the issue 
in its 1976 landmark ruling, Buckley v. Valeo.
  The Court upheld the law's contribution limits, but overturned the 
limits on expenditures as a too severe restriction of political speech. 
The Court did leave open, however, the possibility of spending limits 
for publicly financed campaigns--which, so far, despite my

[[Page 4180]]

best efforts, has been limited to presidential campaigns--because the 
candidates could disregard the limits if they rejected the public 
  There were additional issues in the case, not directly related to 
campaign financing, including a separation of powers question regarding 
how Commissioners to the FEC were appointed.
  In response to the Court's decision, Congress enacted additional 
amendments to the FECA in 1976, which again, I supported. One amendment 
repealed the spending limits except for publicly financed campaigns; 
another addressed the FEC appointment procedures; and another 
restricted and regulated PAC fund-raising. I also supported a third 
round of refining FECA amendments, which passed in 1979.
  In addition to those successes in the 1970s, there were also 
frustrations. In 1977, I introduced legislation to prohibit the 
personal use of excess campaign funds by defeated candidates, by 
retired or resigned Federal office holders, or by the survivors of a 
deceased office holder. The bill was debated on the floor, but 
ultimately failed.
  The greater frustrations of the late 1970s and early 1980s were, 
first, that partisan stalemate kept us from making additional progress, 
and second, that despite our efforts with the FECA amendments, 
individual campaigns and political parties were bypassing the laws by 
taking advantage of loopholes in the regulatory language and system.
  We finally broke the stalemate on reform legislation in the Senate, 
and on narrowing one of the biggest loopholes, by delineating more 
specific guidelines for the use of political action committees, or 
PACs, when we passed the Boren-Goldwater amendment in 1986, legislation 
I was proud to cosponsor. This would have reduced PAC contributions and 
put a total limit on the amount of PAC money a candidate could accept.
  But the celebration was short-lived, and progress on campaign finance 
reform stalled again, despite our continuing efforts to give it a 
legislative jump start.
  With my colleagues, Senator Kerry from Massachusetts and then-Senator 
Bradley from New Jersey, I offered public campaign financing bills in 
the 101st, the 102nd and the 103rd Congresses.
  Others among our colleagues were equally persistent during this era, 
perhaps most notably, Senators Boren and Mitchell, Senator Danforth and 
Senator Hollings, who has proposed a constitutional amendment to allow 
Congress to pass legislation setting mandatory limits on contributions 
and expenditures for federal campaigns. I have supported that proposal 
in the past, as well as other reforms suggested by the distinguished 
Senator from South Carolina and other colleagues.
  We did manage to pass several significant pieces of legislation 
through the Senate, only to have the process stalled again in the 
conference process. And as I know many of my colleagues will remember, 
we even managed to get a pretty good bill out of conference and through 
both Houses, in 1992--a bill that included voluntary spending limits in 
congressional campaigns, in exchange for certain public funding 
benefits, as well as restrictions on PAC receipts and soft money.
  But the legislation was vetoed by President George H.W. Bush, and our 
Senate override vote failed by 57-42.
  When we resubmitted the legislation the following year, with Senator 
Boren again as the lead sponsor and with President Clinton's support 
and, indeed, some additional provisions proposed by the White House, 
the Congressional Campaign Spending Limit and Election Reform Act again 
got pretty far.
  Just as I had done 20 years before, I testified before the Senate 
Rules Committee, arguing for public financing as the only road to true 
campaign finance reform. The bill, with one major compromise amendment, 
passed the Senate 60-38, but a compromise with the House proved more 
difficult, and our debate ended with a filibuster against appointing 
  The 104th Congress saw a famous handshake between President Clinton 
and the Speaker of the House, Mr. Gingrich, signaling their ``agreement 
in principle'' to pursue campaign finance reform. And the two major 
sweeping reform bills, which continue to dominate our debates today, 
were born McCain-Feingold in the Senate, and Smith-Meehan-Shays, now 
known as Shays-Meehan, in the House.
  Then in 1997, I again partnered with Senator Kerry, as well as 
Senators Wellstone, Glenn and Leahy, to introduce the Clean Money, 
Clean Elections Act.
  That proposal would have wiped private money out of the campaign 
system almost entirely, by greatly reducing the limit on individual 
contributions and imposing an additional limit for each state. 
Candidates would have received public funds and free media time, 
calculated by State size.
  Unfortunately, as with so many other proposals directed toward public 
financing for congressional campaigns, we got no further than a 
referral to committee.
  In recounting this history, I do not mean to sound downtrodden or 
  We have made progress through congressional action--with the FECA 
amendments and since 1979, the elimination of honoraria and the 
``grandfather clause'' on the personal use of excess campaign funds, 
the National Voter Registration Act and the increase in the tax return 
checkoff for the Presidential Election Campaign Fund from $1 to $3.
  The 106th Congress saw no fewer than 85 campaign finance reform bills 
introduced, 24 of them in the Senate, including the McCain-Feingold 
bill that we are debating today, as well as the Hagel-Kerrey bill on 
which hearings were held last spring.
  While none of the sweeping reform proposals made it through the last 
Congress, we did take a small but important step, enacting a proposal 
initially offered by Senator Lieberman and later incorporated into an 
amendment he sponsored with Senators McCain and Feingold.
  The legislation, which in virtually identical form to McCain-
Feingold-Lieberman was signed into law by President Clinton last July, 
addressed the problem of so-called ``stealth PACs,'' operating under 
section 527 of the tax code.
  Such organizations claimed tax exempt status, but at the same time 
also claimed exemption from regulation under the FECA. That meant these 
stealth PACs could try to influence political campaigns with 
undisclosed and unregulated contributions, all tax free. The new law 
closes that loophole, requiring 527 organizations to adhere to 
appropriate regulatory and disclosure requirements. Again, an important 
  And I hope it is a step that gives us momentum to make further 
progress in the 107th Congress. My own legislative initiatives, 
throughout my career, have focused on public financing of federal 
campaigns, and I continue to believe that it is truest course to 
  But I have been in the past, and will be in our deliberations now, 
willing and eager to support other brands of reform that offer 
responsible regulation and close what can, at times, seem like an 
endless chain of newly exploited loopholes in existing law.
  Our goal, whatever proposal is at issue, must be to uphold the public 
trust and to secure public confidence in the integrity of our election 
process. We are not entitled to that confidence; we have to earn it.
  That is no small task, especially having just emerged from an 
election that was not only contentious but expensive--the total amount 
raised just by the two national parties was close to $1.2 billion, a 
$300 million increase from the 1996 election cycle.
  And half of that $1.2 billion was so-called ``soft money,'' raised 
and spent beyond the reach of federal regulation, although certainly 
with the intent of influencing some Federal elections. As the amounts 
and creative uses of soft money have grown, we must give the issue the 
serious consideration it merits, as, I might add, McCain-Feingold does, 
with its outright ban on soft money raising and spending in Federal 

[[Page 4181]]

  In the past, as I've attempted to summarize today, we have made some 
progress, but time and time again, we have stopped short of how far we 
need to go on campaign finance reform.
  The amendment offered by Senator Wellstone today gives us at least a 
chance, for Senate races in some States, to discard the influences of 
special interests.
  Public financing allows candidates to compete on an equal footing 
where the merits of their ideas outweigh the size of their pocketbook. 
It frees members from the corroding dependence on personal or family 
fortune or the gifts of special interest backers. It ends the need for 
perpetual fundraising by elected officials.
  But above all else, it helps restore the American people's faith in 
our democracy.
  The truth is that campaigns are financed by people, and when they are 
financed by all the people--not just a small percentage--they will 
create much better government and will do the one thing that most needs 
to be done at this time, and that is to begin to restore public 
confidence in the system. Either all of America decides who runs for 
office, or only a few people. It's as simple as that.
  And if we cannot pass this at the Federal level, let's at least give 
the States the chance to do it, as Senator Wellstone is proposing. The 
fact is, the States have been leading the way when it comes to public 
  My home State is now considering such a proposal. If candidates can 
agree to spending limits, and choose public financing over special 
interest money, we should not stand in the way of allowing a state to 
pursue an avenue of reform that we are reluctant to take here in 
  Public financing is the true, comprehensive way to reform. While I 
would prefer to enact public financing at the federal level, I 
nevertheless support my colleague's effort to restore faith in our 
electoral process by giving States the go ahead.
  Madam President, I don't understand what my friend from Kentucky gets 
so worried about. I know he disagrees with guys like me and the Senator 
from Massachusetts about public financing of elections, which I think 
is the only way we ever clean this up.
  This is a simple yet important amendment. All we are saying is, if 
your State decides it wants to put in a financing system and if both 
candidates running for office or three candidates running for that 
office agree to abide by it, then what is the big deal? I find it so 
fascinating that by and large my Republican friends talk about States 
rights so much. They are such great champions of States rights. They 
would love the Environmental Protection Agency to be subservient to the 
States. They think the 11th amendment means something the Supreme 
Court, unfortunately, has decided it means. The States are the 
repository of wisdom to my friends on the other side of the aisle, by 
and large.
  We are not going to even allow the States, if they choose, to set up 
a financing system for elections if all the candidates voluntarily 
agree. If they don't voluntarily agree, they can't do it 
constitutionally, in my view. Here we are with even this modest 
  What we are afraid of on this floor is the public one day waking up 
and saying: Hey, the emperor has no clothes; this has been a big sham. 
Gosh, look at this, I didn't realize this.
  All they know now is generically they don't like the way we do 
business. All they know now is generically there is too much money 
involved in politics. In their home States, if they like the idea of 
too much money continuing to be involved in politics, so be it; they 
can decide that. But if they decide that there is a way to get the big 
money out and a way to make sure every single voter in the State has 
the same say as any wealthy person, then they might do this.
  This is so modest, it is almost embarrassing to have to argue for its 
passage. It is the single most insightful way to understand why what we 
are doing doesn't mean much.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The time of the Senator has expired.
  The Senator from New Jersey.
  Mr. CORZINE. Madam President, I rise today in strong support of the 
Wellstone-Cantwell States' Rights amendment. I am proud to be a 
cosponsor of this amendment which will allow States to attempt 
innovative approaches to campaign finance reform on their own 
  The McCain-Feingold reform bill goes a long way towards reforming the 
campaign system. This amendment allows States to go even further. It 
would allow States to use money from their own treasuries, to ensure 
that campaigns are funded with clean money. Money that is free from the 
taint of special interest.
  As you well know, States have historically acted as engines of 
reform. Some States, including New Jersey, have adopted strong public 
financing systems allowing candidates a level playing field when 
seeking statewide office. However, when it comes to campaigns for 
Federal office, these States hands are tied. According to the Federal 
Election Campaign Act, Federal candidates are not allowed to take part 
in those financing systems.
  This amendment is remarkably simple. It allows States to extend to 
Federal candidates public funding solutions already available to 
candidates seeking State office.
  The fundamental reason McCain-Feingold is important is that it holds 
the promise to reduce the amount of dirty money in the campaign 
process, to reduce any appearance of impropriety on the part of 
representatives elected to do the people's work. Some States have 
already realized that public financing is the necessary next step in 
the equation, that public money is clean money. However, states find 
themselves restrained in enacting a solution.
  This amendment will not cost the U.S. Government a penny. It does not 
mandate public financing in any way. In fact, the United States already 
provides public support for candidates seeking the presidency. And this 
amendment does not propose to extend the same financing to all Federal 
candidates. Rather it allows States the freedom to offer public 
financing and a more level playing field for candidates seeking Federal 
office. Do we allow States the freedom to determine the format of their 
own campaign finance systems? Or do we allow reform to end with McCain-
Feingold, to end with the Congress?
  New Jersey has an excellent public financing system for gubernatorial 
candidates. Allowing the State to extend this system to include Federal 
candidates holds a great deal of promise. In New Jersey, candidates 
seeking public financing agree to a funding cap that keeps pace with 
inflation. Then, for every dollar raised by the candidate, the State 
matches him with two. When all is said and done, the candidate has to 
do one-third of the fundraising. Imagine all the additional time you 
could spend engaging with voters about the issues that affect their 
lives as opposed to overburdened with fundraising responsibilities. 
Politicians can spend less time on the fundraising circuit and more 
time on the campaign trail. The Democratic candidate for governor, 
Mayor James McGreevey, stopped fundraising for the June primary in 
  This amendment will allow States like New Jersey to pick up where 
McCain-Feingold leaves off. It allows State governments to create a 
truly level playing field in the States and serve as examples to the 
Nation of realistic and forward-looking approaches to campaign finance 
reform. I strongly urge my colleagues to vote for this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky is recognized.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, about the only thing more unpopular 
than taxpayer funding of elections would be a congressional pay raise. 
The American people hate, detest, and despise the notion that their tax 
dollars would be used to fund political campaigns. We have the biggest 
survey in the history of America on this very subject taken every April 
15 when Americans have an opportunity on their income tax returns to 
check off $3 of taxes they already owe to divert into

[[Page 4182]]

the Presidential election campaign fund.
  This is not an add-on to their tax burden. This is $3 in taxes they 
already owe. They have an option to divert that away from children's 
nutrition programs, or the national defense, or whatever might be 
considered worthwhile, into a fund that has been maintained since 1976, 
to pay for the campaigns for President of the United States and to buy 
buttons and balloons for the national conventions.
  So we have this massive survey every April 15 in which Americans get 
to vote on this very issue. The high water mark of American 
participation in the Presidential checkoff was 28.7 percent. That was 
in 1980--about 20 years ago. At that time, the high water mark, 28.7 
percent, of Americans were willing to divert $1 of the taxes they 
already owed into this fund. It has been consistently tracking down 
over the years to a point where about 10 years ago the Congress changed 
the dollar checkoff to $3, so fewer and fewer people could divert 
greater and greater amounts of money to try to make up for the 
shortfall that was occurring because of lack of participation, lack of 
interest, and opposition to the Presidential publicly funded elections.
  In the 2000 campaign just completed, the 2000 Presidential primary, 
candidates were only able to receive a percentage of the matching funds 
they were due that year, even with three of the Republican candidates--
Governor Bush, Steve Forbes, and Senator Hatch--not accepting taxpayer 
funds. So they have had a problem, even with the $3 checkoff, dealing 
with keeping this fund adequately up to snuff.
  Now the other thing worthy of notice is, even if a State were to set 
up taxpayer funding of the election system, they could not 
constitutionally deny this money to fringe and crackpot candidates. It 
is worth noting that over the history of the taxpayer-funded system for 
Presidential elections that began a quarter century ago, taxpayers 
ponied up more than $1 billion overall, and $40 million of it has gone 
to candidates such as Lyndon LaRouche and Lenora Fulani. Larouche got 
taxpayer money while he was still in jail.
  It is important for my colleagues to understand that even if a State, 
with concurrence of the candidates for Congress, decided to set up a 
taxpayer-funded scheme for the election for the Senate in that 
particular State, there would be no way, constitutionally, to restrict 
those funds to just the candidates of the Republican Party and the 
Democratic Party. So you would have an opportunity all across America 
to replicate the system we have had in the Presidential system, where 
fringe and crackpot candidates get money from the Treasury to pay for 
their campaigns for office.
  I think this is really an issue that greatly separates many Senators 
philosophically, as to whether or not reaching into the Treasury--
whether the Federal or State treasury--and providing subsidies for 
political candidates is a good idea. We used to call it food stamps for 
politicians. In the early nineties, it was called vouchers. Candidates 
were going to get taxpayer-paid vouchers for campaigns--food stamps for 
politicians, for goodness' sake. Can you imagine how the American 
people would feel about such an absurd idea?
  So I certainly hope the Senate will not go on record as giving to the 
States the option to squander tax dollars in such an absurd way. I have 
some optimism about the bill we are currently debating, the McCain-
Feingold bill, and I am authorized by Senator McCain to indicate that 
he intends to oppose this amendment. He doesn't think it would add to 
the underlying bill and go in the direction he would like.
  So this is one of those rare occasions upon which Senator McCain and 
I will agree on an amendment, and we hope the overwhelming majority of 
the Senate will agree that authorizing the use of tax dollars for 
political campaigns is a uniquely bad idea--and already tried. We have 
had a 25-year experiment that has wasted over a billion dollars of 
taxpayer dollars and funded fringe candidates, including those in jail, 
and to replicate that in any of our States, it seems to me, is a very 
bad idea.
  I hope Members of the Senate will oppose this amendment which will be 
voted upon shortly.

  Are there any other Members who wish to speak?
  Mr. WELLSTONE. Madam President, do we have any time left?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator has consumed all of his time.
  Mr. WELLSTONE. All right.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There are 2\1/2\ minutes before the vote.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I am prepared to yield back the remainder of my time. 
Have the yeas and nays been ordered?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. They have not been ordered.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There is a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the amendment of the Senator from 
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 36, nays 64, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 42 Leg.]


     Nelson (FL)
     Nelson (NE)


     Smith (NH)
     Smith (OR)
  The amendment (No. 123) was rejected.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mr. DODD. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky.

                           Amendment No. 134

  Mr. McCONNELL. The next amendment is now the Hatch amendment, and I 
see the Senator from Utah is on the floor. I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. HATCH. I send an amendment to the desk and ask for its immediate 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the amendment.
  The senior assistant bill clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Utah [Mr. HATCH] proposes an amendment 
     numbered 134.

  Mr. HATCH. I ask unanimous consent the reading of the amendment be 
dispensed with.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

    (Purpose: To strike section 304 and add a provision to require 
disclosure to and consent by shareholders and members regarding use of 
                    funds for political activities)

       Beginning on page 35, strike line 8 and all that follows 
     through page 37, line 14, and insert the following:


       Title III of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 
     U.S.C. 431 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 304 
     the following:

[[Page 4183]]

                   POLITICAL ACTIVITIES.

       ``(a) Disclosure.--Any corporation or labor organization 
     (including a separate segregated fund established and 
     maintained by such entity) that makes a disbursement for 
     political activity or a contribution or expenditure during an 
     election cycle shall submit a written report for such cycle--
       ``(1) in the case of a corporation, to each of its 
     shareholders; and
       ``(2) in the case of a labor organization, to each employee 
     within the labor organization's bargaining unit or units;

     disclosing the portion of the labor organization's income 
     from dues, fees, and assessments or the corporation's funds 
     that was expended directly or indirectly for political 
     activities, contributions, and expenditures during such 
     election cycle.
       ``(b) Consent.--
       ``(1) Prohibition.--Except with the separate, prior, 
     written, voluntary authorization of a stockholder, in the 
     case of a corporation, or an employee within the labor 
     organization's bargaining unit or units in the case of a 
     labor organization, it shall be unlawful--
       ``(A) for any corporation described in this section to use 
     funds from its general treasury for the purpose of political 
     activities; or
       ``(B) for any labor organization described in this section 
     to collect from or assess such employee any dues, initiation 
     fee, or other payment if any part of such dues, fee, or 
     payment will be used for political activities.
       ``(2) Effect of authorization.--An authorization described 
     in paragraph (1) shall remain in effect until revoked and may 
     be revoked at any time.
       ``(c) Contents.--
       ``(1) In general.--The report submitted under subsection 
     (a) shall disclose information regarding the dues, fees, and 
     assessments spent at each level of the labor organization and 
     by each international, national, State, and local component 
     or council, and each affiliate of the labor organization and 
     information on funds of a corporation spent by each 
     subsidiary of such corporation showing the amount of dues, 
     fees, and assessments or corporate funds disbursed in the 
     following categories:
       ``(A) Direct activities, such as cash contributions to 
     candidates and committees of political parties.
       ``(B) Internal and external communications relating to 
     specific candidates, political causes, and committees of 
     political parties.
       ``(C) Internal disbursements by the labor organization or 
     corporation to maintain, operate, and solicit contributions 
     for a separate segregated fund.
       ``(D) Voter registration drives, State and precinct 
     organizing on behalf of candidates and committees of 
     political parties, and get-out-the-vote campaigns.
       ``(2) Identify candidate or cause.--For each of the 
     categories of information described in a subparagraph of 
     paragraph (1), the report shall identify the candidate for 
     public office on whose behalf disbursements were made or the 
     political cause or purpose for which the disbursements were 
       ``(3) Contributions and expenditures.--The report under 
     subsection (a) shall also list all contributions or 
     expenditures made by separated segregated funds established 
     and maintained by each labor organization or corporation.
       ``(d) Time to Make Reports.--A report required under 
     subsection (a) shall be submitted not later than January 30 
     of the year beginning after the end of the election cycle 
     that is the subject of the report.
       ``(e) Definitions.--In this section:
       ``(1) Election cycle.--The term `election cycle' means, 
     with respect to an election, the period beginning on the day 
     after the date of the previous general election for Federal 
     office and ending on the date of the next general election 
     for Federal office.
       ``(2) Political activity.--The term `political activity' 
       ``(A) voter registration activity;
       ``(B) voter identification or get-out-the-vote activity;
       ``(C) a public communication that refers to a clearly 
     identified candidate for Federal office and that expressly 
     advocates support for or opposition to a candidate for 
     Federal office; and
       ``(D) disbursements for television or radio broadcast time, 
     print advertising, or polling for political activities.''

  Mr. HATCH. Madam President, I rise today to say a few words on the 
task at hand, namely reforming our campaign finance laws and doing it 
within the contours of the First Amendment of our Constitution. I fully 
appreciate that the issue of campaign finance is of growing concern to 
the American electorate and has already played an important role in the 
recent election. And I commend my colleagues, Senators McCain and 
Feingold for their bold leadership in an effort to address the public 
perception that our political system may be corrupt. At this time, I 
will simply explain the limitations we all face in this endeavor. 
Limitations imposed by the cherished First Amendment of our 
constitution. During the course of the coming days, I will more 
specifically address the underlying legislation, and where in my 
analysis of the law it falls short of meeting minimal constitutional 
requirements. There are some bright lines drawn by the Supreme Court on 
this issue and I will get to that.
  The Founders of our country certainly understood the link between 
free elections and liberty. Representative government--with the consent 
of the people registered in periodic elections--was--to these prescient 
leaders of the new nation--the primary protection of natural or 
fundamental rights. As Thomas Jefferson put it in the Declaration of 
Independence, to secure rights ``Governments are instituted among Men'' 
and must derive ``their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.''
  That freedom of speech and press was considered by Madison to be 
vital in assuring that the electorate receives accurate information 
about political candidates was demonstrated by his vehement arguments 
against the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1800. The Sedition Act, of 
course, in effect, made it a crime to criticize government or 
government officials. Its passage was a black mark on our history.
  Although the exact meaning or parameters of the First Amendment are 
not clear, a thorough reading of Supreme Court jurisprudence provides 
constructive guides for us in Congress.
  Political speech is necessarily intertwined with electoral speech, 
particularly the right of the people in election cycles to criticize or 
support their government. Indeed, the form of government established by 
the Constitution is uniquely intertwined with freedom of speech. The 
very structure of the Constitution itself establishes a representative 
democracy, which many observers, including myself, find to be a form of 
government that would be meaningless without freedom to discuss 
government and its policies.
  To get to the heart of the matter being discussed today, I want to 
turn to the seminal Supreme Court case of Buckley v. Valeo.
  In short, Buckley and its progeny stand for the following 
propositions: (1) money is speech; that is, electoral contributions and 
expenditures are entitled to First Amendment protection; (2) 
contributions are entitled to less protection than expenditures because 
they create the appearance of corruption or quid pro quos; (3) express 
advocacy is entitled to less deference than issue advocacy; (4) 
corporate donations and corporate express advocacy expenditures may be 
restricted; (5) political party independent expenditures may not be 
restricted at least if not connected to a campaign; and (6) 
restrictions on soft money are probably unconstitutional because soft 
money does not create the same problem of corruption from quid pro quos 
that contributions bring. I will explain these further.
  To understand why certain recent campaign finance reform measures, 
such as the well-intentioned McCain-Feingold bill, infringe on free 
speech and free elections, it is necessary to survey the Supreme 
Court's decisions on campaign finance reform and the problems it brings 
to free speech. The granddaddy of these cases is Buckley v. Valeo, 424 
U.S. 1 (1976). Buckley established the free speech paradigm in which to 
weigh the competing campaign reform proposals.
  As my colleagues know well, two decades ago, in the wake of the 
Watergate scandal, Congress passed the Federal Election Campaign Act, 
or FECA. The Act imposed a comprehensive scheme of limitations on the 
amount of money that can be given and spent in political campaigns. 
FECA capped contributions made to candidates and their campaigns, as 
well as expenditures made to effect public issues, including those that 
arise in a campaign. The Act also required public disclosure of money 
raised and spent in federal elections.
  The Supreme Court in Buckley upheld against a First Amendment 
challenge the limitation on contributions but not the limitations on 
expenditures. The Court reasoned that contributions implicated only 

[[Page 4184]]

free speech interests because contributions merely facilitated the 
speech of others, i.e., candidates. Crucial to the Court's analysis was 
its belief that limiting contributions was a legitimate governmental 
interest in preventing ``corruption'' or the ``appearance of 
corruption'' because such limitations would help prevent any single 
donor from gaining a disproportionate influence with the elected 
official--the so-called ``quid pro quo'' effect. A similar interest 
justified mandatory public disclosure of political contributions above 
minimal amounts.
  But Buckley reasoned that expenditures of money by the candidate or 
others outside the campaign did not implicate the same governmental 
interests because expenditures relate directly to free speech and are 
less likely to exert a quid pro quo. Therefore, to the Court, 
limitations on expenditures could not be justified on any anti-
corruption rationale. Nor could they be justified by a theory--popular 
in radical circles--that limitations on expenditures, particularly on 
the wealthy or powerful, equalize relative speaking power and ensure 
that the voices of the masses will be heard.
  The Court viewed such governmental attempts at balance as an 
abomination to free speech and held that this justification for 
restraints on expenditures was ``wholly foreign to the First 
Amendment.'' It seems to me that such ``balance'' is, in reality, a 
form of suppression of certain viewpoints, a position that flies in the 
face of Justice Holmes' notion that the First Amendment prohibits 
suppression of ideas because truth can only be determined in the 
``marketplace'' of competing ideas.
  Significantly, the Supreme Court in Buckley held that any campaign 
finance limitations apply only to ``communications that in express 
terms advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate 
for federal office.'' As we have heard before, a footnote to the 
opinion elaborated on what has later been termed ``express advocacy.'' 
To the Court, communications that fall under FECA's purview must 
contain ``magic words'' like ``vote for'' or ``elect'' or ``support'' 
or ``Smith for Congress'' or ``vote against'' or ``defeat'' or 
``reject.'' Communications without these electoral advocacy terms have 
subsequently almost always been classified by courts as ``issue 
advocacy'' entitled to full First Amendment strict scrutiny protection.
  One important underpinning of the Buckley Court's view of the 
relationship between the freedom of speech and elections is that money 
equates with speech. The Court in a fit of pragmatism recognized that 
effective speech requires money in the market place to compete.
  But beyond looking at the purpose of campaign finance laws, it is 
clear that restrictions on political spending have the result of 
limiting the amount and effectiveness of speech. Let me borrow 
Professor Sullivan's example of a law restricting the retail price of a 
book to no more than twenty dollars. To Justice Steven such a law is 
about money and not about a particular book. But does not such a law 
limit the amount and effectiveness of speech because it creates a 
disincentive to write and publish such books. The Supreme Court has, as 
Professor Sullivan pointed out, repeatedly held that financial 
disincentives to specific content-based speech, just as much as direct 
prohibitions on such speech, trigger strict First Amendment review.
  And I must emphasize that restrictions on campaign contributions and 
expenditures cannot be justified as content neutral regulation. The 
Buckley Court rejected the example given by defenders of the 
regulations at hand that spending and contribution limits are similar 
to limiting the decibel level on a sound truck and do not stop the 
truck from broadcasting. The Court rejected that analogy because, to 
the Court, decibel limits aim at protecting the eardrums of the closest 
listener, not at preventing the sound truck from reaching a larger 
audience. To the Court, unlike decibel limits, limits on campaign 
expenditures and contributions do restrict the communicative 
effectiveness of speech. The Court was right.
  Buckley's other key underpinning is its ``strict scrutiny" 
justification of the restrictions on direct contributions to campaigns 
as needed to combat ``corruption'' and the ``appearance of 
corruption''--in other words ``quid pro quo'' exchanges. This has been 
criticized by the congressional reformers not as over-inclusive, but 
ironically as under-inclusive. I believe the underlying bill goes much 
further than Buckley.
  If Buckley v. Valeo established the skeleton of First Amendment 
protection of the electoral process from onerous regulation, Buckley's 
progeny filled in the flesh. Let me mention a few of the main cases.
  In First National Bank v. Bellotti, decided in 1978, the Supreme 
Court reaffirmed its view in Buckley that expenditures for issues are 
directly related to expression of political ideas and are, thus, on a 
higher plane of constitutional values requiring the strictest of 
scrutiny. Bellotti found a Massachusetts law that prohibited 
``corporations from making contributions or expenditures for the 
purpose of . . . influencing or affecting the vote on any question 
submitted to the voters'' unconstitutional because it infringed both 
(1) the First Amendment right of the corporations to engage in issue 
advocacy and, (2) the First Amendment right of citizens to ``public 
access to discussion, debate, and the dissemination of information and 
  Bellotti did not involve restrictions on corporate donations to 
candidates. The Court distinguished between portions of the law 
``prohibiting or limiting corporate contributions to political 
candidates or committees, or other means of influencing candidate 
elections''--which were not challenged-- and provisions ``prohibiting 
contributions and expenditures for the purpose of influencing . . . 
questions submitted to voters,'' i.e., issue advocacy. The Court 
explained that the concern that justified the former ``was the problem 
of corruption of elected representatives through creation of political 
debts'' and that the latter ``presents no comparable problem'' because 
it involved contributions and expenditures that would be used for issue 
advocacy rather than communication that expressly advocate the election 
or defeat of a candidate.
  In Citizens Against Rent Control/Coalition for Fair Housing v. 
Berkeley, the Court once again gave full panoply of protection to 
expenditures linked to communication of ideas. In this case the Court 
invalidated a city ordinance that limited to $250 contributions to 
committees formed solely to support or oppose ballot measures submitted 
to popular vote. The Court held that it is an impairment of freedom of 
expression to place limits on contributions which in turn directly 
limit expenditures used to communicate political ideas, without a 
showing of the ``corruption'' element laid out in Buckley.
  In Federal Election Commission v. National Conservative Political 
Action Committee, the Court once again relied on Buckley's distinction 
between expenditures and contributions, with the former receiving full 
first amendment protection. The Court invalidated a section of the 
Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act which made it a criminal 
offense for an independent political committee or PAC to spend more 
than $1000 to further the election of a Presidential candidate who 
elects to receive public funding. The Court held that the PAC's 
independent expenditures were constitutionally protected because they 
``produce speech at the core of the first amendment.''
  One year later, in Federal Election Commission v. Massachusetts 
Citizens for Life, Inc., decided in 1986, the Supreme Court clarified 
the distinction between issue and express advocacy, holding that an 
expenditure must constitute express advocacy in order to be subject to 
FECA's prohibition against the use of corporate treasury funds to make 
an expenditure ``in connection with'' any Federal election. In this 
case, the Court held that a publication urging voters to vote for 
``pro-life'' candidates, that the publication identified, fell into the 
category of express advocacy. But the Court refused to apply FECA's 
prohibition in this case to MCFL--Massachusetts Citizens for

[[Page 4185]]

Life, Inc.--because the organization was not a business organization. 
The Court noted that ``[g]roups such as MCFL . . . do not pose . . . 
danger of corruption. MCFL was formed to disseminate political ideas, 
not to amass capital.''
  Just 5 years ago, the Supreme Court, in Colorado Republican Federal 
Campaign Committee v. FEC addressed the issue of whether party ``hard 
money'' used to purchase an advertising campaign attacking the other 
party's likely candidate, but uncoordinated with its own party's 
nominee's campaign, fell within FECA's restrictions on party 
expenditures. A fractured Court agreed that applying FECA's restriction 
to the expenditures in question violated the first amendment.
  A plurality of the Court--Justices Breyer, O'Connor, and Souter--
based their holding on the theory that the expenditure at hand had to 
be treated as an independent expenditure entitled to first amendment 
protection, not as a ``coordinated'' expenditure or express advocacy, 
which may be restricted. It is significant to note that Justice Thomas, 
joined by Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justice Scalia, concurred in the 
judgment, but would abolish Buckley's distinction between protected 
expenditures and unprotected contributions, believing that both 
implicated core expression central to the first amendment.
  As a plurality of the Court noted, because any soft money used to 
fund a Federal campaign must comport with the contribution limits 
already in place, soft money does not result in the actuality or the 
appearance of quid pro quo ``corruption'' warranting intrusions on core 
free speech protected by the first amendment. In any event, it is my 
view that such soft money activities such as voter registration drives, 
voter identification, and get-out-the-vote drives, as well as 
communication with voters that do not fall within express advocacy, are 
protected by the first amendment's freedom of association--the right to 
freely associate with a party, union, or association--as well as by 
free speech.
  Finally, there is the very recent case of Nixon, just last year. I 
remember that when this case was decided, proponents of so-called 
campaign finance reform gloated that this case supported their 
positions. In my view, all the case did was extend Buckley's 
restrictions on contributions to State campaign finance laws. The Court 
rejected a challenge to Missouri's contribution restriction as too 
limited because it did not take into account inflation. The Court held 
that Buckley demonstrated the dangers of corruption stemming from 
contributions and that there was sufficient evidence in the record to 
support the conclusion that Missouri's campaign contribution limit 
addressed the appearance of corruption. The case did not address the 
issues of independent expenditures, issue advocacy, or soft money 
  As I noted at the outset, Buckley and its progeny stand for the 
following propositions: No. 1, money is speech; that is, electoral 
contributions and expenditures are entitled to first amendment 
protection; No. 2, contributions are entitled to less protection than 
expenditures because they create the appearance of corruption or quid 
pro quos; No. 3, express advocacy is entitled to less deference than 
issue advocacy; No. 4, corporate donations and corporate express 
advocacy expenditures may be restricted; No. 5, political party 
independent expenditures may not be restricted at least if not 
connected to a campaign; and, No. 6, restrictions on soft money are 
probably unconstitutional because soft money does not create the same 
problem of corruption from quid pro quos that contributions bring.
  I am concerned that the practical result of the limitation on 
contributions is that candidates must seek contributions from a larger 
set of donors. This means that candidates are spending a greater amount 
of time raising money than would otherwise be the case. This is 
aggravated by the need for a lot of money in general to compete in 
American elections, given our large electoral districts, statewide 
elections, and weak political parties, which require candidates to fund 
direct communications to the electorate. The rising costs of elections 
are further aggravated by the rising importance of expensive television 
advertising and the use of political consultants, with their reliance 
on polling and focus groups. Elections have become a money chase.
  Ironically, this is the major complaint of the reformers. Their 
initial FECA reforms have caused the problems they are now complaining 
about. First, PAC money, and now soft money, are the result of 
limitations on contributions. Let's not kid ourselves. Like pressurized 
gas, money will always find a crevice of escape. In other words, money 
will always find a loophole. All that the FECA and courts have 
accomplished is to encourage the substitution of contributions to 
candidates for contributions and expenditures made to and by 
organizations such as political parties or advocacy groups. These 
organizations are less accountable to the voter. The net result is the 
growth of yet another huge government bureaucracy to police an 
inherently unworkable scheme.
  Furthermore, if one believes, as I do, the efficacy of Justice 
Holmes' free speech model of a ``marketplace of competing ideas,'' it 
is impermissible to drown out or even ban corporate speech or the 
speech of the wealthy, as some advocate. If the remedy for ``bad'' 
speech is not censorship, but ``more'' speech, then the remedy for 
corporate speech is likewise not censorship, but more noncorporate 
  It should be obvious that in the electoral sphere the wealthy and 
powerful have no monopoly over speech. This is not analogous to Turner 
Broadcasting System, Inc. v. FCC, where the Court in part upheld the 
congressional requirement that cable operators carry a certain 
percentage of local broadcasting of local programs on their lines 
because cables' monopoly power choked the broadcast competitors. Unlike 
the open access rule in that case, limitations on contributions offer 
no guarantee that the market power of speech will be redistributed from 
the wealthy to the poor. Such spending limits will not stop wealthy 
candidates like Ross Perot from spending personal wealth or the rich 
from influencing mass media through direct ownership or through the 
purchase of advertisements. Surely, no one would advocate that we 
attach an income test to the first amendment.
  The wealthy will always have substitutes for electoral speech. 
Moreover, the success of the labor unions and voluntary associations as 
competitors in the market place of ideas demonstrate that limitations 
on contributions from the wealthy and on corporate speech are 
  In my view, a far better, though, admittedly not perfect, solution--
one that I believe is both workable and is consistent with the dictates 
of the first amendment--is a campaign system that requires complete 
disclosure of funds contributed to candidates or used to finance 
express advocacy by independent associations, political parties, 
corporations, unions, or individual in connection with an election.
  A system of complete disclosure would bring the disinfectant of 
sunshine to the system. The Democrats will audit the Republicans and 
the Republicans will scrutinize the Democrats. And outside public 
interest groups and the media will police both. The winner will be the 
public. They will be able to make their own assessments. As I have said 
before, one man's greedy special interest is another man's organization 
fighting for truth and justice.
  To the extent that our campaign finance laws require updating, we 
need to find a constitutionally sound manner of doing so. We need to 
proceed with care and caution when acting on legislation that would 
have the impact of regulating freedom or of placing government at the 
center of determining what is acceptable election speech and what is 
not. And, we need to pass legislation that, above all, keeps the power 
of American elections where it rightfully belongs--in the hands of the 
voters themselves.
  Let me again commend my friends, Senators McCain and Feingold, for 
their leadership on this issue. Without

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their efforts and tenacity and pushing this issue, we probably would 
not be discussing this important matter. They deserve a lot of credit. 
Even though I disagree and have done so very publicly, I still have a 
lot of respect for my two colleagues.
  It is important to publicly air these issues, especially given the 
unfortunate perception of the problems in Washington.
  We can achieve needed reform here. Such reform lies in expanded 
disclosures. With free and open disclosure of contributions, the public 
will be fully able to decide for itself what is legitimate. I look 
forward to helping my colleagues in achieving reforms that will be 
constitutional and effective.
  Today, I rise to introduce an amendment as a substitute to section 
304 of the McCain/Feingold campaign finance reform bill of 2001.
  Thomas Jefferson, in 1779, wrote that ``to compel a man to furnish 
contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he 
disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.'' That was true then, 
and it remains true today.
  As I will discuss later, section 304 of the McCain-Feingold bill that 
purports to be a ``Beck'' fix is wholly inadequate. Thus, I rise today 
to protect the rights of working men and women in this country to be 
able to decide for themselves which political causes they wish to 
  Some will choose to make this a complicated issue by arguing the 
intricacies of the Supreme Court Case, Communications Workers of 
America v. Beck, but it is really quite straight forward--it's about 
fairness. In certain states, as a condition of employment, there are 
requirements to join or pay dues to a labor organization. Let me make 
clear at the outset that I am a strong supporter of collective 
bargaining when employees voluntarily choose to be represented by a 
labor organization.
  But I seriously doubt that even one of my colleagues would suggest 
that the Government should force any American to speak in favor of 
causes in which he or she does not believe. Yet, we as Members of the 
U.S. Senate, currently stand by and allow our friends and constituents 
to be forced into speech because of their compulsory financial 
relationship with a union.
  I would like to know which of my colleagues would support any 
provision of law that would mandate an individual's financial 
involvement in a practice that was fundamentally at variance with their 
own beliefs. I dare say that there would not be many Members from 
either side of the aisle who would advocate the arbitrary usurpation of 
fundamental freedoms like that of speech. But this is exactly what 
happens to our union members and dues paying non-members.
  Individuals who belong to or are represented by labor unions 
financially commit themselves to causes and candidates that may be 
completely against their own. We force individuals to subvert their 
rights of political expression to those of the unions.
  My amendment is quite simple and straightforward. It has two parts: 
Part one requires a labor organization to obtain ``separate, prior, 
written, voluntary authorization'' before assessing ``any dues 
initiation fee, or other payment if any part of such dues, fee, or 
other payment will be used for political activities''. Part two 
requires that a labor organization disclose to its membership how it 
has allocated and spent the portion of a members or nonmembers dues and 
fees that went to political activity.
  Nothing can be more fair than to inform working men and women which 
causes they are supporting. It is just that simple.
  Let me also point out to my colleagues that this amendment also 
covers individuals who are shareholders in a corporation. It requires 
that a corporation gain prior consent from its shareholders before 
spending resources from the corporation's general treasury on political 
activity. It also requires that a corporation disclose to its 
shareholders which political activity it contributes to. This amendment 
places corporations and labor organizations on equal ground and levels 
the playing field.
  I feel that it is important to note that there is a fundamental 
difference between the compulsory way that a labor organization 
assesses its dues and fees from members and nonmembers and the 
completely voluntary manner a shareholder opts into purchasing stock. 
But in past debates, my colleagues from the other side of the aisle 
have cried foul and claimed that treating labor and corporations 
differently wasn't fair. Well we now have an amendment that takes care 
of that particular concern.
  It is simply imperative and pretty basic that union should obtain 
consent to use the funds they receive prior to any use other than for 
collective bargaining, contract administration, or grievance 
adjustment. After all, if consent is to mean anything, then it must be 
received before the money is spent. After the fact is simply too late 
and means no consent was given for the ``activity.'' Let me state it 
again because I think this fact is vital to creating a fair and 
meaningful fix to this problem--effective consent must be given before 
the funds are used.
  My amendment is a commonsense solution to an important problem 
pertinent to the lives of many Americans. The solution--consent before 
  I said that real consent is prior consent. Let me give you an 
example. The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act 
of 1999--better known as the Digital Signature Act--legalized digital 
electronic contracts. The act allows an individual to enter into a 
binding contract without ever having to leave the comfort of his home 
through the use of a so-called digital signature.
  When the Digital Signature Act was first introduced, many of my 
Democratic colleagues had serious reservations about it. They argued 
that the bill lacked basic, but extremely important, consumer 
protection provisions. They argued that the bill must include effective 
consumer consent provisions. Critics of the bill worried that an 
unsuspecting consumer might receive an unsolicited e-mail with the 
inclusion of an electronic signature therefore making the contract 
legally enforceable. To prevent this sort of unwanted solicitation of 
business, many of my Democratic colleagues advocated that a consumer 
must first consent to receive the contract electronically.
  My amendment seeks to extend similar rights to workers that the 
Digital Signature Act granted consumers. We should allow workers the 
same fundamental rights that my Democratic colleagues demanded be 
granted to individuals who enter in a contact over the Internet.
  We must allow America's working men and women these very fundamental 
rights. American workers should have the right to have meaningful and 
informed consent over the expenditure of their dues, fees, or payment 
made to their union. Without these rights we are in essence creating 
different classes of society--those who are free to determine which 
political groups they will support and those who are not.
  I hope that my colleagues will agree with me that the standards for 
meaningful and informed consent we extended to consumers under the 
Digital Signature Act must also be provided to workers and 
shareholders. We must allow workers to consent to the use of their 
union dues on any expenditures other than collective bargaining, 
contract administration, or grievance. This consent must be provided in 
a manner that verifies the workers or shareholder's capacity to access 
clear and conspicuous information of their rights, receive regular 
disclosures of these expenditures, and maintain the right to revoke 
their consent at any time.
  Let me pause to ask a couple of questions. If your friend wants to 
borrow your car, shouldn't he ask beforehand? If he doesn't, then it's 
a crime. Wouldn't it be odd to have a system in place that requires you 
to lend the car and then file a form for its return? Why should the 
unions be allowed to take from the people who pay dues without getting 
their consent first? By adopting this amendment, we can help all

[[Page 4187]]

Americans. It is fairer and more equitable to obtain consent before the 
dues are spent. That is the right way of doing things.
  Unions have the right, like any other organization, to spend the dues 
and fees it collects for purposes such as campaigns, issue ads, and a 
host of additional political and other activities. I support their 
right. What is disconcerting about the current situation is that many 
employees who are effectively forced to pay dues and fees may disagree 
with the positions taken and not wish to support them.
  Now some have suggested that section 304 takes care of the so called 
Beck problems and codifies Beck.
  Unfortunately, the proposed section 304 of the McCain-Feingold bill 
does not require prior consent. Nor does it codify the Beck decision, 
as it purports to do. Section 304 is far narrower than the holding in 
Beck. The Supreme Court clearly held in Beck that any expenditures 
outside of collective bargaining, contract administration, or grievance 
adjustment must be returned to the non-union employee upon request of 
the objecting employee. However, section 304 only prohibits unions from 
using non-union employee dues for ``political activities unrelated to 
collective bargaining''--an ambiguous phrase that is not defined in 
that section.
  Because section 304 is so narrowly drafted, it would allow unions to 
use non-union dues for soft money non-collective bargaining 
expenditures, such as get-out-the-vote campaigns and other political 
activities, by simply avoiding the label ``political.'' By masquerading 
the activity as one for ``educational purposes,'' a union could use 
dues for blatantly political activities such as informing union members 
on what pro-union stand political candidates take.
  Again, I recognize the unions' right to engage in any political 
activity that they find appropriate. The more political speech the 
better as far as I'm concerned. But, we need to protect the fundamental 
right of the workers to know that activities and what type of issues 
their money is being used for, and the ability for them to decide if 
they wish to support the activity.
  Mr. President, the American worker faces a hidden tax at just the 
moment the worker cannot afford it. And the American worker has less 
say in where his money goes to than just about any group. In fact, an 
argument can be made that section 304 of the McCain-Feingold bill 
actually does the exact opposite of what its intentions are.
  Under current law, dues paying non members may object to the use of 
portion of their dues that is spent for purposes other than or non-
essential to collective bargaining. If the McCain-Feingold bill were to 
pass, those same dues-paying-non-members would only be permitted to 
object to use of the portion of their dues spent only for ``political 
purposes unrelated to collective bargaining.'' This difference might 
sound subtle but is anything but.
  Mr. President, my amendment is a modest measure of fundamental 
fairness. It embodies a very simple concept--fairness. American's men 
and women work hard every day. They have earned the right to know how 
their money is being spent for certain political purposes, causes, and 
activities. The disclosure and second part of this amendment does 
nothing more than require a report by labor organizations to be filed 
with the Federal Election Commission and given to workers represented 
by unions, showing how much of their union dues and fees are being 
spent on the political process.
  I have to say that this amendment does not impose overly burdensome 
or onerous requirements on the unions. This is basic information, and 
it should be freely provided. I cannot believe that the union 
leadership have a legitimate interest in keeping secret what political 
causes and activities employee dues and fees are being spent to 
support. If employees learn how their money is being spent in the 
political process, unions will enjoy an even greater confidence level 
in their decision making.
  With the addition of this amendment to the McCain-Feingold bill we 
will ensure that every American is treated equally under the law and 
extended the rights and freedoms that are fundamental under the 
Constitution. I urge my colleagues to thoughtfully consider this 
amendment and vote for its passage.
  I reserve the remainder of any time I may have remaining.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Crapo). Who yields time?
  Mr. DODD. I yield 10 minutes to the distinguished Senator from North 
Carolina, Mr. Edwards.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from North Carolina is recognized.
  Mr. EDWARDS. Mr. President, I rise today to voice my strong support 
for the McCain-Feingold bill, to add my encouragement and praise for 
all the hard work done by Senators McCain and Feingold, and to say how 
important this issue is to our democracy, to our Government, and to the 
American people.
  I would not presume to suggest to my colleagues who serve with me in 
the Senate that I have any more knowledge about the way the political 
financing system in this country works than they do. They are all 
experts at it. What I say is that this debate is not about us. Instead, 
it is about the people we were sent here to represent.
  I have heard, both in the media and in the course of the debate, lots 
of discussion about some strategic advantage that may flow to one 
party, or one Senator or another, as a result of this bill. What I say 
about that argument is that thirty years from now, the American people 
will not judge what we do in these 2 weeks based upon some transitory, 
strategic advantage that one party or another may gain as a result of 
the McCain-Feingold bill. Instead, they are going to judge us based on 
what we did for our Government, for our democracy, and what we did to 
allow voters, ordinary Americans, to once again believe they have some 
ownership in this democracy. That ultimately is what it is all about.
  I say to colleagues, both Democrats and Republicans, that whatever in 
the long term is good for our democracy is good for either the 
Democratic or the Republican Party. I think that is the test we should 
use in making judgments about what ought to be done.
  During the course of my time in the Senate, I have held many townhall 
meetings around North Carolina, and over and over I hear the same 
refrain--folks believe that they no longer have a voice in their own 
democracy and, as a result, they don't feel any ownership in this 
Government. So Washington is some faraway place, and they don't think 
they do anything to help them. They think it is just some bureaucratic 
institution that has nothing to do with their day-to-day lives. More 
important, they feel impotent to do anything about it.
  The folks I grew up with in smalltown North Carolina, oddly enough, 
think if somebody writes a $300,000 or $500,000 check to a political 
party, or for a particular election, when they go to the polls and 
vote, their voices will not be equally heard. I think that is just good 
common sense, and there is a reason people think that way. This is an 
issue we need to do something about. A lot of it is perception but 
perception matters. It really matters when people believe this isn't 
their Government. It is their democracy; it belongs to them, not to 
some special interest group, and not to the people who are up here 
representing them. In fact, it belongs to the American people.
  A couple of examples, Mr. President: We are in the process right now 
of trying to pass an HMO reform bill. Senator McCain, Senator Kennedy, 
and I, and Congressmen Norwood, Dingell, and Ganske on the House side 
have introduced the same bill. Our legislation, which provides basic 
patient protection rights to every single American who is covered by 
insurance or HMOs, is supported by every health insurance group that 
has been fighting for patient protection for the last 5 years. The only 
people we have been able to identify on the other side are the big HMOs 
and insurance companies.
  Unfortunately, the big HMOs and insurance companies are very well 
represented in Washington, and their

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voice is heard loudly and clearly. It is really important for the voice 
of the American people to be heard on issues such as basic patient 
rights. Then I read in the newspaper today that at least it appears 
there is going to be some pulling back of the regulation of arsenic in 
drinking water. These are the kinds of things that, when folks around 
the country see them, cause them concern, and they particularly cause 
concern--even though they may not see a direct relationship--they 
particularly cause them to be worried when they know the way political 
campaigns are financed in this country, and they know that lots of 
huge, unregulated soft money contributions are being made to political 
campaigns in every election cycle.
  So the question is, What do we do to return power in this democracy 
to where it started and made our country so great and where it belongs 
  We are trying to do two basic things in this bill. One is to ban soft 
money--we talked about it at length--these unregulated, totally 
uncontrolled contributions made by special interests, corporations, 
many different groups, and individuals.
  The simple answer is, it ought to be banned, and it ought to be 
banned today. We will talk at length later about constitutional issues, 
but it is black and white to anyone who has read Buckley v. Valeo and 
specifically applies the analysis of that case to a soft money ban. 
There is absolutely no question that a ban on soft money is 
constitutional under Buckley v. Valeo. We will talk about that at 
length at a later time.
  The second issue is these bogus sham issue ads. In addition to the 
fact folks see all this money flowing into the system, they feel 
cynical, they feel they do not own their Government anymore, and that 
they have no voice in democracy.
  In addition to that, they turn on their televisions in the last 2 
months before an election and see mostly hateful, negative, personal 
attack ads posing as issue ads. Any normal American with any common 
sense knows these are pure campaign ads. Those are the ads we are 
trying to stop.
  Senator Snowe actually said it very well when she said these ads are 
a masquerade. In fact, they are more than a masquerade, they are a 
sham, they are a fraud on the American people, and they are nothing but 
a means to avoid the legitimate election laws of this country.
  We are trying to put an end to these so-called issue ads that are 
nothing but campaign ads. It is another issue that needs to be 
addressed. All this--these issue ads that are nothing but sham ads, 
really campaign ads, unregulated flow of soft money into campaigns--all 
this is about a very simple thing. It is not about us. It is not about 
the people in Washington. It is not about the people in this Congress. 
It is about the people we were sent to represent. We need to be able to 
say 20, 30 years from now when we are not around anymore--at least some 
of us will not be around anymore--we need to be able to say to our 
children and our families that we did the right thing; we did what was 
best for the country, and we did what was best for the democracy.
  We will talk about this issue later, but it is also clear that Snowe-
Jeffords, under the constitutional test established in Buckley v. 
Valeo, is constitutional. There are only two requirements that have to 
be met: One, that there be compelling State interest under Buckley. The 
Court has already held that what we are doing in these sham issue ads 
and with soft money is a compelling State interest because of the need 
to avoid corruption or, more importantly, in this case, the appearance 
of corruption.
  Second, the legislation has to be narrowly tailored. That has been 
interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court to mean it is not too broad, not 
substantially overbroad. Snowe-Jeffords does exactly that. It is very 
narrowly tailored. Two months before the general election, it requires 
the likeness of the candidate or the name of the candidate to be used 
and only applies to broadcast ads.
  The empirical evidence shows very clearly that something around 1 
percent of the ads are not covered by that, actually issue ads that 
fall within that category. Ninety-nine percent of the ads in the last 
election cycle, in fact, were campaign ads.
  What that empirical evidence supports is the notion that not only 
does it appear that Snowe-Jeffords is narrowly tailored, in fact, the 
overwhelming evidence is that it is narrowly tailored, which is exactly 
what the Buckley U.S. Supreme Court decision required. We will talk 
about this later as we discuss these various provisions.
  The bottom line is, both the soft money ban and Snowe-Jeffords are 
constitutional and meet the constitutional requirements of Buckley v. 
  In conclusion, I thank the Senators who have worked so hard on this 
issue for so long. I say to my colleagues, I hope that instead of 
focusing on some strategic advantage that a particular campaign may 
have, or a particular political party may have, that instead we will 
focus on what is best for democracy and what is best for the American 
  I thank the Chair.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, how much time remains on the opponents' 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The opponents have 80 minutes.
  Mr. DODD. I yield 3 minutes to my good friend from Arizona, the 
author of the underlying bill.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I thank Senator Hatch for a valiant 
attempt at trying to balance this problem about so-called paycheck 
protection and corporations. Unfortunately, he is not having any more 
success than we did when we attempted to try to strike that balance as 
  The bill, very briefly, strikes our codification of the Beck 
provision. It has no regulatory mechanism, and it has no methodology 
for who would enforce it and how.
  It says in his amendment that ``expressly advocate support for 
opposition to a candidate.'' What does that mean?
  It talks about as far as corporations are concerned, ``use funds from 
its general treasury for the purpose of political activity.'' What is 
the general treasury? The stock market value? The cash on hand? The 
money that is being disbursed?
  This, unfortunately, is an amendment which clearly cannot adequately 
define what a stockholder's involvement is. Again, suppose a 
stockholder said his or her stock money could not be used and then, of 
course, the stock is split or the stock is sold or there is a reduction 
in the amount of the budget. Who gets what money? Who regulates it?
  Very frankly, I am in sympathy with the Senator from Utah because we 
tried to address this issue. It is just well nigh impossible and 
certainly is not addressed in any kind of parity or specificity in this 
  Mr. President, I will be moving to table this amendment at the 
appropriate time. I would like to work with the Senator from Utah to 
see how we can obtain some kind of parity, although I point out, as I 
said before, the paycheck protection in this permission or 
nonpermission really is not what this campaign finance reform is all 
about because if you ban the soft money; you ban the corporate check; 
you ban the union check; you ban the union leader from giving a 
million-dollar check; you ban the corporate leader from giving the 
check. When you ban soft money, then all they can do is give a $1,000 
check for themselves or $1,000 from their friends.
  Later on, I am sure there will be some specific questions about the 
language in this bill. It is nonspecific, it is unenforceable, and it 
is in such an amorphous state, very frankly, it is meaningless. I 
believe my time has expired.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Mr. DODD. I thank my colleague. I intend to speak about this 
amendment at some future point in the debate. In the meantime, I 
recognize my friend and colleague from Massachusetts. How much time 
does he need? Fifteen minutes?

[[Page 4189]]

  Mr. KENNEDY. If I can start with 15 minutes.
  Mr. DODD. I yield 15 minutes to the distinguished Senator from 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I want to ask my friend and colleague 
from Utah some questions, if he will be good enough to answer some 
  Since 99.7 percent of American for-profit corporations are privately 
held, how does this amendment apply to them?
  Mr. HATCH. It applies to every corporation.
  Mr. KENNEDY. It cannot because you refer to those that have 
stockholders, page 2. Since 99 percent of the corporations do not have 
them, then they are not covered.
  Mr. HATCH. I do not know a corporation that does not have 
stockholders, whether they be private or public.
  Mr. KENNEDY. I am telling you they do not, so effectively your 
amendment does not apply to the 99.7 percent under your definition.
  We always get these amendments maybe a half an hour beforehand.
  In our review, the Senator's amendment excludes 99.7 percent of all 
  Another question I have----
  Mr. HATCH. Can I answer the Senator, since he asked the question?
  Mr. KENNEDY. These are of the businesses----
  Mr. HATCH. Will the Senator yield so I can answer his question?
  Mr. HATCH. My amendment covers every corporation. There are a lot of 
private corporations, but they are still corporations.
  Let's face it. The major thrust of my amendment is towards public 
corporations which has been complained of from time to time by Senators 
on both sides of the aisle. I am trying to cover both unions and 
corporations so we have an equal protection program.
  Mr. KENNEDY. The Senator may be attempting, but that is not what the 
language says.
  On page 2, it says under ``Prohibition.--Except with the separate, 
prior, written, voluntary authorization of a stockholder, in case of a 
corporation''--and once we have 99 percent of the businesses, according 
to Dun & Bradstreet, not covered by the stockholders, they are even, by 
mere definition, excluded.
  Last week more than 6.7 billion shares were traded in the New York 
Stock Exchange. How were those covered? Would the Senator's amendment 
apply to just the stockholders included last week?
  Mr. HATCH. My amendment would cover the stockholders who existed on 
the day the request for the expenditures was made.
  Mr. KENNEDY. In your amendment, you talk about cycle; you don't talk 
about day. A cycle is generally referred, under the Federal Election 
Commission, to be the whole 2-year-period. We are talking about these 
transitions in terms of stockholders just from 1 day. I am wondering 
how the permission for stockholders would be met in those 
  Mr. HATCH. We are talking about violations of the Federal Election 
Campaign Act. The FEC would have the job of determining the regulations 
applicable under the circumstances. The amendment is quite clear what 
we are trying to get after; that is, trying to give stockholders and 
union members a right to have some say in the way unions spend, in the 
case of unions, and corporations, in the way corporations spend on 
behalf of shareholders.
  Mr. KENNEDY. It is the position of Senators McCain and Feingold that 
is done under the codification of the Beck decision in the first place.
  You talk about the parity between corporations and unions. Yet on 
page 3 you say ``for any corporation described in this section to use 
funds from its general treasury.'' So you are talking about the use of 
funds by corporations.
  But on the other hand, if it is a labor organization, you are talking 
about collecting or assessing such employees' dues or initiation fees 
or other payments. On the one hand, you require one criteria for 
corporations for expenditures, and on the other hand, for the unions, 
you have an entirely different definition.
  Can you explain why you favor corporations in your language to the 
disadvantage of unions? Why do we have such a disparity in this when 
you tried to represent to the Senate that you are trying to be 
  Mr. HATCH. What are we talking about?
  Mr. KENNEDY. Would you look at this language and tell me if I am 
wrong? I think it is very important. You are representing this is 
evenhanded. This is not evenhanded. We want to understand why it isn't 
evenhanded or the Senator should admit it isn't, if you are trying 
effectively to gut the representatives of working families.
  Mr. HATCH. I don't think the distinguished Senator from Massachusetts 
is wrong in what he is saying. I don't think you are wrong in your 
interpretation of the language, but the bill treats the union members 
and their dues in the separate context of shareholders and their value 
in a corporation.
  The regulations will have to be set by the Federal Election 
Commission pursuant to this amendment. It is equal in treatment because 
what we are trying to do is give the shareholders in the case of 
corporations a right to have some say in how the assets of a 
corporation are used, in proportion to their shares in a corporation. 
Naturally, these situations are not analogous, and for the union 
member, how the dues of the union member are spent by the unions.
  The Senator's characterization of the McCain-Feingold language is 
inaccurate, and I think I more than indicated that in my opening 
remarks with regard to the Beck case. Actually, the McCain-Feingold 
language narrows the Beck case.
  Mr. KENNEDY. If I could reclaim my time.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts has the floor.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, what we are seeing very clearly is not 
what is being stated by the Senator from Utah but what is included in 
the language. That is what we are voting on. In the language of the 
amendment, it is very clear on page 2 that in the case of a 
corporation, to each of its shareholders, it is less than 2 percent of 
all businesses that have shareholders.
  For the shareholders, we see how the velocity of the transitions of 
shareholders--we find there is a different criteria that is used for 
unions, different from corporations.
  On the first page, it talks about any corporation or labor 
organization. Taking the case of a labor organization, it must submit a 
written report for such cycle--that is 2 years; in the case of a labor 
organization, to each employee. Now, that is to each employee. There 
are 13 million members of the trade union movement. Those who are 
members, of course, bargain. Several million more are covered, 
generally, by political activity.
  Listen to what they have to have for every individual. They will have 
to receive a report from the organization. On page 4, what will be 
included: ``Internal and external communications relating to''--it will 
be interesting to hear the definition of what is related--``specific 
candidates, political causes,''--this is a new word.
  What in the world is a ``political cause''? Generally, a political 
cause is in the eye of the beholder. What do they mean by political 
  They have to send to every employee--that is what this says--the 
internal and external communications relating to specific candidates.
  Who are specific candidates? What do we think are the specific 
candidates? According to the Federal Election Commission, every Member 
of Congress is defined as a candidate, 435 House Members, 100 Senators.
  Any communication that is internal or external relating to--whatever 
that means--political candidates, political causes and committees of 
political parties.
  If you don't, you have the criminal penalties included under the 
Federal Elections Commission where people

[[Page 4190]]

can go to jail for failing to file these reports which are so 
  This amendment is poorly drafted. It doesn't even do what the 
proponents of this amendment are attempting to do. It is one sided. It 
is targeted. The aim of this proposal is very clear. It doesn't apply 
to any of the other independent groups. It doesn't apply to the 
National Rifle Association. They don't have to conform with it. The 
Sierra Club doesn't have to; Right to Life doesn't have to. It is just 
to corporations. But only less than 2 percent of the corporations have 
to apply, and every union.
  In terms of every activity or potential activity and every 
expenditure for every member, not only at the national level, the State 
level and local level have to get the reports. Every member has to get 
the report. It is absolutely nonworkable.
  Finally, what are these activities? On page 5, the term ``political 
activity'' means voter registration activity. Many of us have tried to 
encourage voter registration. In fact, labor unions are involved in 
that. Not many companies or corporations are. I wish they would be. 
Some of them have been, but they won't be any longer if this passes. 
They won't be contributing to any local group, to the League of Women 
Voters or other groups involved in voter registration activity because 
if they do, they trigger all of these other kinds of participation.
  The proponents of this understand who does the voter registration. 
Who does it? It is labor unions. And they are included. Voter 
identification or get-out-the-vote activity, who does that? Maybe the 
Senator from Utah can list the number of corporations that are 
involved. We know who does it. We might as well state it is directed 
against union activity. They are the ones. I don't mean companies or 
corporations. Even the ones that have shareholders--again, it is 
targeted to who?--corporations? No, it is targeted to the labor union 
and then public communication that refers to a clearly identified 
candidate for Federal office and that expressly advocates support for 
or opposition to a candidate.
  Maybe there are some corporations, but primarily those are for 
unions, again.
  This is very clear, what is being stated here. Under the existing 
Feingold-McCain bill, there is restatement of what the constitutional 
holdings are at this time. It is effectively a restatement. There are 
some who would like to change or alter those. But this is a very poor 
attempt at trying to gain parity. We could take additional time to go 
through the various provisions. I hope the Members will take that time.
  We just received this at the time the Senator rose to speak. It is 
poorly drafted, poorly constructed, and it does not do the job the 
proponents want it to do.
  Finally, I do think workers and those who represent workers and 
unions should have a right to have their voices heard, to speak out on 
these issues. The fact remains, we still have not had an opportunity to 
vote on a minimum wage. I know there are many in this Chamber who hope 
we never will have that opportunity; but we will, and we will have it 
done pretty soon.
  Then there is the Patients' Bill of Rights that workers support, and 
we are having difficulty, given the fact that today the President of 
the United States issued a message that if any of the proposals 
currently before the Congress pass, he would veto each one of them.
  We have seen what has happened in recent times with arsenic standards 
being pulled back at the request of industry. We find out that the 
CO2 standards are being pulled back at the request of 
industry. We have other examples that are current on this score. We are 
finding out the influence of the HMOs on the administration is 
overpowering. It is not the voices of the workers or the families that 
are tripping up this country, it is the special interests, the large, 
powerful groups that are expending untold millions. By a ratio of 
virtually 10 to 1 and 12 to 1, corporations are involved in outspending 
the unions of this country. Nonetheless, we are faced at this time with 
an attempt to try to emasculate that opportunity for their voices to be 
heard. They are the voices for education. They are the voices for 
health care. They are the voices for child care.
  Those are the voices that I think we need to hear a lot more of, not 
  To reiterate, I rise in opposition to this amendment, misleadingly 
called the Paycheck Protection Act. It is nothing of the sort. Instead, 
it is a blatant attempt to silence the voices of working families on 
the most important issues our Nation faces today. It is an effort to 
muzzle effective debate on critical legislation affecting the workers 
of this country. It is not reform. It is revenge for the 
extraordinarily successful efforts made by the unions to get out the 
vote in the last election. The amendment is wrong and unfair. It is 
undemocratic. It is most likely unconstitutional. I urge my colleagues 
to vote against it.
  Make no mistake about it. A vote for this amendment is a vote against 
America's workers.
  Supporters of this amendment claim that they are concerned about 
union members' rights to choose whether and how to participate in the 
political process. We know better. It is crystal clear that the real 
agenda of those who support the pending amendment is not to protect 
dissenting workers but to scuttle union participation in the political 
  My friends across the aisle know that unions and their members are 
among the most effective voices on issues of concern to workers, 
including raising the minimum wage; ensuring the availability of health 
insurance; protecting the balance between work and families; preserving 
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid; improving education; and 
ensuring safety and health on the job. And unions help their members to 
become active in the political process. As a result of union activity, 
over two million union members registered to vote in just the last 4 
years. In the last election, there were 4.8 million more union 
household voters than in 1992. In fact, 26 percent of the voters in the 
last election came from union households. This should surely be a 
welcome development in a country that prides itself on fostering and 
promoting a healthy democracy.
  But my friends across the aisle do not welcome this development. They 
want to do everything they can to keep workers from voting and from 
participating in the political process. That is because they fear that 
workers and those who represent workers' interests will defeat their 
anti-labor agenda. Silencing the voices of working families will make 
it easier for Republicans and their big-business friends to achieve 
their anti-worker goals. Supporters of this amendment want to cut 
workers' overtime pay and deny millions of workers an increase in the 
minimum wage. They would end the 40-hour work week and permit sham, 
company-dominated unions. They voted for this body's shameful repeal of 
the Department of Labor's ergonomics rule, leaving workers unprotected 
against the number one threat to health and safety in the workplace. 
They oppose the Family and Medical Leave Act. They support privatizing 
Social Security. They favor private school vouchers that take funds 
away from our efforts to improve the public schools. They are not 
trying to help working Americans. To the contrary, they want to gag 
workers so that they can implement an aggressive agenda that workers 
strongly oppose.
  This is not paycheck protection. This is paycheck deception. And if 
we adopt it, we will achieve our opponents' goals of disenfranchising 
working families. This amendment would silence working families by 
barring a union from collecting any dues or fees that are not related 
to collective bargaining unless the union obtained a written permission 
slip from each employee each year. It would require unions to create an 
unnecessary, burdensome and expensive bureaucratic process. Unions 
would have to create recordkeeping and filing systems for responses, 
solicit approval from each covered employee every year, and constantly 
recalculate the amounts they could spend on political activity--
activity that frequently requires immediate action. The AFL-CIO has 
estimated that implementing a

[[Page 4191]]

paycheck deception provision would cost unions and their members 
approximately $90 million in the first year and $27 million each year 
thereafter. That is money taken away from workers' hard-earned benefits 
and their pension plans.
  This will, of course, hamper unions' ability to participate fully in 
political and legislative battles. That is the primary purpose of this 
bill. Handicapping unions in this way will also further skew the 
drastic existing imbalances in our political system. A report issued 
last fall by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics showed 
that special business interests spent more than $1.2 billion in 
political contributions in the last election cycle. These payments 
swamped the contributions of working families through their unions, 
which amounted to a total of only $90.3 million. That means big 
business outspent labor unions by a ratio of 14 to 1.
  The same report found that business outspent unions in ``soft money'' 
contributions by an even larger margin--17 to 1. The situation has 
gotten worse over time, moreover. In the 1998 election cycle, according 
to a previous report by the center, businesses outspent unions on 
politics by only 11 to 1. In 1996, the gap was 10 to 1. In 1992, it was 
9 to 1.
  These ever-widening disparities are not good news for our democracy. 
But this paycheck deception amendment would only tip the electoral and 
legislative playing field ever more decisively in favor of big 
corporations and the wealthy.
  In only the last 2 weeks, the power of these special interests has 
become ever more apparent. Just 2 weeks ago, the Congress voted--with 
less than 10 hours of debate in the Senate and a mere hour of 
discussion in the House--to revoke worker protections against ergonomic 
injuries on which the Department of Labor had worked for 10 years. No 
employer is now required to do anything to prevent these painful and 
debilitating worker injuries.
  Following up on their ergonomics victory, business and special 
interests scored another coup when this body passed the bankruptcy bill 
last week. This is a bill that caters to the credit card industry, at 
the expense of working Americans who will now face more business-
created hurdles to getting back on their feet financially after 
  This amendment is also a ``poison pill'' for campaign finance reform. 
It is being championed by those who believe that the inequities in the 
system are just fine--who would like to have no changes to address the 
corrupting influence that money has on our national elections. They 
know that no supporter of campaign finance reform--including my good 
friend Senator McCain--can vote for a bill that contains these 
outrageous provisions. They propose this amendment with the full 
knowledge that it could bring down these reforms and further the power 
of corporate and wealthy special interests. We should not allow 
ourselves to be made parties to this ploy.
  For these reasons, paycheck deception bills have been rejected every 
time they have been raised. In 1998, a large, bipartisan majority of 
the House of Representatives voted down a national paycheck deception 
scheme by a vote of 246 to 166. Twice now--in 1997 and 1998--bipartisan 
majorities in the Senate have blocked paycheck deception bills. Thirty-
five States have refused to enact paycheck deception bills since that 
time. And California voters in 1998 and Oregon voters just last year 
soundly defeated ballot initiatives that would have imposed paycheck 
  The cynicism behind this amendment is made more obvious because the 
amendment is completely unnecessary. For almost 13 years, the law has 
offered ample protections for any workers who disagree with a union's 
political activities. Under the landmark Beck decision, no worker, 
anywhere in the country, may be forced to support union political 
activities. In addition, in 21 States, workers cannot be required to 
support any union activities--even collective bargaining.
  Since the Beck decision, every union, as the law requires, has 
created a procedure to ensure that dues-paying workers can opt out of a 
union's political expenditures. These procedures universally involve 
notice to workers of the opt-out rights provided under Beck; 
establishment of a means for workers to notify the union of their 
decision to exercise these rights; an accounting by the union of its 
spending so that it can calculate the appropriate fee reduction; and 
the right of access to an impartial decisionmaker if the worker who 
opts out disagrees with the union's accounting or calculations.
  Moreover, the President has recently issued an Executive Order that 
goes to great lengths to ensure that all workers know their rights 
under Beck. This Executive Order, issued on February 17, requires every 
Government contractor to post a clear notice that alerts employees of 
their right to withhold their payments to unions for any purposes other 
than costs related to collective bargaining. Individuals may file 
complaints with the Secretary of Labor if they believe that a 
contractor has failed to meet this requirement. And the Secretary may 
investigate any contractor suspected of a violation, and may order a 
range of sanctions for noncompliance, including debarment of the 
contractor. I opposed this Executive Order because it does not inform 
workers of any of their other rights under our Nation's labor laws. But 
in this context, it removes any doubt whatsoever that workers will be 
informed of their Beck rights and provided remedies if they are not.
  Remedies for violation of Beck rights are also available under the 
National Labor Relations Act. Under that act, non-union members who 
believe that they are being required to support a union's political 
activities, or who believe that the union's procedures do not afford an 
adequate opportunity for the individual to object, may file a complaint 
with the National Labor Relations Board or go directly to Federal 
court. In such cases, the board or the courts decide whether the 
particular union has developed procedures that are adequate to meet 
Beck requirements.
  To erase any further doubts, the McCain-Feingold bill explicitly 
codifies the Beck requirements as a matter of law. Section 304 of 
McCain-Feingold requires all unions to establish objection procedures 
for real paycheck protection.
  The bill requires unions to provide personal, annual notice to all 
affected employees informing them of their rights.
  It requires that union procedures lay out the steps for employees to 
make objections to paying dues that would go toward political activity.
  It requires unions to reduce the fees paid by any employee who has 
made an objection so that the employee will not be charged for any 
activities unrelated to collective bargaining.
  It requires unions to provide explanations of their calculations.
  Forty years ago, in a case called Machinists v. Street, the Supreme 
Court recognized that the majority of union voters have ``an interest 
in stating [their] views without being silenced by the dissenters,'' 
and that it was necessary to establish a rule that ``protect[s] both 
interests to the maximum extent possible, without undue impingement of 
one on the other.'' Beck was the Supreme Court's formulation of this 
rule, and it represents a sound and reasonable way to achieve this 
goal. And McCain-Feingold respects this rule laid out so well by the 
  The proposed amendment would upset this careful balance between 
majority and dissenting interests. Where the Court has stated that 
``dissent is not to be presumed--it must be affirmatively made known to 
the union by the dissenting employee,'' the bill creates precisely the 
opposite regime: dissent will be presumed absent explicit consent. 
Under this ill-advised amendment--and unlike in every other democratic 
institution in our country, including the Congress itself--a minority 
would be able to thwart the will of the majority by fiat. Not by 
debate. Not by discussion. Not by a reasoned exchange of competing 
ideas. Just by silence.
  I believe this paycheck deception amendment is also unconstitutional.

[[Page 4192]]

The amendment would interfere with union members' freedom to associate 
in their unions according to membership rules of their own choice. 
Under current law, unions may make payment of normal dues the 
precondition for membership and participation in the union. Unions 
may--and do--provide that only those individuals who have paid their 
full dues may vote on issues before the union or run for union elective 
office. It is entirely appropriate for those workers who do not wish to 
support the union's political activities to resign from membership. 
They cannot be required to fund political activities, and their dues 
will be reduced accordingly. These workers will receive the full 
benefits of union representation on issues related to the union's 
bargaining obligations. But they will not be members of the union who 
can participate in making fundamental decisions about union business--
including the election of officers, the use of organizational 
resources, or the union's political positions.
  But this amendment states that those who do not pay full dues still 
have a full voice in the affairs of the union. They would have the same 
rights and benefits as those who pay full dues. That is not only 
unconstitutional, it is just plain wrong.
  Some of my colleagues claim that the egregious unfairness in this 
amendment can be cured if corporations are bound by ``shareholder 
protection'' requirements. But comparing unions and corporations and 
workers and shareholders is like comparing apples and oranges. They 
simply are not the same.
  First, no corporation requires payments for political purposes as a 
condition of employment. Shareholders are not employees. It is 
laughable to think that bills that regulate payments that are 
``conditions of employment'' create parity between unions and 
  Second, 99.7 percent of American for-profit corporations are 
privately held and have no shareholders to protect.
  Third, shares in public corporations are typically held by 
institutions such as mutual or pension funds not by individuals. Any 
bill that purported to create parity between unions and corporations 
would have to reach individuals, and would have to apply to the 
political and legislative spending of intermediate entities, not simply 
to expenditures by the companies at the end of the ownership chain. 
None of my colleagues is rushing to do that.
  Finally, were corporations to be required to meet the standards that 
would be imposed on unions, they would have to account for political 
and legislative spending and budgets; disclose such spending and 
budgets to shareholders; constantly track new shareholders and 
recalculate ownership shares based on daily activities in the stock 
market; constantly solicit consent from this ever-changing group; and 
pay extra dividends or other financial benefits to shareholders who did 
not authorize political expenditures.
  The pending amendment does not do this. No bill purporting to create 
parity has ever done this. No bill would ever do so. Such a bill would 
likely bring commerce to its knees, as corporations spent their time 
creating immense administrative bureaucracies to implement these 
  We would never hamstring corporations in this way and we should not 
do it to labor unions, either. We should not impose these unreasonable, 
unfair, and likely unconstitutional burdens on our country's unions, 
which represent the most effective voice for our working families.
  Since its founding, our nation has respected and nurtured the 
fundamental principle that democracy thrives best when there is robust 
debate over issues of public concern. This amendment would subvert that 
bedrock proposition. I urge my colleagues to reject this attack on our 
working families, our unions, and our country's core values.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. HATCH. I can't stay here and let the Senator from Massachusetts 
get away with this. Here we go again. I acknowledge he represents a 
State that is highly unionized. I don't know if he ever worked for a 
union or belonged to a union, but I have. I spent 10 years in the 
building construction trade unions. I have a lot of respect for the 
union movement. I would fight for the right of collective bargaining.
  But, unlike my colleague from Massachusetts, I do not believe I have 
to champion everything that one cause wants over everybody else. I 
should not say everybody else, but over anybody who is not one of the 
most liberal special interest groups in our country.
  I do not need a lecture from the distinguished Senator from 
Massachusetts on how to write legislation. Nor do I need a lecture from 
the distinguished Senator from Massachusetts on what the Beck decision 
  The Senator and many on the other side of the aisle will spend every 
ounce of their beings to make sure that union members have no say with 
regard to how their moneys are spent in political activities.
  By the way, with all due respect to my friend from Massachusetts--and 
everybody knows he is my friend; that is why I think my words may have 
a little more impact than some others' --the idea to include 
corporations and treat them in a manner comparable to labor 
organizations, as I recall, came from the distinguished Senator from 
Massachusetts himself. That was in the early 1990s when I offered 
amendments requiring disclosure of the money spent by labor 
organizations, money of hard-working American men and women.
  As I recall, one of the principal arguments of my friend from 
Massachusetts was that corporations were not treated similarly--those 
big, massive, powerful corporations compared to these little, tiny, 
``difficult to maintain freedom for the union members'' unions.
  We all know what is going on here. There are people on that side who 
will fight to the death because, although 40 percent of all union 
members are Republicans, virtually 100 percent of all union political 
money is used to elect Democrats. I can recall many years when some of 
the most liberal Republicans who always supported labor, and when a 
Democrat who supported labor ran against them, that Democrat got labor 
support. If I have to cite anybody, I will cite Jacob Javits of New 
  I know what is going on here. They will fight to the death to make 
sure that those 40 percent of Republicans who work in the unions, who 
believe in Republican principles, will never have any say on how the 
totality of the money is spent in the political arena.
  Oddly enough, I respect my friend from Massachusetts because he has 
been the No. 1 champion of these unpowerful trade union organizations.
  Mr. DODD. Oddly enough.
  Mr. HATCH. These poor little picked-on people who basically have no 
say in their lives, unless they have the protection of the 
distinguished Senator from Massachusetts, among others.
  But to come here today and tell me I have to write every detail of 
regulation into a statute that I know the FEC can do is almost an 
insult. It comes close.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Almost.
  Mr. HATCH. He is fighting for his special interests, and I don't 
blame him. He gets 100 percent support from union activity and union 
money. It has kept him in office for years.
  I have to say it is not just the liberal side of the union movement. 
My goodness, it is almost every liberal special interest group in this 
country. We all know when the distinguished Senator from Massachusetts 
speaks, he speaks for every liberal special interest group in this 
country, and you had better pay attention if you are on the Democratic 
side of the aisle, because if you don't, you are going to have a 
primary in the next election.
  I respect that kind of power. And I love my colleague as very few in 
this body do.
  Mr. McCAIN. I don't.
  Mr. HATCH. Senator McCain said he doesn't. He is naturally being 
humorous, as he always is.
  Let me just say this. I acknowledge that it is difficult to devise a 
manner in which this should be done, but I think we should work 
together and do what the distinguished Senator from Massachusetts said 
in the early 1990s ought to be done. We ought to get

[[Page 4193]]

those big special interests in the corporate world to have to conform 
to certain disclosures.
  This is an important matter for hard-working Americans. If my 
colleague thinks stockholders should be treated similarly, that is what 
I am trying to do in good faith. I think I am doing it pretty well.
  Just so we get rid of this argument that every detail has to be 
written into legislation--heck, everybody around here knows that isn't 
the case ever. I myself think sometimes we ought to be a little more 
specific and not just let the bureaucracy run wild, but that is not the 
way things work in this Federal Government. Just think about it.
  I think the argument of the distinguished Senator from Massachusetts 
is very insufficient in the details with regard to what legislation is 
all about. Let me give an illustration. The Federal Communications Act 
simply tells regulators to regulate the airwaves in the public trust.
  I am sure the distinguished Senator from Massachusetts would love to 
have three or four thousand pages defining what that means--or maybe 
150,000 pages defining what that means. But it works. It works as long 
as we have honest people in the bureaucracy.
  Think of this one. There is a level of detail in all legislation that 
is left to administrators and regulators.
  The McCain-Feingold bill that is so magnificent, triumphed by the 
distinguished Senator from Massachusetts, requires State parties to use 
hard money to pay the salary of a State party worker if they spend more 
than 25 percent of their time on Federal election activities.
  That is pretty broad to me. Nowhere does McCain-Feingold state how 
State parties are to track these people's time--nowhere. We will leave 
that to the regulators.
  I could go down each paragraph in the McCain-Feingold bill and shred 
it alive, if the argument of the distinguished Senator from 
Massachusetts has any merit, which, of course, it does not. But that 
doesn't stop bombastic argument, nor should it. I love them myself. I 
love to see the distinguished Senator from Massachusetts get up there, 
and everybody is almost positive he is going to blow a fuse before he 
is through. But the fact is, he has a right to do that. I admire him 
for doing it. I admire the way he supports his special interests. I do 
not know of anybody who does it better. We don't have anybody on our 
side who can do that as well.
  (Applause in the Galleries.)
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Brownback). There will be order in the 
  Mr. HATCH. That brought tears to my eyes.
  Mr. President, McCain-Feingold does not say if the contract workers 
are employees of the State party, or regular, full-time employees. 
Those details are left to regulators.
  The amendment amends the FECA act so that the FEC would administer 
this and all existing FEC enforcement laws and regulations, as well as 
penalties that would apply.
  I know what is going on. It is wonderful to argue for what helps your 
side. McCain-Feingold, to their credit, is trying to get a more honest 
system that is equal both ways. But if you read the provision on the 
Beck decision, it basically obliterates it. It basically narrows it so 
much that it has no meaning.
  I have to say there are those on the other side of the floor who will 
never allow the Beck Supreme Court decision, the ultimate law of the 
land, to be enforced, or to be applied, because it would even things 
up, and it would allow 40 percent of the union membership in this 
country to have some say on how their dues are being spent in the 
political activity.
  That is all I am trying to do. I think it is a reasonable thing. I 
think it is the right thing. I think it is the intelligent thing. If we 
don't do this, then are we really trying to have a bill that is going 
to correct some of the ills of our society?
  I have no illusion. I suspect that many, if not all, on the other 
side will vote against this amendment because it does basically even 
things up. It does what the distinguished Senator from Massachusetts 
said we ought to do back in the early 1990s, but today is indicating, 
if we do it, that it has to be done in such specificity that it would 
be the most specified language in the history of legislative 

                     Amendment No. 134, As Modified

  Mr. President, I send a modification to the desk and ask for its 
immediate consideration.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. HATCH. It is a technical correction.
  Mr. DODD. I would like to see the amendment.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, my modification is at the desk. I ask 
unanimous consent that my amendment be so modified.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
  Mr. DODD. Reserving the right to object--I am not going to object--
Members should have the right to modify their amendments.
  For the purposes of clarification, I wonder if my colleague from Utah 
might take a minute to explain the modification.
  Mr. HATCH. It basically corrects language in the amendment. It 
basically allows proportionate share with regard to the unions, and 
also with regard to corporations. I think it applies both ways. But I 
wanted to make sure.
  Mr. DODD. I am sure the President understood that.
  I have no objection.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, the amendment is so 
  The amendment (No. 134), as modified, is as follows:

       Beginning on page 35, strike line 8 and all that follows 
     through page 37, line 14, and insert the following:


       Title III of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 
     U.S.C. 431 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 304 
     the following:

                   POLITICAL ACTIVITIES.

       ``(a) Disclosure.--Any corporation or labor organization 
     (including a separate segregated fund established and 
     maintained by such entity) that makes a disbursement for 
     political activity or a contribution or expenditure during an 
     election cycle shall submit a written report for such cycle--
       ``(1) in the case of a corporation, to each of its 
     shareholders; and
       ``(2) in the case of a labor organization, to each employee 
     within the labor organization's bargaining unit or units;

     disclosing the portion of the labor organization's income 
     from dues, fees, and assessments or the corporation's funds 
     that was expended directly or indirectly for political 
     activities, contributions, and expenditures during such 
     election cycle.
       ``(b) Consent.--
       ``(1) Prohibition.--Except with the separate, prior, 
     written, voluntary authorization of a stockholder, in the 
     case of a corporation, or an employee within the labor 
     organization's bargaining unit or units in the case of a 
     labor organization, it shall be unlawful--
       ``(A) for any corporation described in this section to use 
     portions, commensurate to the share of such stocks of funds 
     from its general treasury for the purpose of political 
     activities; or
       ``(B) for any labor organization described in this section 
     to collect or use any dues, initiation fee, or other payment 
     if any part of such dues, fee, or payment will be used for 
     political activities.
       ``(2) Effect of authorization.--An authorization described 
     in paragraph (1) shall remain in effect until revoked and may 
     be revoked at any time.
       ``(c) Contents.--
       ``(1) In general.--The report submitted under subsection 
     (a) shall disclose information regarding the dues, fees, and 
     assessments spent at each level of the labor organization and 
     by each international, national, State, and local component 
     or council, and each affiliate of the labor organization and

[[Page 4194]]

     information on funds of a corporation spent by each 
     subsidiary of such corporation showing the amount of dues, 
     fees, and assessments or corporate funds disbursed in the 
     following categories:
       ``(A) Direct activities, such as cash contributions to 
     candidates and committees of political parties.
       ``(B) Internal and external communications relating to 
     specific candidates, political causes, and committees of 
     political parties.
       ``(C) Internal disbursements by the labor organization or 
     corporation to maintain, operate, and solicit contributions 
     for a separate segregated fund.
       ``(D) Voter registration drives, State and precinct 
     organizing on behalf of candidates and committees of 
     political parties, and get-out-the-vote campaigns.
       ``(2) Identify candidate or cause.--For each of the 
     categories of information described in a subparagraph of 
     paragraph (1), the report shall identify the candidate for 
     public office on whose behalf disbursements were made or the 
     political cause or purpose for which the disbursements were 
       ``(3) Contributions and expenditures.--The report under 
     subsection (a) shall also list all contributions or 
     expenditures made by separated segregated funds established 
     and maintained by each labor organization or corporation.
       ``(d) Time to Make Reports.--A report required under 
     subsection (a) shall be submitted not later than January 30 
     of the year beginning after the end of the election cycle 
     that is the subject of the report.
       ``(e) Definitions.--In this section:
       ``(1) Election cycle.--The term `election cycle' means, 
     with respect to an election, the period beginning on the day 
     after the date of the previous general election for Federal 
     office and ending on the date of the next general election 
     for Federal office.
       ``(2) Political activity.--The term `political activity' 
       ``(A) voter registration activity;
       ``(B) voter identification or get-out-the-vote activity;
       ``(C) a public communication that refers to a clearly 
     identified candidate for Federal office and that expressly 
     advocates support for or opposition to a candidate for 
     Federal office; and
       ``(D) disbursements for television or radio broadcast time, 
     print advertising, or polling for political activities.''

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, how much time remains?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this amendment, there are 37 minutes. The 
opponents have 62 minutes.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I thank Senator Dodd and others for 
allowing Senator Hatch to modify his amendment. We got into quite a 
tussle the other night over that issue. I am pleased to see the comity 
that the Senate normally enjoys. It has been exercised on this 
occasion. I thank everyone for allowing Senator Hatch to modify his 
  Let me say that this amendment has been described as a poison pill by 
the New York Times and the Washington Post and Common Cause. I think it 
is important for Members to understand what a ``poison pill'' is by 
their definition. A poison pill is anything that might affect labor 
unions. Disclosure and consent are universally applauded in the 
campaign finance debate. Disclosure and consent are the two principles 
upon which there is wide agreement on a bipartisan basis throughout 
this Chamber--unless it applies to labor unions.
  What Senator Hatch is trying to do is to apply those principles--
disclosure and consent--to organized labor in this country. Admittedly, 
the so-called paycheck protection amendment in the past has only 
applied to unions. Many of our Members have complained about that.
  The senior Senator from Arizona, as recently as January 22, 
complained about the fact that it did not apply to shareholders. The 
junior Senator from Wisconsin, on the same day, was complaining about 
the paycheck protection proposal because it only applied, as he put it, 
to one player, the labor unions. Senator Kerry of Massachusetts, in the 
last year or so, was complaining about paycheck protection because it 
only applied to labor unions. Senator Lieberman, in February of 1998--
just a couple years ago--I suspect it is still his view that paycheck 
protection is a problem because it does not apply to corporations. That 
is one of the principal arguments against so-called paycheck 
  The Senator from Utah has now applied it to corporations. He has 
applied it. There is parity between unions and corporations. The goal 
is to ensure that all political money is voluntary.
  In a corporation without shareholders, if the owner uses his money on 
politics, obviously, it is voluntary because it is his money. With 
shareholders, we need this legislation so executives do not decide for 
the shareholders.
  In unions, the consent provision ensures political money from dues 
are voluntarily used for political purposes. And, of course, there are 
no privately held unions.
  Paycheck protection is clearly constitutional. In Michigan State AFL-
CIO v. Miller, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a State 
statute requiring unions to get affirmative consent each year from 
union members. In fact, the court held that the affirmative consent 
requirement, similar to Senator Hatch's requirement, was not even 
subject to the highest degree of strict scrutiny. Rather, the court 
found the affirmative consent requirement so noncontroversial that it 
was subject only to intermediate scrutiny. And it survived intermediate 
scrutiny and survived review under this standard.
  The court upheld the affirmative consent requirement explaining that:

       By verifying on an annual basis that individuals intend to 
     continue dedicating a portion of their earnings to a 
     political cause, [the consent requirement] both reminds those 
     persons that they are giving money for political causes and 
     counteracts the inertia that would tend to cause people to 
     continue giving funds indefinitely even after their support 
     for the message may have waned. The annual consent 
     requirement ensures that political contributions are in 
     accordance with the wishes of the contributors.

  So there is a binding Federal court precedent upholding affirmative 
consent requirements on unions. This case makes clear that such 
provisions are not even subject to strict scrutiny.
  It is entirely possible that unions are the biggest spenders in our 
elections. But we do not know because they do not disclose the majority 
of their political activities. The numbers people use to say 
corporations outspend unions are suspect because they only include what 
unions disclose. But we can estimate what unions spend because there is 
no meaningful disclosure anywhere of what unions spend on political 
activities--such as phone banks, direct mail, voter identification, 
get-out-the-vote activity, candidate recruitment, political consulting, 
and other activities--in support of the Democratic Party. We must, 
admittedly, simply estimate what they spend.
  By contrast, we have a very good idea what corporate America spends 
because almost all of its activity is limited to operating PACs and 
making soft money donations to parties, which, unlike big labor's 
ground game, are fully disclosed activities.
  In estimating what unions spend, we should note that in Beck cases--
and remember, the Beck case was about a nonunion member--it is not 
unusual for nonunion members, seeking a refund of the pro rata share of 
their fees that the union uses for activities unrelated to collective 
bargaining, to get back in excess of 70 percent. In the Beck case 
itself, Mr. Beck got back 79 percent.
  So let's be very conservative and say that the unions spend 10 
percent of the money they take in each year to help Democrats.
  Now, let's look at how much unions take in from dues from members, 
agency fees from nonmembers, and other sources, such as their affinity 
credit card program. According to figures from the Department of Labor 
for 1999, the Auto Workers Union took in $308,653,016. The Steelworkers 
Union took in $569,198,286. The Machinists Union took in $167,201,344. 
The Carpenters Union took in $624,205,132. The Laborers International 
Union took in $133,921,734. The Food and Commercial Workers Union took 
in $316,458,642. The Airline Pilots Union took in $277,508,365. The 
Teamsters brought in $303,498,920.
  I could go on. I have not yet included some of the largest unions, 
such as the Communications Workers, the Service Employees Union, the 
Hotel Workers Union, the National Education Association, and the 
Electrical Workers, all

[[Page 4195]]

of which are among the largest unions in America.
  But if we just add up what the eight unions I mentioned raked in 
during 1999, it amounts to $2,700,645,439. If we double this figure, to 
reflect what these eight unions took in during the 1999-2000 election 
cycle, it amounts to $5,401,290,878.
  If these eight unions spent just 10 percent of this amount to help 
the Democrats in the last election, these eight alone spent $540 
million. So it is safe to say that unions easily spend at least $\1/2\ 
billion for Democrats in each election cycle.
  Independent academic research from Professor Leo Troy of Rutgers 
arrives at similar numbers, as do estimates from former high-ranking 
union officials, such as Duke Zeller, formerly a Teamsters official, 
who has acknowledged that big labor spent about $400 million for the 
Democrats and Bill Clinton in 1996.
  Contrast this with $244 million total for all corporate and business 
association hard and soft money contributions to the Republican and 
Democratic Parties, including their congressional committees.
  These figures regularly cited about business outspending labor 10 or 
15 to 1 are based on questionable figures generated by the ``reform 
industry'' to reenforce its own mythology about how corrupt Congressmen 
are, in the pocket of big business. These estimates are not based on 
sound, unbiased FEC figures.
  Moreover, the reformers' estimates only look at how much publicly 
disclosed hard and soft money businesses and labor give to parties and 
their candidates. They totally ignore the hundreds of millions big 
labor pour into its massive, undisclosed ground game operated on behalf 
of the Democratic Party.
  The dirty little secret that big labor and its allies do not want 
anyone to know is that corporate America just makes contributions and 
may run up some issue ads once in a while to which we can assign a 
price tag, thanks to ad buy information. Big labor, on the other hand, 
makes some contributions, runs some issue ads, but that is just the tip 
of the iceberg. The vast majority of its political activity and money 
is dedicated to the ground game. These direct expenditures which 
completely dwarf what business spends on politics, even if they are 
only 5 to 10 percent of what big labor rakes in each year, aren't 
disclosed anywhere. Nowhere is this disclosed. And big labor's allies 
will do everything they can to make sure these massive expenditures 
that form the brunt of big labor's political operation remain hidden 
away from the sunlight of disclosure.
  The distinguished Senator from Massachusetts has noted that no 
corporation does get-out-the-vote operations. Unions offer the 
appearance of a legitimate democratic process but none of the reality, 
and disregard the interests of working men and women instead of 
representing them.
  In 1959, Congress enacted the Labor-Management Reporting and 
Disclosure Act to protect the rights and interests of union members 
against abuses by unions and their officials. The act gave union 
members various substantive rights that were considered so crucial to 
ensuring that unions were democratically governed and responsive to the 
will of their membership that they were labeled the Bill of Rights of 
Members of Labor Organizations. The LMRDA made rank-and-file union 
members the sole guardians of protections set forth in the Bill of 
Rights for Members of Labor Organizations by prohibiting the Secretary 
of Labor from investigating violations of those rights.
  Of course, Congress realized that the protections provided in the 
Bill of Rights for Members of Labor Organizations were meaningless if 
union members did not know of their existence. Therefore, in section 
105 of the act, Congress mandated that ``every labor organization shall 
inform its members concerning the provisions of this chapter.'' 
Unfortunately, as demonstrated by the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of 
Appeals recent decision in Thomas v. The Grand Lodge of the 
International Association of Machinists, a decision handed down in just 
January of this year, the officials at labor unions have frustrated the 
will of Congress and sought to prevent their members from learning of 
their rights by refusing to notify members of the act's protections 
when they join.
  In Thomas, the union asserted that their one-time publication of the 
provisions of the act to their membership way back in 1959--the fact 
that they published it one time in 1959 --satisfied their obligation to 
notify their members. The court of appeals rejected this somewhat 
ingenious argument because it ran counter to the clear text of section 
105 and because ``Congress clearly intended that each individual union 
member, soon after obtaining membership, be informed about the 
provisions of the act,'' including the Bill of Rights of Members of 
Labor Organizations.
  This is the reality of union democracy and the contempt union leaders 
have for the rights and interests of working men and women. Unions 
still continue to fight disclosing to workers the basic rights Congress 
set forth back in 1959.
  The reason the underlying amendment doesn't include ideological 
groups is that when you give to the Sierra Club, you know the causes 
they advocate. When people join unions or are forced to pay fees to 
unions, they probably don't know that unions use their dues for such 
things as an effort in 1996 to legalize marijuana in California. The 
Teamsters contributed $195,000 in union dues to support that particular 
effort. I wonder how many hard-working families of union members want 
their hard-earned dollars to be used for the legalization of marijuana. 
I cite that as an example of the way in which union dues can be used 
without the consent of members and on causes certainly the members are 
not likely to agree with.
  Senator Hatch, though this important amendment is trying to get at 
some of these problems, I commend him for his outstanding leadership on 
this issue over the years. We certainly hope this amendment will be 
  I retain the remainder of my time and yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who seeks time?
  The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I yield 15 minutes to the distinguished 
senior Senator from the State of Michigan, Mr. Levin.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Michigan is recognized for up 
to 15 minutes.
  Mr. LEVIN. I thank my friend from Connecticut.
  Mr. President, this amendment is written as though it would apply to 
both corporations and unions. The words on the piece of paper we have 
just been handed say ``any corporation or any labor union.'' When 
somebody first looked at it, they would say: Aha, this applies to both.
  In the real world, it doesn't. In the real world, the only entities 
to which it applies are unions and not corporations. The activities 
which are covered here are really for, first, voter registration 
activity. I don't know of too many corporations that engage in that. I 
would love to know from the sponsors of this amendment what percentage 
of corporations engage in voter registration activity. That is the 
first thing it covers, something which unions do and corporations 
don't. But we are told there is parity in this amendment.
  The second thing we are told it covers is voter identification or 
get-out-the-vote activity. I don't know of too many corporations that 
engage in voter identification or get-out-the-vote activity. I would be 
really interested to hear from the sponsors of this amendment as to 
what percentage do because I don't know of many. In fact, I don't know 
of any offhand. So while it purports to be equal in its application, 
while it purports to have parity to both unions and corporations, it is 
purely paper parity, it is not real world parity. It is the appearance 
of parity without the reality of parity--paper parity.
  The third item is public communication that refers to a clearly 
identified candidate. I am not sure what that means, because if it were 
a public communication that expressly advocated

[[Page 4196]]

support for or opposition to, it would then be an expenditure which 
would have to be paid for in hard dollars. I am not sure even what the 
relevance of that is in this particular place. The same thing with 
disbursements for television or radio broadcast time.
  The heart of this amendment is to go after union activity and to 
place requirements on unions that are so onerous that they will not be 
able to meet them. To require affirmative approval of certain 
activities in a voluntary organization and association which has voted 
to engage in certain activities in which free people engage is set 
aside here. Instead, under this amendment, we have a free association 
of people, because no one can be required to be a member of a union, 
not in this country. Nobody can be required to be a member of a union.
  So you have an association of free men and women who have decided 
that they want to engage in certain political activity, but we are told 
in this amendment that they have to go through certain hoops and they 
have to jump across certain hurdles before they are allowed to do so.
  We are told that there is parity here. Stockholders are also covered 
by this, we are told. Yet we haven't heard, despite the many 
suggestions and questions asked about this, of any corporations that 
engage in this activity that would be required to obtain stockholder 
approval before using corporate funds to do so.
  If this were a serious amendment aimed at parity, if this were truly 
a real-world parity amendment, it would not be written in the way it is 
relative to corporations. Saying that you would have to get the 
approval of stockholders, for instance, without saying which class of 
stockholders--common stock, preferred stock--what day are we getting 
the approval of stockholders on, was it yesterday before a billion 
shares of stock were sold on the New York Stock Exchange, is it today, 
when another billion shares of stock are going to be sold on the New 
York Stock Exchange, This is not a moving target which would be 
presented to a corporation. It would be a moving bullet which would 
have to be somehow or other captured so these requirements could be 
met. But they are not real requirements because corporations don't 
engage in the activity purportedly being covered by this amendment.
  The purpose of this amendment is to try to restrict legitimate 
political activity of an association of men and women in a labor union. 
The disguise is pretty thin. The disguise is, look, we have heard a lot 
about covering corporations, so we are doing it. But this isn't the 
activity that the corporations engage in which is set forth in this 
amendment. This is the activity in which labor unions engage--voter 
registration activity, voter identification, or get-out-the-vote 
activity. So the disguise is pretty thin. The parity is paper parity 
  This amendment, it seems to me, should be seen for what it is--a way 
to attempt to reduce the political activity of labor unions. There was 
a case called Machinists v. Street in the Supreme Court back in 1961. 
The Supreme Court expressed concern with encroachment on the legitimate 
activities and necessary functions of unions. They made it very clear 
in that case that it is up to the members of the union to decide in 
what activities they would engage, and that dissent is not presumed, in 
the words of the Supreme Court.
  This amendment reverses that right of association where members of an 
association are presumed to support, by the election of their officers 
and adoption of their bylaws, the program of that association. It 
reverses the Supreme Court's assumption and presumes dissent, requiring 
affirmative approval of members of a free association.
  This is what the Supreme Court said:

       Any remedies, however, would properly be granted only to 
     employees who have made known to the union officials that 
     they do not desire their funds to be used for political 
     causes to which they object. The safeguards in the law were 
     added for the protection of dissenters' interests, but 
     dissent is not to be presumed.

  This amendment, by requiring that unions go through very complicated, 
cumbersome procedures in order to obtain affirmative approval of 
members of that free association, is intended to put a damper on union 
political activity, and it is very clear what this purpose is.
  Finally, let me just say this: This is not an amendment, it seems to 
me, which belongs in this bill or is really appropriate in this bill. 
This is an amendment that is aimed at labor unions, separate and apart 
from any bill that we have before us relative to money going into 
campaigns. This is not an amendment that is aimed at the appearance of 
corruption, which we have been told, under Buckley, can be addressed by 
trying to put some limits on contributions to campaigns. That is what 
the Buckley case says we can do.
  In order to avoid the appearance of corruption, the appearance of 
impropriety, we can put contribution limits on contributions, we can 
restrict contributions because of what can be implied, and is too often 
implied, by large contributions going into these campaigns. We have not 
been shown the corruption that this amendment intends to remedy.
  What this amendment intends to do is to restrict the rights of 
association of members of a union--people who voluntarily decide they 
are going to either be in a union, remain in a union, or join a union; 
people who are not required to stay in a union by law; people who are 
not required to join a union by law because no law can require that in 
this country. Yet it is the restriction of that association, the right 
of men and women in a free country to associate freely and to decide on 
a regime of political activity that is being restricted by this 
amendment--with no showing of an appearance of corruption, restriction 
on the rights of association. That is what this amendment reflects.
  That cannot just be disguised or covered up by saying, oh, look, it 
applies to corporations, too, when in fact the corporations do not 
engage in the activity being discussed here. And, in fact, if this 
seriously were aimed at corporations, it would be so totally unworkable 
that it would fall of its own weight. No corporation I know of could 
possibly comply with these rules, even if it wanted to engage in get-
out-the-vote activity or voter registration. There would be no 
practical way it could comply with this.
  The effort to modify this amendment was a reflection of the total 
inability of a corporation to function under this kind of a rule. But 
it doesn't cure the problem because, again, we are not told: When is 
this decision made? What day are the stockholders going to be counted? 
Do they have to be asked on a certain day as to whether or not they 
approve a get-out-the-vote campaign or a voter registration campaign? 
The next day you may have hundreds of thousands, perhaps in a large 
corporation, of different stockholders. What classes of stock are 
covered? There is nothing about that--and for good reason. That is not 
the purpose of the amendment.
  The purpose of this amendment, I am afraid, is a purpose in which we 
as a body should not participate. The purpose of this amendment is to 
restrict the political activities of a free association. We should not 
do that, whether we like the association or don't like the association. 
We should not do that whether the association is supportive generally 
of our party or opposes generally our party. The principle here, the 
principle involved, is the right of association under the first 
amendment. It cannot be restricted by law. It should not be restricted 
by this body. We should not attempt to place these kinds of 
restrictions on the associative rights of American citizens.
  Finally, under a NAACP case in 1963, I will close with this quote. 
The first amendment is what is being discussed in that case, and this 
is what the Supreme Court held:

       Because first amendment freedoms need breathing space to 
     survive, government may regulate in the area only with narrow 

  I know we are going to have a debate over whether or not the bill 
before us meets the first amendment test. Those of us who very much 
support McCain-

[[Page 4197]]

Feingold feel passionately that it does, that it is narrowly crafted to 
allow for regulation, to address the appearance of impropriety and 
corruption. But there is no way that the amendment before us, which has 
an effect only on the free association of labor unions, can possibly 
meet this test with no showing of an appearance of corruption, no 
showing of an appearance of impropriety, and severe practical limits on 
the rights of association in trade unions. And I believe this language 
should not only be defeated by this body, but, hopefully, will be 
rejected on a bipartisan basis because it would cut into the rights 
that I believe all of us should want very much to protect.
  I thank the Chair.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky is recognized.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, the Senator from Michigan is correct, 
of course, that no worker can be forced to join a union. They can, 
however, be forced to pay fees to unions, equal to union dues, as a 
condition of maintaining their employment. That is precisely the point 
of Senator Hatch's amendment.
  As for the concern of the Senator from Michigan about the fact that 
no corporation does ground wars as unions do, that is, of course, 
precisely the point. That is exactly why McCain-Feingold is biased in 
favor of Democrats.
  Unions, as the Senator from Michigan has pointed out, do the ground 
war for the Democrats. I wish we had an ally like that on our side. I 
admire the unions greatly. They do the ground war for the Democrats.
  For Republicans, it is the party that takes the primary role in the 
ground war. As we have discussed here, and as the Senator from Michigan 
has conceded, corporations don't do that sort of thing. They never have 
and, in my view, they never will.
  McCain-Feingold eliminates one-third of the resources that Republican 
Party organizations have to counter the union ground game from which 
Democrats benefit 100 percent.
  According to Forbes magazine, the NEA's local uniserve directors act 
as the largest army of paid political organizers and lobbyists in the 
United States. According to NEA's own strategic plan and budget, these 
political operatives had a budget of $76 million for the 2000 cycle--
$76 million for the 2000 cycle alone. None of that is touched by 
  With regard to the unions, what do unions do to help Democrats? 
Again, I say I wish we had such an ally. This is what the unions do for 
the Democrats:
  One, get out the vote;
  Two, voter identification;
  Three, voter registration;
  Four, mass mailings;
  Five, phone banks;
  Six, TV advertisements;
  Seven, radio advertisements;
  Eight, magazine advertisements;
  Nine, newspaper advertisements;
  Ten, outdoor advertising and leafletting;
  Eleven, polling;
  And twelve, volunteer recruitment and training.
  Boy, I wish we had an ally such as that. That would be wonderful. The 
only entity we have that engages in any of those activities on behalf 
of Republicans is our party organizations. Their funds would be reduced 
by at least a third or, in the case of the Republican National 
Committee, 40 percent by McCain-Feingold.
  McCain-Feingold purports to regulate some union activity, and I 
gather from reading the paper it has made the unions at least a little 
bit nervous. It purports to prohibit TV and radio ads that refer to a 
candidate within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary.
  However, with regard to national parties, everything the national 
party does must be paid for in 100-percent federally regulated hard 
dollars, even if it does not mention a single candidate.
  If, in fact, that 1 restriction on union activity remains in the bill 
at the end, that leaves 11 other activities unions engage in untouched 
by McCain-Feingold while at the same time the bill reduces the funds 
available for the national parties by a third, to 40 percent.
  In addition to that, McCain-Feingold, in effect, federalizes State 
and local parties in even-numbered years. In order for the Republican 
National Committee--it would apply to Democrats as well, but it is not 
as important to them because they have the unions as I just described--
in the case of the local parties and the national party, they would 
have to operate at 100-percent Federal dollars, even if they were 
trying to influence a mayor's race in Wichita, KS.
  This bill does little or nothing to the unions. What little it 
purports to do, I gather, has made the unions nervous, and it will be 
interesting to see if, before the end of this debate, not only are the 
amendments such as the one we are debating not approved, I am curious 
to see whether there will be additional amendments offered that will, 
in fact, take out what few uncomfortable portions of the existing bill 
there are for organized labor. In other words, I am predicting that not 
only will Senator Hatch's amendments--this one and the one he will 
offer after this one--probably be defeated, but that those elements of 
McCain-Feingold that currently create some angst among unions, there 
will be an effort to strip those out before we get to final passage.
  In the name of fairness, what we are talking about, with Senator 
Hatch's amendment, is to make sure that union dollars are voluntarily 
given by members and that union activities are disclosed. Consent and 
disclosure are two principles, it seems to me, that have been at the 
heart of the campaign finance debate for many years.
  I think we are probably through on this side. I do not know how many 
more speakers you have.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I know of three or four anyway. There may be 
a few others.
  Mr. McCONNELL. How much time do I have?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky has 15 minutes 30 
  Mr. McCONNELL. I reserve the remainder of my time, and I will see how 
it goes.
  Mr. DODD. How much time remains on the opponents' side?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Forty-seven minutes 22 seconds.
  Mr. DODD. Maybe we will consume all of it, and if the Senator from 
  Mr. McCONNELL. I have reserved mine.
  Mr. DODD. How much time does my good friend from Minnesota need?
  Mr. WELLSTONE. Ten minutes, and I may not take a full 10 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Minnesota is recognized for 
10 minutes.
  Mr. WELLSTONE. Mr. President, I will tell you why I may not take the 
full 10 minutes. I had an opportunity to hear Senator Levin, and he 
said much of what I wanted to say except he said it better than I can.
  I do want to be really clear that this ``paycheck protection'' 
amendment that all of us have been expecting has taken an even more 
egregious and cynical form than I had contemplated in all my 
  This is not about sham issue ads. It is important to go after soft 
money that goes into such ads by any kind of organization. This is not 
about parity between corporations and unions, for all of the reasons 
Senator Levin outlined. This is, however, going after political 
activity defined as ``voter registration activity, voter 
identification, or get out the vote, public communication that refers 
to a clearly identified candidate for Federal office.''
  I can understand why, given what we have been doing on the floor of 
the Senate over the last couple of weeks, such as, for example, in 10 
hours overturning 10 years of work to have a rule to provide some 
protection for people against repetitive stress injury--I can 
understand why my colleagues would not want unions, or any kind of 
organization that represents workers, communicating with those workers.
  This is a gag rule amendment. That is what this is about. Basically, 
this is the issue: This amendment is all about

[[Page 4198]]

going after a democratic, with a small ``d''--may I please make that 
distinction--a democratic institution, with a small ``d,'' and denying 
that associational democratic institution the right to represent and 
serve its members.
  What my colleagues are worried about, what this amendment is a 
reflection of, is the concern of some of my colleagues that this 
particular democratic organization, with a small ``d''--a union, or it 
can be any organization--will be able to serve its members.
  Frankly, we in the Senate ought to be for all democratic, with a 
small ``d,'' associational organizations, and we should be all about 
supporting their rights to serve their members, not trying to gag them, 
trying to block communication. My colleagues are so worried that these 
associations and these organizations of people who do not give the 
millions of dollars will be able to, God forbid, be involved in voter 
registration activity, get-out-the-vote efforts, internal 
communication, and grassroots politics.
  This is the ultimate anti grassroots politics, anti association, anti 
group and organization, anti rank-and-file member, anti people 
communicating with one another, anti people without the big bucks 
through their association being able to have some power and some say 
and some clout in American politics.
  This amendment should be roundly defeated.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. CORZINE. Mr. President, I rise today in strong opposition to the 
so-called paycheck protection amendment. This proposal, in my view, is 
little more than a thinly veiled attack on organized labor, and an 
attempt to undermine genuine campaign finance reform.
  The effect of this amendment would be to bury unions in a morass of 
bureaucratic red tape, and severely impede their ability to represent 
their membership. It would push unions further to the periphery of the 
political process, and hurt the working men and women they represent. 
It also may well be unconstitutional.
  Every day, associations and other organizations representing 
everything from chocolate manufacturers to retired people come to 
Capitol Hill to advocate for their members. These organizations use a 
variety of mechanisms to decide how they spend their money. Some give 
broad authority to their D.C. representatives. Others centralize 
authority with their president. Others operate through special boards 
or committees.
  It is not Congress's business to dictate to these organizations how 
they make their internal spending decisions. That is their business. 
And that is how it should be.
  But this amendment says that it is our business as politicians to 
tell unions how to make their internal spending decisions. The obvious 
intent is to harm unions' ability to function effectively in the 
political process. This doesn't just discriminate unfairly against 
unions. It undercuts their constitutional rights of free association 
and of free speech.
  As a result of the 1988 Beck case, all workers can already opt out of 
paying union dues. They can choose not to be in the union and to pay a 
fee that only covers costs associated with contract management and 
collective bargaining. No worker is forced to join the union. 
Therefore, no worker is forced to cover costs associated with political 
activities. And, I would add, the underlying legislation includes a 
provision that makes this very clear.
  In reality, this amendment is a deliberate attempt to undermine one 
of the key purposes of unions, advocating for their members not only 
with management, but with elected officials. The amendment goes well 
beyond what the Supreme Court required in the Beck decision. It would 
require union members to affirmatively agree to set aside a portion of 
their dues for political activities. And then it would require period 
reports spelling out details of those activities.
  These requirements would impose significant costs on unions and limit 
their ability to participate in the political process.
  It is important to remember that unions are democratic institutions. 
Decisions are made by majority vote or by duly elected representatives. 
Moreover, as I said earlier, nobody is forced to join a union. If you 
decide to join, as with other voluntary organizations, you accept the 
democratic decision-making process.
  It is absurd to join the NRA and ask that no funds be used for 
political activities. You cannot pay a reduced fee to simply receive 
American Rifleman magazine. And you cannot join the Sierra Club just 
for the tote bag. Similarly, political activities are a fundamental 
feature of a union's operations.
  Unions were formed in the first place to reduce the historic 
imbalance between workers and management, between most Americans and 
powerful, entrenched interests. By coming together, working families 
have an influential voice, and nowhere is the voice of labor unions 
more important than in the political arena. This amendment would, in 
effect, silence that voice, and in the process silence millions of 
working families.
  If we believe in the constitution right to free association, we 
cannot support this amendment. If we believe in the rights of working 
families to be heard, we cannot support this amendment. And if we 
believe in fundamental and equitable campaign finance reform, we cannot 
support this amendment.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, we have many Members desiring to be heard. I 
want to make sure I accommodate everyone who wants to be heard.
  I yield to my colleague from Massachusetts for 5 minutes.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Allard). The Senator from Massachusetts is 
recognized for up to 5 minutes.
  Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, I thank my colleague.
  The impact of this amendment and the fundamental unfairness of it are 
so obvious and so patently clear. What this tries to achieve doesn't 
necessitate a raising of voices or even an angry response, although I 
think there are plenty of Members who feel offended by what it seeks to 
  The purpose of this McCain-Feingold legislation is to try to create a 
fair playing field. ``Fair'' is not a word we hear a lot applied to the 
standards which our colleagues on the other side seem to seek in this. 
But ``fair'' means you try to achieve parity to the best degree 
possible between both sides' potential supporters, those who give to 
  What is extraordinary to me is what is being sought here is 
effectively the silencing of the capacity of organized labor to be able 
to participate with a fig leaf, a pretense about corporate 
responsibility and shareholder obligations. There is nothing in the 
terminology of the legislation in the way it has been set forth that 
actually creates any equality at all between shareholders and union 
members who, I might add, are a completely different concept 
altogether. After all, I think it is understood there are certain laws 
that apply to unions--to union participation, the Beck law, to the 
rights of union members, to union democracy, election of leaders, the 
way in which they participate--which are completely different from the 
role of shareholders and the way shareholders participate.
  More importantly, look at the basic numbers. Corporations outspent 
unions in political activities in the last election 15-1. Even if you 
accept the argument of some Republicans that unions tend to 
predominantly be supportive of Democrats, which might incidentally 
illicit some thinking on their part about why it is that happens, but 
with ergonomics in the past week and other attacks, I think we can 
understand that differential, but even if you were to split the 
corporate contributions--because some corporations do, indeed, also 
give to Democrats--and you took only 8-1 or 7-1, you are looking at a 
level of expenditure that so far outstrips the participation of unions 
that the real objection of some of our colleagues is not the money; it 
is the fact that people, voters, actually go out and get engaged in the 
system in a way that shareholders don't.
  What they are trying to do is legislatively strip away the capacity 
of those

[[Page 4199]]

people to be able to participate to the full extent of our democratic 
  The Supreme Court of the United States made it clear in Communication 
Workers of America v. Beck--in the Beck decision--when it said that 
unions can't, over the objection of a dues-paying nonmember employee, 
spend funds collected from those activities unrelated to collective 
bargaining. They cannot use that money in politics already.
  That decision has been properly codified in this legislation by 
Senators McCain and Feingold. Here we are codifying Beck and 
restricting the capacity of the nonmember employee, dues-paying 
employee. What the legislation seeks to do in reading several sections 
of it, sections (B), (C), and (D) of section 1, is show it is 
specifically targeted to internal and external communications relating 
to specific candidates. That is the kind of communication that takes 
place in the union. It doesn't take place among shareholders.
  Internal disbursements, to operate and solicit contributions--
likewise, not a shareholder participation.
  Voter registration drive, et cetera.
  What it specifically seeks to do is restrain those activities which 
our colleagues don't like because they are participating in the 
process, and it doesn't achieve parity with the corporate sector--and, 
I might add, places a burden on the corporate process, which is 
absolutely not workable.
  I don't see how it is possible for corporations to make the kinds of 
divisions that are called upon in this legislation. It would require a 
constant tracking of new shareholders, a constant recalculation of 
their ownership stakes. Shares are traded daily on the stock market. 
Corporations would have to collect and process spending authorization 
from those daily changing shareholders. And, finally, the corporations 
would have to pay additional dividends or other financial benefits to 
shareholders who refuse to authorize corporate and political 
legislative spending.
  It is completely unworkable on the corporate side, but it is not 
meant to be workable. It is clearly meant to be a restraint on the 
capacity of a voluntary association under the Constitution to be able 
to participate in the electoral process in a way not denied to any 
number of other groups in our country.
  I think our colleagues ought to join together because this is an 
amendment calculated to try to undo the McCain-Feingold concept, and 
particularly calculated to establish a playing field that is not level.
  Mr. DODD. I yield 5 minutes to my colleague from Wisconsin.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, the President of the United States, 
President Bush, issued a statement with regard to campaign finance 
reform indicating he is committed to working with the Congress to 
ensure that fair and balanced campaign finance reform legislation is 
enacted. He specifically referred to a desire to have a balance between 
unions and corporations in the United States.
  Apparently Senator Hatch's amendment is an attempt to do that. But as 
has been effectively pointed out by Senator Levin, it doesn't 
accomplish that. It isn't balanced. It isn't parity. The distinguished 
Senator from Massachusetts pointed out when it comes to the balance 
between unions and business in the country, this amendment doesn't even 
apply to 99.7 percent of the businesses in the country.
  It is an interesting technique to talk about balance between unions 
and corporations but not include many other kinds of organizations as 
  What is even more troubling is the point made by the Senators from 
Michigan and Massachusetts. The definition of ``political activity'' is 
by no means balanced between what corporations do and unions do. This 
needs to be reiterated. There are four kinds of activity listed. Two of 
the activities are activities in which at least at this point only 
unions participate, and a third is defined in a circular way which 
means that it probably doesn't apply to the kind of disbursements for 
television or radio that corporations do. The fourth activity refers 
only to express advocacy, which unions and corporations can only do 
through their PACs.
  The Senator from Michigan has it right. He said it is purely paper 
parity between corporations and unions. What he said is not only 
alliterative, it is dead right. This amendment is purely paper parity.
  Even the President of the United States' principles and desire that 
we create a balance between unions and corporations are not achieved by 
the Hatch amendment.
  I compliment the Senator from Utah for attempting to do this. On its 
face, the amendment is not as one-sided as some that have been offered 
in the past. For example, one previous amendment on this subject said 
that any union or corporation that charges its members dues is covered 
by the provision. But, of course, no corporation in America charges 
  Nonetheless, let's be serious. Is there anybody in this body who 
really believes that this provision will actually work? This amendment 
supposedly would require every corporation in America to get the 
permission of its shareholders before it spends money for political 
activities. That is ludicrous. Corporations have millions of 
shareholders. Their identity changes every day. The Senator from 
Massachusetts made this very clear--how could you possibly do this? 
Billions of shares of stock change hands each week--billions. 
Apparently, it would be necessary to get the permission of every 
  What about people who own shares in corporations through mutual 
funds? How are their rights protected? Actually the amendment says that 
``without the separate, prior, written voluntary authorization of a 
stockholder, it shall be unlawful for any corporation described in this 
section to use funds from its general treasury for the purpose of 
political activity.'' So perhaps this provision only requires 
corporations to get the permission of one stockholder.
  But if that is what it means, if it does not apply to billions of 
stockholders, which would be unworkable, and only requires the consent 
of one stockholder, it would be a sham like the earlier proposals.
  I take the Senator from Utah at his word, that he is trying to be 
evenhanded, trying to cover unions and corporations equally. But if his 
proposal actually works, the Senator from Utah has singlehandedly 
rewritten the law of corporations in this amendment. Corporate 
shareholders generally have little ability to influence corporate 
policy and practices. The officers and directors of a corporation do 
that, and they are responsible and have a legal duty to their 
shareholders to do it. If this amendment actually works--and I am very 
skeptical that it does--then before this vote, corporate America should 
be descending on this body en masse within an hour or so.
  Lots of representatives of corporate America oppose this bill now, 
but if this bill passes, every corporation in America will oppose it. 
This provision would be a disaster for corporations if it works in that 
  Aside from the problems with this amendment that the other speakers 
have very well pointed out, our Beck provision addresses the issue of 
the use of union dues for political purposes. The real problem with 
this amendment is that this is a poison pill to this bill. It fits the 
definition of a poison pill to a tee.
  If this amendment passes, reform is dead. I am confident that we will 
defeat it despite the herculean efforts of the Senator from Utah to 
cover corporations and unions equally because a sugar-coated poison 
pill is still a poison pill. When the sugar wears off, and it will wear 
off pretty quickly on this amendment, as we have seen, the poison 
underneath will kill this bill.
  It is essential for the sake of this campaign finance reform effort 
that this amendment be tabled.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Kentucky.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, the arguments about the mechanics of 
the Hatch amendment are a sham. The Securities and Exchange Commission 

[[Page 4200]]

managed to figure out ways to determine who is a shareholder and when, 
so that shareholders can be sent annual statements and proxies. 
Regulators are quite capable of handling these issues.
  There has been mentioned on the floor, ``the appearance of 
corruption.'' Let me ask a question. Why does it create the appearance 
of corruption for a union or citizen group to run an ad criticizing our 
voting records around election time, such that it justifies regulation 
under the Snowe-Jeffords language that is in the underlying McCain-
Feingold bill, but it does not create the appearance of corruption of 
the process for that same soft money from advocacy groups and unions to 
be used for phone banks, leaflets, mailings, and other things designed 
to criticize candidates and influence elections?
  This is absurd. Remember when you hear the words ``poison pill,'' you 
know it is an amendment that may have some impact on organized labor.
  It has been suggested by the sponsors and others that the Beck 
decision, which of course applied to nonunion members working in union 
shops, was codified in the underlying McCain-Feingold bill.
  I have a statement from the lawyer who represented Mr. Beck in that 
case, dated January 30 of this year. He said:

       I have reviewed section 304. As one of the attorneys for 
     the nonmembers in Beck, and objecting nonmembers in several 
     cases following Beck, I can assure you that section 304 of 
     McCain-Feingold-Cochran does not codify Beck. It would gut 
       The federal courts and the National Labor Relations Board 
     (``NLRB'') now both have jurisdiction over claims of misuse 
     of compulsory dues for political and other nonbargaining 
     purposes. The jurisdiction is concurrent, because such claims 
     are claims for breach of the ``judicially created duty of 
     fair representation'' owed to workers by their exclusive 
     bargaining agents . . .

  The Lawyer goes on:

       However, section 304 of McCain-Feingold-Cochran would amend 
     section 8 of the NLRA expressly to make it an unfair labor 
     practice for a union to ``not to establish and implement [an] 
     objection procedure'' by which nonmembers compelled to pay 
     dues as a condition of employment can obtain a reduction in 
     their dues for ``expenditures supporting political activities 
     unrelated to collective bargaining.''
       If this amendment to the NLRA becomes law, then the courts 
     are likely to hold that Congress intended to oust the courts 
     of jurisdiction to enforce the prohibition on such 
     spending.\5\ That would leave individual workers with no 
     effective means of enforcing their Beck rights, as history 
     demonstrates . . .

  Further in the statement the lawyer points out:

       Many Beck cases do not even make it to the Board, because 
     the NLRB's General Counsel does not prosecute them 
     vigorously. According to the National Right to Work Legal 
     Defense Foundation's Staff Attorneys, who have represented 
     most employees who have filed Beck charges with the Board, 
     the General Counsel has settled many Beck charges with no 
     real relief for the charging employees. The Board's Regional 
     Directors have refused to issue complaints on and dismissed 
     many other charges at the direction of the General Counsel. 
     No appeal from a dismissal of a charge is possible, because 
     the General Counsel has ``unreviewable discretion to refuse 
     to institute unfair labor practice proceedings.'' . . .

  The Lawyer continues:

       Thus, by vesting Beck-enforcement authority in the NLRB, 
     the McCain-Feingold-Cochran amendment to the NLRA would leave 
     no real remedy available to objecting employees who wish to 
     bring Beck claims that a union's spending of compulsory dues 
     or fees, or its objection procedure, breaches the duty of 
     fair representation.
       Section 304 of McCain-Feingold-Cochran, if it becomes law, 
     would legislatively overrule almost 40 years of decisions of 
     the United States Supreme Court concerning what union 
     activities objecting nonmembers may be compelled to subsidize 
     . . .

  Far from codifying Beck, this underlying bill basically neutralizes 

       Section 304 of McCain-Feingold-Cochran purports to limit 
     the use of compulsory union dues and fees. In fact, it is 
     craftily drafted to overrule the Supreme Court's 
     interpretation of the federal labor laws and sanction the 
     use, now prohibited, of compulsory dues and fees for a broad 
     range of political, ideological and other non-bargaining 
       Section 304 effectively would overrule the Court's 
     decisions in Ellis and Beck for employees forced under the 
     NLRA to pay union dues and fees to keep their jobs, because 
     section 304 does not prohibit the use of compulsory dues for 
     all activities unnecessary to the performance of a union's 
     duties as the exclusive bargaining agent for the objecting 
     employees' bargaining unit. Rather, section 304 prohibits the 
     use of compulsory union dues only for ``political activities 
     unrelated to collective bargaining.'' Section 304, if 
     enacted, thus would permit the use of compulsory funds for 
     union organizing, litigation not concerning the nonmembers' 
     bargaining unit, and the portions of union publications that 
     discuss those subjects, uses now prohibited under Ellis and 
       Even worse, section 304 would repudiate the 1961 decision 
     in Street that no political and ideological activities may be 
     subsidized with compulsory dues and fees. Section 304 would 
     not prohibit the use of compulsory funds for all political 
     activities, but only ``political activities unrelated to 
     collective bargaining,'' which it defines as only 
     ``expenditures in connection with a Federal, State, or local 
     election or in connection with efforts to influence 
     legislation unrelated to collective bargaining.'' (Emphasis 
     added.) This definition would not prohibit the use of 
     compulsory dues and fees for political party activities not 
     in connection with an election, lobbying on judicial and 
     executive branch appointments, campaigning for and against 
     ballot propositions, and publications and public relations 
     activities on political and ideological issues not directed 
     to specific legislation. Moreover, because most legislation 
     on which unions lobby could be said to be ``related to 
     collective bargaining,'' the McCain-Feingold amendment would 
     effectively prohibit the use of compulsory dues and fees only 
     for and against candidates for public office . . .

  Mr. President, you get the drift. Beck is effectively repealed by the 
underlying McCain-Feingold legislation.
  I do not know how many more speakers we have.
  How much time do I have remaining?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Eight minutes. The other side has 29 minutes.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I reserve the remainder of my time.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I yield 5 minutes to the distinguished 
Senator from New York.
  How much time remains for the opponents?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The opponents have 29 minutes remaining.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from New York.
  Mr. SCHUMER. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Connecticut.
  Mr. President, I rise to oppose the amendment of my friend Senator 
Hatch on so-called ``paycheck protection.''
  All of us know the purpose of this amendment. It is, quite simply, to 
kill McCain-Feingold, pure and simple.
  The proponents of this amendment won't vote in favor of McCain-
Feingold. They just want to diminish the number of Democrats voting for 
McCain-Feingold and thereby have it fail.
  In reality, the actual reason for this amendment is simply to end 
campaign finance reform as we know it today.
  If the proponents of this amendment wanted to move the issue forward, 
they wouldn't do it as part of campaign finance because this amendment 
has absolutely nothing to do with campaign finance.
  This amendment is about the way unions and corporations govern 
themselves, a subject we should debate separately.
  I ask those who are proponents of this amendment if their goal is not 
to kill the underlying bill, they should then withdraw the amendment 
and move it forward in the appropriate committees as part of corporate 
governance and governance of labor unions.
  Let us be clear about the actual substance. It is, as many have 
already said on other occasions, ``paycheck deception'' to claim that 
union members get railroaded into paying for speech with which they 
  In reality, all of us know people are not forced to join unions. 
Unions are voluntary associations that members are free to quit the 
second they disagree with the union's political activities.
  That is the essential freedom. If the freedom went any further, we 
would have no voluntary organizations in America, and we probably 
wouldn't have a democracy.
  To say that people are coerced by an organization that they can quit 
at any moment because they do not get the majority vote, there would be 
strong objection to any legislative body, including this one, as there 
would be to unions.

[[Page 4201]]

  Even those who quit, of course, would be represented by the union by 
paying agency fees.
  For that reason, the first amendment argument advanced by the 
proponents of this amendment is, quite frankly, a red herring.
  There are people in this country and in this body who just do not 
like unions. So they argue with the structure of the union, and the 
very same structure of an organization that they like, they don't argue 
with at all.
  The first amendment rights of members are not transgressed when 
unions engage in political activity because they chose to associate 
themselves with the speech. It's that simple.
  Moreover, unions are democratic organizations.
  Our friends on the other side of the aisle would have you believe 
that union bosses are making unilateral decisions in smoke-filled rooms 
that flout the will of their members and stifle their first amendment 
  That very argument has been made by Communists and fascists about 
this body and about our democracy. They vote. They set their own dues. 
Not everybody gets his or her way because a majority vote prevails.
  It makes no sense to castigate unions for engaging in the same 
majority rule upon which our country is founded. I argue that the 
reason we hear this argument is not because of any greater devotion to 
democracy but because of dislike and even hatred of unions. How dare 
these union organizations force employers to pay more than the employer 
wants to pay. But, my colleagues, that argument went out if not in the 
1890s, in the 1930s.
  We all know union members elect their own leaders, and they set their 
own dues. Not every member of the union is satisfied with the election. 
In almost every vote we take here not every Member is satisfied with 
the outcome of the vote.
  If the union wants to change leaders and lower their dues to 
foreclose political expression, they are, of course, free to do so.
  That they have not done that on the whole is an indication that 
members' free speech rights are not being violated in the wholesale way 
alleged by our friends on the other side.
  Now, the sponsor of this amendment has commendably made the attempt--
unlike some past versions of this--to include at least publicly held 
  For one thing, I do not hear the venom directed at publicly held 
corporations that make decisions and spend their money on ads when 
certain shareholders disagree with those decisions. Shareholders can go 
to the corporate meeting, voice their objections, and they probably 
have even less chance as an individual union member of changing things.
  We do not hear that kind of vehemence and even venom. But the 
argument for union democracy is probably greater than that of corporate 
  Shares in corporations are alienable and change hands in virtually 
instantaneous transactions millions of times each day.
  To pretend that shareholders who buy and sell their shares so readily 
are analogous to members for the purpose of consenting to political 
speech is just not a serious argument.
  That is why it just isn't workable to try to include corporations, 
and why, my colleagues, this is just an anti-union measure from start 
to finish that should be debated in the Health, Education and Labor 
Committee and put to its proper death.
  Incidentally, also, other associations similar to labor unions, such 
as the Chamber of Commerce, aren't covered by this amendment.
  In sum, I urge Members to vote against this amendment and see it for 
what it is--a poison pill that has nothing to do with union members' 
rights but everything to do with defeating campaign finance reform.
  I thank my colleague and yield back the time I may have remaining.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I know my colleague from Oklahoma wishes to 
be heard. I want to take a couple of minutes. I will be glad to give 
him whatever time he needs. I would like to reserve 4 minutes at the 
end of the debate.
  How much time remains?
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. A little over 21 minutes.
  Mr. DODD. I will take about 5 minutes. My colleague from Oklahoma 
wants 5 or so minutes, if he would like, and others may show up. I 
would like to reserve the last 4 minutes to share some of that time 
with my colleague from Kentucky, if he needs it, or anyone else who may 
come over.
  Senator Schumer from New York made a very compelling and sound 
argument against this amendment.
  First of all, I know it is something Members do with great frequency. 
If you read this amendment, it is terribly complicated. It almost seems 
to be a flawed amendment. I get the thrust of what I think the Senator 
from Utah wants to do, but I am not sure, even if it were adopted, it 
achieves the results that he desires with the language he has crafted. 
It is rather complicated. In fact, the modification that the Senator 
from Utah made may even complicate it further, as I read it.
  Just on a first blush, if you look at this, the amendment itself 
probably should be recrafted in a way. So it ought to be rejected 
merely on technical grounds.
  Even for those who may support what he wants to do, I do not believe 
this amendment does what the author claims. For those of us who 
disagree with the intent of the amendment, there are deeper reasons why 
this amendment ought to be rejected. First, there is no parity. That is 
what my colleague from New York was suggesting. Whether people like 
unions or not, they are democratic institutions. There are laws which 
govern how union officials are elected. They may not always perfect 
elections. There have been some highly flawed elections. Recently, we 
went through one nationally where there was great controversy of one 
particular international union. Members of that union protested loudly 
over how that election was conducted.
  But, fundamentally, they are democratic institutions where the 
members get to decide a number of things. They decide whether or not to 
form a union. They decide who their officials will be by secret ballot. 
They have rights to access of information about union finances and 
operations. Under the law, they are required to have that access. Union 
rules are applied on an equal basis. Now, there are problems that occur 
in the breach, but the law requires it.
  If you change the word from ``union'' to ``corporation,'' the workers 
in a corporation do not have the right to organize themselves per se. 
They do not elect their officials, the management team. Access to 
information of finances is not legally required to be made available to 
all the employees. The rules apply differently than from unions. 
Corporations are hierarchical structures. They could not function 
otherwise. I am not suggesting it ought to be, but to suggest that 
unions and corporations are sort of parallel organizations is to fly in 
the face of factually what exists.
  So there is a significant difference between how a union is 
organized, how it functions, and how a corporation functions. Despite, 
again, what my colleagues have said, there are 21 States in this 
country where people who are nonunion members still get the benefits of 
what unions are collectively able to bargain for. Nonunion members get 
a free ride on the coattails of collective bargaining agreements in 21 
States in this country.
  Further, there are laws in place to ensure that nonmembers in the 29 
free-bargaining States can confine their payments to what is directly 
related to collective bargaining, contract administration. That is in 
29 States in this country.
  There have been a bunch of different States that have tried to do 
what the Senator from Utah wants to do. Every one of these States 
rejected it. Only one has it--ironically, the State of Utah--and that 
State has not made a determination yet as to whether or not this 
paycheck deception, as I call it, is going to become the law of the 

[[Page 4202]]

  Our colleagues in the State legislative bodies have rejected this. 
The courts have rejected this as being unconstitutional as well.
  Unions are the only member organizations that have to give their 
members the option of receiving all the economic benefits of membership 
whether they are actually members. So whether one likes unions or does 
not like them, there is a fundamental difference. To suggest somehow we 
are going to achieve parity, that is not the case.
  On the issue of shareholders, despite the fact there has been a 
tremendous and healthy explosion of involvement by average citizens 
purchasing stocks in America in the last 10 years--While I do not have 
the exact percentage today of Americans who own stock, own a piece of 
equity in American business, I would estimate it to be approximately 
around 70 percent. It is a wonderful, new statistic in terms of 
people's participation economically in their own independence. But a 
substantial part of stock that has been purchased is purchased through 
mutual funds. There are individual buyers, but a lot of it is done 
through large investors or larger conglomerates, if you will.
  However, when you start breaking this out and start to decide how a 
shareholder would vote on whether or not corporate funds ought to be 
used for political activities--I do not think I have to say much more--
you are entering a morass of problems on how you divide the percentages 
of corporate equity based on a corporation's political involvement. You 
are literally putting a sign around almost every corporation's neck 
saying: Indict me. Because I do not know how you do it without getting 
yourself into trouble.
  It seems to me, this bill is a step in the wrong direction. In a bill 
where we are trying to reduce the amount of money, the proliferation of 
soft-money dollars, in politics, to try, all of a sudden, to engage in 
a debate that is unworkable, and as the amendment is currently crafted, 
it is unworkable--and even if it were well crafted--I think this is 
fundamentally a step in the wrong direction and does not further the 
overall goals of this bill.
  My colleague from New York said it well. If corporate America thought 
this amendment was going to be adopted, it would be banging down the 
Senate doors. The idea that they should be treated exactly like unions 
is not something that corporate America would welcome.
  Here make no mistake, again there appears to be a lot of animosity 
here, a lot of venom, a lot of anger over the fact that organized labor 
fights on behalf of their people. They fight for a Patients' Bill of 
Rights. They fight for prescription drug benefits. They fight for a 
minimum wage increase. They fight to improve the quality of education. 
Make no mistake, there are people who disagree with them. And they wish 
the unions would just be quiet and go away and stop speaking out on 
these issues and stop getting themselves involved in the political life 
of America. I appreciate their desire to have that occur, but that is 
not right. It is not how America functions. It is not what we ought to 
codify as new law.
  Whatever else one thinks about McCain-Feingold--and despite the fact 
I agree with my colleague from Wisconsin, if this amendment were 
adopted, it would virtually act as a ``poison pill'' and kill this 
bill. To the extent people are interested in campaign finance reform, 
the adoption of this amendment would, for all practical purposes, 
destroy the fine effort that has been waged by the Senator from Arizona 
and the Senator from Wisconsin to achieve campaign finance reform.
  If this amendment were adopted, aside from that issue, it would be a 
major setback, in my view, for millions and millions of working people 
in this country who want their voices heard, want the issues they care 
about to be on the table when politics is being discussed and 
candidacies are being decided.
  For those reasons, and others brought up today, I respectfully say to 
my friend from Utah that this amendment would be more properly 
withdrawn for the reasons I said at the very outset of the discussion. 
Notwithstanding all of the above, the amendment ought to be defeated. 
And I urge my colleagues to do so when the vote occurs.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. NICKLES. Mr. President, it is with some regret I rise in 
opposition to this amendment. I tell my friend and colleague from 
Connecticut, I happen to agree with him on the portions of his debate 
alluding to the corporate side of this, trying to say that stockholders 
would give approval--for the information of the Parliamentarian, I am 
on the time of the Senator from Connecticut. I see the Parliamentarian 
is having a hard time deciphering that. I am not often on the side of 
my friend from Connecticut, but at this time I will use his 5 minutes.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I hope the world notes and records this 
moment. I thank my colleague.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. For the record, the Senator from Connecticut 
wants to be notified when there are 4 minutes remaining?
  Mr. DODD. I think my colleague said he needs 5 minutes. I will give 
him 10 minutes. If he uses less, let me know.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There are 12 minutes left.
  Mr. DODD. Better make it 8.
  Mr. NICKLES. I will do that.
  Mr. President, I mention to my friend from Connecticut, I happen to 
agree with him. The corporate side of this would not work. I read the 
language. It is the second time today I have read the language. The 
other time I read the language was in relation to the amendment dealing 
with broadcasting.
  All of a sudden we are giving gifts to politicians to the tune of--if 
you are from a large State, such as New York, New Jersey, or 
California, the previous amendment gave a gift to politicians in the 
millions of dollars. And that was in the language. The language in this 
amendment, regretfully--I have the greatest respect for my colleague 
from Utah, but I do not think the corporate side is workable.
  I heard people say: We want to have voluntary campaign contributions 
that should apply to the unions and businesses. But no one is compelled 
to be a stockholder.
  My friend from Connecticut mentioned, you may happen to own a mutual 
fund. This is absolutely impossible to enforce. But I also say there is 
a big difference between stockholders and employees. And the reason why 
we called the original one paycheck protection is because unions are 
actually taking money away from individuals on a monthly basis many 
times to the tune of $20 or $30 a month, and in 29 States, in many 
cases, taking away that money without their approval. Oh, they may not 
join the union, but they still have to pay agency dues, agency fees.
  A lot of that money is used for political purposes. That part of the 
amendment I happen to agree with wholeheartedly. That is the amendment 
I wish we were voting on, not this one that confuses corporate, where 
you have to get shareholders' approval, who voluntarily purchase stock, 
because that is not workable.
  It is workable to say, before you take money out of a worker's 
paycheck to the tune of $25 a month, if that individual does not want 
their money to be used--maybe $5, $10, $15 a month--for political 
purposes, they should have a veto. They should be able to say: No, 
don't take my money.
  No one should be compelled to contribute to a campaign in the year 
2001 in the United States. Yet we have millions of Americans who are 
given no choice. Some people have said this is a killer amendment, that 
it is a poison pill to kill the bill. I disagree wholeheartedly. I was 
a principal sponsor of that original paycheck protection amendment. I 
still am. I believe very strongly no one should be compelled to 
contribute to a campaign against their will, period. We want to 
encourage participation. We don't want to mandate it. We don't want to 
take money away from an individual, use it in a way they

[[Page 4203]]

don't like, and then say: If you want to, you might file for a refund.
  That is the Beck decision. I think we should strike the Beck 
provision. I agree entirely with the Senator from Kentucky. The Beck 
provision in the underlying bill is a fraud. It should not be in there. 
It doesn't protect workers; it doesn't codify Beck. It dilutes it, if 
it does not totally eviscerate it. It needs to be deleted. We will 
wrestle with that amendment later. I don't want to confuse the two.
  Paycheck protection is important. It is important for those millions 
of workers in 29 States that are compelled to join a union. If they 
object to the union and resign their membership in the union, they 
still have to pay agency fees. Agency fees can be in excess of $20 a 
month. Much of that money, maybe half, maybe more, is used for 
political purposes against their will. Those hard earned dollars may be 
used for political purposes maybe they don't agree with, money that 
goes to candidates campaigning against a tax cut, maybe campaigning to 
take away their right to own firearms, maybe very liberal positions 
with which they don't agree.
  You might ask: Where did Paycheck Protection come from? I began this 
fight because an American Airlines union member came up to me and said 
that his money was being used for political purposes that he was 
against it, totally, and he couldn't do anything about it. I told him I 
would try to help him. I told him I will try to pass legislation to 
have voluntary campaign contributions for everybody in America. That 
shouldn't be too much to ask for. That is the genesis of paycheck 
  I hope maybe we will have a chance to vote on that. I hope we will 
find out, are people really for voluntary campaign contributions. 
Unfortunately, the amendment we have before us does much more than make 
a campaign contributions voluntary. So maybe at a later point in the 
debate--we still have a week and a half left--maybe we can vote on 
voluntary campaign contributions. That is this Senator's purpose.
  For someone to say this is a poison pill because organized labor 
doesn't want it is nonsense, do we should just give a special interest 
a blank check--do we let them veto anything that we present on the 
floor of the Senate? I don't think so. Organized labor forcibly 
confiscates hundreds of millions of dollars for political purposes. 
Organized labor put in at least $300 to $500 million in the last 
campaign cycle. That is a lot of money. Let them participate, but it 
just should all be done with voluntary campaign contributions.
  Likewise, if businesses are raising money for political action 
committees, that should all be done on a voluntary basis. Nobody should 
be compelled to contribute to a campaign in the year 2001.
  I hope we will have a chance to vote on paycheck protection, 
voluntary campaign contributions for all Americans. I do believe that 
the language that deals with the corporate side of this is not workable 
and does not have anything to do with voluntary campaign contributions. 
I say that with great regret because I have the greatest respect for my 
colleague from Utah.
  I also want to address one other issue very quickly. That is the 
issue with Beck. My friend from Kentucky mentioned that the Beck 
language in the underlying bill needs to be taken out. I agree 
wholeheartedly. I hope we will have bipartisan support. People who said 
they wanted to codify the Beck decision, this does not codify it, it 
changes it, changes it dramatically. To me, that is not right. I don't 
think it is right for us to say verbally it codifies Beck when it takes 
worker protections and actually guts the Beck decision. I hope that at 
a later point, not to confuse it with this amendment, but at a later 
point my colleagues will join those of us who would like to see that 
language removed from the underlying bill.
  I thank my friend and colleague from Connecticut for the time and 
also my friend and colleague from Kentucky who I think has handled this 
bill quite well.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. There are 7 minutes 23 seconds remaining for 
the proponents, and 6 and a half minutes for the opponents.
  The Senator from Kentucky.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Before the Senator from Oklahoma leaves the floor, I 
want him to know he has our great admiration. He is the one who thought 
of paycheck protection. He outlined the history of it a few moments 
ago. I understand we will not have his vote on this offering because, 
as he knows, we were trying to meet the objections of some of those on 
the other side who have said for years: You ought to apply it to 
corporations as well as unions. We did that. It looks as though we are 
not going to get any of their votes anyway.
  I do credit the Senator from Oklahoma. This is his piece of work 
originally. I hope at some point in the debate he will offer the 
amendment without the corporate provision. I certainly would vote for 
it. I think many Members would. It deals with a very real problem in 
the American political system.
  I think we are essentially through with the debate, I say to my 
friend from Connecticut.
  Mr. DODD. If my colleague will yield, we are prepared to yield back 
whatever time we have remaining. If that would be the case, then I 
think a motion to table would be made, and we could move on.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I yield back the time on this side.
  Mr. DODD. I yield back our time as well.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Arizona.
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I move to table amendment No. 134, and I 
ask for the yeas and nays.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second. The clerk will call the 
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  The result was announced--yeas 69, nays 31, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 43 Leg.]


     Nelson (FL)
     Nelson (NE)


     Smith (NH)
     Smith (OR)
  This motion was agreed to.
  Mr. DODD. I move to reconsider the vote by which the motion was 
agreed to.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I move to lay that motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  Mr. McCONNELL. I ask unanimous consent, following the debate tonight 
on the pending Hatch amendment, the Senate then resume consideration of 
the amendment beginning at 9 o'clock in the morning, and there be 30 
minutes of debate remaining, equally divided, in the usual form. 
Finally, I ask consent that following the use or yielding back of time, 
the Senate proceed to a vote on or in relation to the amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                           Amendment No. 136

  Mr. HATCH. I send an amendment to the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the amendment.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Utah [Mr. Hatch] proposes an amendment 
     numbered 136.

[[Page 4204]]

  Mr. HATCH. I ask unanimous consent reading of the amendment be 
dispensed with.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Reserving the right to object--I don't intend to 
object--does the Senator have copies of the amendment?
  Mr. HATCH. I understand your side has copies.
  Mr. DODD. I say to my colleague, there is a copy we can get.
  Mr. KENNEDY. I have a copy.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection to the dispensing of the 
reading of the amendment?
  Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendment is as follows:

(Purpose: To add a provision to require disclosure to shareholders and 
        members regarding use of funds for political activities)

       On page 37, between lines 14 and 15, and insert the 

                   POLITICAL ACTIVITIES.

       Title III of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 
     U.S.C. 431 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 304 
     the following:

                   POLITICAL ACTIVITIES.

       ``(a) In General.--Any corporation or labor organization 
     (including a separate segregated fund established and 
     maintained by such entity) that makes a disbursement for 
     political activity or a contribution or expenditure during an 
     election cycle shall submit a written report for such cycle--
       ``(1) in the case of a corporation, to each of its 
     shareholders; and
       ``(2) in the case of a labor organization, to each employee 
     within the labor organization's bargaining unit or units;

     disclosing the portion of the labor organization's income 
     from dues, fees, and assessments or the corporation's funds 
     that was expended directly or indirectly for political 
     activities, contributions, and expenditures during such 
     election cycle.
       ``(b) Contents.--
       ``(1) In general.--The report submitted under subsection 
     (a) shall disclose information regarding the dues, fees, and 
     assessments spent at each level of the labor organization and 
     by each international, national, State, and local component 
     or council, and each affiliate of the labor organization and 
     information on funds of a corporation spent by each 
     subsidiary of such corporation showing the amount of dues, 
     fees, and assessments or corporate funds disbursed in the 
     following categories:
       ``(A) Direct activities, such as cash contributions to 
     candidates and committees of political parties.
       ``(B) Internal and external communications relating to 
     specific candidates, political causes, and committees of 
     political parties.
       ``(C) Internal disbursements by the labor organization or 
     corporation to maintain, operate, and solicit contributions 
     for a separate segregated fund.
       ``(D) Voter registration drives, State and precinct 
     organizing on behalf of candidates and committees of 
     political parties, and get-out-the-vote campaigns.
       ``(2) Identify candidate or cause.--For each of the 
     categories of information described in a subparagraph of 
     paragraph (1), the report shall identify the candidate for 
     public office on whose behalf disbursements were made or the 
     political cause or purpose for which the disbursements were 
       ``(3) Contributions and expenditures.--The report under 
     subsection (a) shall also list all contributions or 
     expenditures made by separated segregated funds established 
     and maintained by each labor organization or corporation.
       ``(c) Time to Make Reports.--A report required under 
     subsection (a) shall be submitted not later than January 30 
     of the year beginning after the end of the election cycle 
     that is the subject of the report.
       ``(d) Definitions.--In this section:
       ``(1) Election cycle.--The term `election cycle' means, 
     with respect to an election, the period beginning on the day 
     after the date of the previous general election for Federal 
     office and ending on the date of the next general election 
     for Federal office.
       ``(2) Political activity.--The term `political activity' 
       ``(A) voter registration activity;
       ``(B) voter identification or get-out-the-vote activity;
       ``(C) a public communication that refers to a clearly 
     identified candidate for Federal office and that expressly 
     advocates support for or opposition to a candidate for 
     Federal office; and
       ``(D) disbursements for television or radio broadcast time, 
     print advertising, or polling for political activities.''

  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, this amendment is simple, and 
straightforward. It does not attempt to codify the Beck case that we 
debate year-after-year on the Senate floor. There is nothing complex or 
legalistic about it. Frankly, like the section 527 bill we passed last 
year, we simply require disclosure.
  This is a modest measure of fundamental fairness. It is a simple 
right-to-know amendment. The right of American workers and shareholders 
who pay dues and fees to unions and corporations that represent them, 
to know how their money is being spent for certain political purposes, 
causes, and activities. It does nothing more than require a report by 
labor organizations and corporations to be given to the shareholders 
and workers represented by unions. This shows how much of their money 
is being spent in the political process.
  As we all know, part of the debate here has been the use of these 
types of money that never have to, because of the loophole in the 
Federal election laws, be seen on the reports or be reported by those 
who received benefits from union expenditures.
  I have to say this amendment does not impose overly burdensome or 
onerous requirements on corporations or unions. This is basic 
information, and it should be freely provided.
  I cannot believe that either union or corporate leadership has a 
legitimate interest in keeping secret what political causes and 
activities employee dues, fees, or earnings are being spent to support. 
If employees or shareholders learn how their money is being spent in 
the political process, unions and corporations will enjoy an even 
greater confidence level in their decisionmaking.
  On the other hand, if employees and shareholders might not like what 
they see, is that any reason they should not see it? Is it too onerous? 
No. After the numerous paperwork burdens that this Congress has freely 
imposed on small businesses and all taxpaying citizens, how can any of 
us object to ensuring that workers, teachers, janitors, electricians, 
and others are informed about how their dues are being spent on the 
most fundamental of all American activities, the political process?
  I doubt anyone would suggest that unions, even at the local level, do 
not keep these records anyway. How else can an organization that 
represents employees be effective and accountable, if it does not even 
know how the dues and fees collected from the employees it represents 
are being expended?
  Should we have the same requirements also be applied to corporations 
that give this type of information to their shareholders? There is not 
the same problem there, but why not, if that is what my colleagues 
think is fair? My amendment therefore covers not only labor unions but 
also corporations for this simple disclosure requirement.
  This amendment represents only one simple, straightforward question: 
Should an employee be left in the dark on how his or her union dues and 
fees are being spent in the political process? This amendment is the 
most modest of beginning steps we can take to bring common sense or 
reform to our campaign laws.
  Finally, let me add one more important point. Everyone knows that the 
corporate world represents shareholders and not individual dues-paying 
members. Everybody knows the corporate world does not do the collateral 
campaign work that the unions do with dues-paid money. It is hardly the 
same situation. That most likely is the reason why some of my 
colleagues did not vote for the preceding amendment.
  But the distinguished Senator from Massachusetts has in the past 
raised a fair point. If we include the unions, why should we not 
include the corporations? These are not reporting requirements that are 
onerous or burdensome.
  This amendment is about basic fairness, and I hope all my colleagues 
will support it. Basically, it allows individuals that are shareholders 
or members of a labor organization the right to know how their money is 
spent in the American electoral process.
  I think this is a fair amendment, it is a decent amendment, it is 
fair to both sides. It just requires simple disclosure. Why not?
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, does my colleague from Arizona wish to be 
heard on this?

[[Page 4205]]

  Mr. McCAIN. I would like 3 minutes.
  Mr. DODD. I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished Senator from 
  Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I thank Senator Hatch for an effort to do 
what all of us agree is a fundamental of any campaign finance reform, 
and that is full and complete disclosure. I regret having to point out 
my opposition to this amendment because it is my understanding this 
full disclosure of political activity of both business and labor is 
defined in the basic bill under section (2) Political Activity, which 

       The term ``political activity'' means--(A) voter 
     registration activity; (B) voter identification or get-out-
     the-vote activity; (C) a public communication that refers to 
     a fairly identified candidate for Federal office and that 
     expressly advocates support for or opposition to a candidate 
     for Federal office; and [finally] (D) disbursement for 
     television or radio broadcast time, print advertising or 
     polling for political activities.

  The way I read this is most of these activities are conducted by 
labor unions and only one by corporations. So we have an imbalance here 
on requirements for disclosure.
  There are many other things that are done by businesses and 
corporations that need to be disclosed as well, in my view. Very few 
corporate activities are involved in voter registration activities. Of 
course, unions are. The same thing holds for voter identification or 
get-out-the-vote activity. Express advocacy is clearly not something 
that is done a lot by businesses, nor is polling.
  I assure Senator Hatch of the following: We are working with Senator 
Snowe and with Senator Cochran and Senator Collins, and we are trying 
to come up with a fair disclosure amendment that will give greater 
disclosure than is presently in the bill but in a more fair and 
balanced way.
  I will have to oppose this amendment on the grounds of its imbalance. 
The one thing we promised everybody when we proposed this legislation 
was we would resist any attempt to pass an amendment that would 
unbalance what we had put forward as a level playing field. This would 
imbalance that. I believe we can have all of those items fully 
disclosed, and more, so observers will say this full disclosure, this 
light, will shine on business and unions alike in an equal manner.
  Having said that, I regret to have to oppose the amendment. I will 
make a motion to table at the appropriate time.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, will the Senator from Connecticut yield 
me 3 minutes?
  Mr. DODD. I am happy to yield my colleague 5 minutes.
  I thank my colleague from Arizona for his comments. We are going to 
meet in the morning for a half-hour debate before the final vote on 
this Hatch II amendment. I thank my colleague.
  The Senator from Massachusetts?
  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, with all respect to my friend and 
colleague from Utah, this really is no improvement over the earlier 
amendment. In many respects, it just continues the differentiation by 
which different groups are being treated, not just the corporations and 
unions but other groups as well.
  Again, I know my friend talked about the drafting. He doesn't need 
any lectures from me. But I am confused because the amendment is very 
unclear. It says, for example, that ``political activities'' must be 
reported. If you look on page 5 it has ``political activity'' defined. 
If you go to the term ``political activity,'' it means, if you go to 
line 19, ``political activity.''
  So you have political activity being defined as political activity. 
It is really quite difficult to understand.
  We all know at the present time that unions are subject to 
substantial reporting and disclosure requirements. I have in my hand 
the disclosure requirements. They are extensive. Unions have to 
disclose PAC funds, all payments for express advocacy, and detailed 
financial information. This goes far beyond what corporations today are 
required to report.
  It is publicly available. For any of those who have a viewpoint that 
is the same as that of the Senator from Utah, they can just go down to 
the Labor Department where all these reports are on file. They are 
available to the public.
  The case has not been made about the inadequacy of the information 
that is reported. We have language requiring additional disclosure in 
this amendment, but there has been no case that the current information 
is inadequate to reveal what political activities are being supported.
  I think that doesn't make a great deal of sense.
  This bill is not only vague, it is burdensome. As we mentioned 
earlier, and as Senator Hatch said during our prior colloquy, 
corporations would have to send reports to anyone who was a shareholder 
at the time of the expenditures.
  We have had the chance to do the numbers. Last week alone there were 
more than 6 billion stockholder transactions just on the New York Stock 
  Does this mean that if any of the corporations that would be included 
in this bill made an expenditure last week that all holders of those 
shares would have to be notified? The amendment says they would have to 
be notified of all expenditures within a 2-year election cycle. That is 
unwieldy. It is unworkable. It is enormously bureaucratic. It makes no 
sense at all.
  We had a good exchange in the last debate. Many of us are troubled 
about what either my good friend, Senator Hatch, or others who support 
this amendment have against working families and the working families' 
agenda. Working families want an increase in the minimum wage, a 
Patients' Bill of Rights, and additional funding in education. They 
want to make sure we have a sound and secure national security. They 
want Medicare and Medicaid to be enhanced. They want to improve worker 
training. They want to invest in continuing education and workforce 
training programs. I daresay that kind of a program would be worthwhile 
at the present time. This is what their agenda is all about.
  We are probably in some form of economic crisis. And what we have 
from the administration is a tax bill which isn't an economic program; 
it is a tax bill that was basically devised over a year ago when we had 
entirely different economic conditions.
  I think the kinds of investment that working families have advocated 
in terms of ensuring that we are going to invest in training programs, 
invest in education, invest in small business, enhance research and 
training, and not see further cuts in the National Science Foundation, 
or other cuts in the advanced technology program, makes a good deal of 
  We hope this amendment is not accepted. In the earlier debate and 
discussion, we went through these and other provisions in careful 
detail. The amendment does seem to be one-sided, unfairly targeted, and 
completely unnecessary.
  I think the sponsors, Senator Feingold, and Senator McCain, as well 
as Senator Dodd and others, have eloquently pointed out the kind of 
balance and protections for the American voters that have been included 
in the McCain-Feingold legislation. That was carefully considered. It 
seems to me that we ought to stay with those proposals. I hope this 
amendment will not be accepted.
  Mr. DODD. Mr. President, I thank my colleague from Massachusetts for 
his comments. I think he hit it right on the head with this.
  I made comments earlier on the previous amendment offered by my good 
friend from Utah. He made the point. I understood the intent of what 
the Senator was trying to achieve. As Senator Nickles of Oklahoma, with 
whom I don't normally agree on these matters, properly pointed out, you 
cannot carry out the intent of the amendment. Despite the desire to do 
so, the language of the amendment, if followed to the letter of the 
proposal, or even the spirit, creates a tremendously bureaucratic 
nightmare for both corporations and for labor organization.
  I do not agree that anyone would have an interest to discourage 
activity at all. We want to know what is going on. Under current 
Federal law, labor unions are required to make various

[[Page 4206]]

records be available and open. The records cannot be shielded or 
hidden. That is in violation of existing Federal law.
  To suddenly add even more bureaucratic requirements for every 
disbursement, receipt and expenditure in every level, including 
affiliates, and every minor tangible office, is not in the spirit of 
true disclosure. This is in the spirit of discouragement from anyone 
participating in the process. Everyone knows we have a hard time 
getting more people to participate in the process as it is.
  In last year's Presidential and congressional Federal elections, we 
had about 50 million who participated out of 101 million eligible 
voters in this country. It seems to me we ought to be doing better and 
we can do better. We lecture the world all the time about how important 
it is to vote. We like to think of ourselves as an example for nations 
that are seeking to establish democratic institutions.
  It seems to me it is in our collective interest to promote that idea, 
and to do so by example with an environment of full disclosure, of 
fairness, and of equity.
  But with all due respect to my friend from Utah, the adoption of this 
amendment is nothing more than to create unnecessary burdens on 
institutions that, frankly, we wish were more active in the political 
life of America. If they were, then in some sense through voter 
education efforts we might have greater voter participation.
  This amendment, in my view, only adds additional unnecessary burdens 
to a process that already discourages too many people from 
participating in the public life of our Nation. For those reasons, I 
urge our colleagues when the vote occurs tomorrow to reject this 
  I think the provisions included in the bill drafted by the Senators 
from Arizona and Wisconsin very aptly deal with this very question of 
true disclosure and information. They have done so in the spirit of 
seeking to make people aware of what institutions are doing that 
involve themselves in the political life of our country.
  But to add this amendment to the McCain-Feingold bill would have the 
opposite effect. It would not effectuate what we are trying to achieve. 
Our goals are to reduce the proliferation of the money in the political 
life of our country and to make it less costly for people to seek 
Federal office.
  We ought to simultaneously try to reduce the amount of hurdles, 
burdens, and gauntlets that institutions such as corporations and labor 
unions have to presently meet. To add to them, to make their 
involvement even more difficult, I don't think is in anyone's interest, 
Democrats or Republicans, and certainly not in the interest of the 
American people.
  For those reasons, I frankly urge that the amendment be withdrawn. 
But, if it is not going to be withdrawn, I urge my colleagues with the 
same expression that we saw with the previous Hatch amendment to vote 
with the same sense of collective voice on this particular proposal. 
For those reasons, I urge the rejection of this amendment.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I have listened to these comments about the 
imbalance. McCain-Feingold is balance. It brings balance. Let me give 
you an illustration.
  McCain-Feingold regulates what unions care about least. Think about 
it. It regulates get out the vote. It regulates two things: It 
regulates television advertisement within 60 days. It regulates radio 
ads for a candidate--not a party--within 60 days of a general election, 
or 30 days of a primary. It does do that. That is technically 
unconstitutional on its face. But it does do that. Television 
advertisements and radio advertisements are all McCain-Feingold does 
with regard to what the unions are interested in. These are the two 
things they care about least.
  What they really care about and what we ought to be concerned about, 
if we want fairness, and if we don't want one side to have an advantage 
over the other, McCain-Feingold ought to cover all get out the vote 
activities. That is probably one of the most important things in the 
political process today, if not the most important thing.
  Voter identification, McCain-Feingold does not do anything about 
that. Voter registration, nothing. Mass mailings, nothing. Phone banks, 
nothing; magazine advertisements, newspaper advertisements, outdoor 
advertising and leafleting, polling, volunteer recruitment and 
training, union-salaried, full-time political operatives. And look, I 
do not have any problem with that in the sense that unions have a right 
to do whatever they want to do in advancing their issues in the 
political process. And I would fight for their right to do that, as I 
have in the past. But the only people whose rights are infringed upon 
by the McCain-Feingold bill happen to be the Republican Party because 
the unions do all of this for the Democratic Party.
  Mr. DODD. Will my colleague yield?
  Mr. HATCH. If I could finish making my point, and then I will be 
happy to yield.
  The unions are the principal get-out-the-vote force in the Democratic 
Party. Keep in mind, 40 percent of union members are Republicans, yet 
almost 100 percent of the money that unions raise helps get out the 
vote for Democrats. That does not seem like a fair process, but that is 
the way it is. But that money could only be hard money to the political 
parties, meaning they are severely hampered in getting out the vote.
  No. 2, voter identification. The unions do that beautifully for 
Democrats. I do not know of one Republican that a union has worked for 
to help identify Republican voters. I am sure there is one or two, but 
the fact is the vast majority--almost 100 percent--of their money goes 
to help Democrats. That is their right. Why aren't the Democrats scared 
about what the McCain-Feingold bill will do to the Democratic Party? 
Because the Democratic Party does not have to worry about all of this 
because the unions do it for them? Most of the employees of the unions 
are dues-paid political operatives. They are very good, the best in the 
business. I respect them.
  Volunteer registration: The Republican Party has been limited to hard 
dollars--$1,000 a person--in order to get out voter registration. The 
unions do it for the Democrats. And, by the way, there is not one word 
in McCain-Feingold to regulate that, or to require the same requisite 
on the unions that they require on the Republican Party.
  The Democratic Party can get by because the unions will do it for 
them. Even though they have the same rules as the Republican Party, the 
Republican Party does not have a group like the union movement doing 
get out the vote, voter identification, voter registration, mass 
mailings, phone banks, magazine advertisements, newspaper 
advertisements, outdoor advertising and leafleting, polling, volunteer 
recruitment and training, and a whole raft of other things, including--
  Mr. DODD. Will my colleague yield on that point? That is not our 
fault. That is your fault. Why don't you get somebody to organize the 
voter registration and GOTV?
  Mr. HATCH. Wait. The last point I was making was, and union-salaried, 
full-time political operatives.
  You can say that is our fault. Let's assume that is so. The fact is, 
we do not have anybody doing that. It is totally unregulated. That is 
the guts of the political process. If we are going to regulate, let's 
regulate everybody, not just the parties. And the parties themselves 
ought to be given greater leeway than this bill gives them.
  The only thing that McCain-Feingold regulates is the thing that the 
unions care about the least; that is, TV advertisements and radio 
  Look, I give a lot of credit to the Democrats. I give a lot of credit 
to the unions. There is no question that is why they won the last 
election in the Senate and had more people elected than Republicans. 
Because they were getting out the vote like never before. They did 
voter identification like never before. They did voter registration. 
They did mass mailings. And they did phone banks. They did TV 
advertisements, radio advertisements, magazine advertisements, 
newspaper advertisements, outdoor advertising and

[[Page 4207]]

leafleting, polling, volunteer recruitment and training, and had union-
salaried, full-time political operatives all over this country. That is 
their right.
  Why do we take all those rights away from the Republican Party? You 
can't just answer by saying that is the Republicans' fault because they 
are not paying the same homage to the unions that the Democrats do, and 
I have to say we are not, in the sense of doing everything that they 
want done, because not everything they want done is right.
  All my amendment does is require disclosure to the union members and 
corporate shareholders. I am not even asking for priority in this area. 
I am not asking for any equality with regard to all the things the 
unions do for Democrats that make them not care about the parties not 
being able to raise soft money. The unions do it all for them, and that 
is all soft money.
  Now, I had some strong words with my colleague from Massachusetts 
earlier in this debate, and they were meant in good taste and in good 
humor as well. But I feel strongly on this issue.
  This amendment will give ordinary workers the opportunity to have a 
meaningful voice in how their political contributions are used. I held 
a union card. I understand this.
  Organized labor is not a monolithic entity, but too often the 
leadership of these unions act in a monolithic fashion when it comes to 
  This amendment tries to level the playing field for both unions and 
corporations. All it requires is disclosure.
  Mr. DODD. Will my colleague yield on that point?
  Mr. HATCH. Sure.
  Mr. DODD. I want to point out, if I may, when you talk about the 
great advantage that labor has, because it does organize, it does work 
on voter registration, it does work on get out the vote----
  Mr. HATCH. It does all these things----
  Mr. DODD. If I may finish. This is not a liability and it should be 
applauded. The fact that corporations do not do that sort of a thing 
does not mean that other organizations should be condemned because they 
do encourage people to participate.
  To make one other point regarding parity, as of October 2000, 
according to the Center for Responsive Politics and the Federal 
Election Commission, the ratio of ``total'' contributions from 
corporations versus unions was 15 to 1. As of October 2000, 
corporations had contributed more than $841 million dollars, while 
unions contributed just over $36 million. As of October 2000, the ratio 
of ``hard money'' contributions from corporations versus unions was 14 
to 1. In 1998 and 1996, the ratio was 16 to 1. Between 1992 and 1998, 
corporate contributions increased nearly $220 million, while union 
contributions grew by $12.6 million. No parity in these statistics.
  These ratios and statistics are according to the Federal Election 
Commission. You talk about disparity--16 to 1--every year, I say to my 
friend from Utah. Corporations have massive amounts of money, hard and 
soft money, they are pouring into these Federal elections.
  Mr. HATCH. If I may take back the floor.
  Mr. DODD. Of course you may. It is your time, Senator.
  Mr. HATCH. Nowhere did they count these dues-paid political 
operatives. I read a report a number of years back--I think it was the 
Congressional Research Service, if my recollection serves me 
correctly--where they estimated that the unions spend about a half 
billion dollars--that is with a ``B''--a half billion dollars every 2 
years in local, State, and Federal politics. This money is spent on 
dues-paid political operative activities that never show up in these 
  Let me tell you, I am not against their right to do that. I think 
they should have a right to do that. I respect them. I will fight for 
their right to do that. The fact that it is all one-sided, even though 
40 percent of union members are Republicans, I can live with that. But 
what I cannot live with is shutting down the party, the only way we can 
compete, where the unions do all these things for Democrats but nothing 
for Republicans.
  The fact is, the Democrats will continue to count on the unions to 
get out their vote. But why do we have McCain-Feingold shutting down 
the rights of Republicans to compete to get out the vote, to have voter 
identification, voter registration, mass mailings, phone banks, TV 
advertisements, radio advertisements, magazine advertisements, 
newspaper advertisements, outdoor advertising and leafleting, polling, 
volunteer recruitment and training, and full-time political operatives?
  The fact is, this is all done for Democrats. Their party does not 
have to do it. They can live with the hard money limitation that this 
bill would impose upon them. But the Republican Party would have no 
soft money. All this is soft money on the unions' part--all working for 
Democrats, all one sided. And the Republican Party does not have the 
same opportunities. Talk about imbalance.
  Again, let's go back to what my amendment does. My amendment does not 
say: Stop that. You members of the unions are not allowed to do that. 
It does not say that at all. It does not say you can't get out the vote 
for Democrats, and does not say you can't do voter identification for 
Democrats. It does not say you can't do voter registration for 
Democrats. It does not say you can't do mass mailings or phone banks or 
TV advertisements or radio advertisements--although for those two, with 
the 60-day requirement, McCain-Feingold does do something; but it is 
unconstitutional on its face--it does not say you can't do magazine 
advertisements and newspaper advertisements and outdoor advertising and 
leafleting and polling, and volunteer recruitment and training. It does 
not say you can't have union-salaried, full-time political operatives--
the best in the business, all over the country in every State in the 
Union that counts, in every large city that counts. They can do all of 
  I am not arguing against that. All my amendment says is that they 
need to disclose to their members something that in this computer age 
they can do without--
  Mr. DODD. Will my colleague yield?
  Mr. HATCH. If I could just finish my comments, something that they 
can do in this computer age without an awful lot of difficulty, and 
something I believe the corporate world can do without an awful lot of 
difficulty is provide disclosure. Tell me what is wrong with 
disclosure. To me, that is the only thing that will make our process 
more fair, more honest, more decent. Disclosure helps everyone equally 
to know how their money is spent. I believe that everyone should be 
entitled to know what political speech they are supporting. Disclosure 
is what honesty and fairness in politics is all about. Why would anyone 
fight against disclosure?
  Fairness is all I am asking for. I am not asking to stop any of this. 
It has been admitted basically that unions do the work for the 
Democratic Party.
  Mr. DODD. Will the Senator yield?
  Mr. HATCH. They basically help the Democratic Party, and they will 
continue to have the right to.
  Mr. DODD. Should we have with all these independent 501(c)(4)s, the 
National Right to Life groups, the Christian Coalition, the National 
Rifle Association, should there be full disclosure of every member, 
including all their disbursements, contributions, and expenditures? 
Does my colleague support that?
  Mr. HATCH. You can't compare those to the unions.
  Mr. DODD. Would you agree?
  Mr. HATCH. I would like to answer. The National Rifle Association is 
made up primarily of blue-collar Democrats. In all honesty, that is why 
there hasn't been a lot of mouthing about gunslinging because Al Gore 
found in the last election that he had offended an awful lot of 
Democrats. I think that is why he lost West Virginia.
  Mr. DODD. Should we have full disclosure?
  Mr. HATCH. Not of members, but only of expenditures.
  Mr. DODD. Why not of members?
  Mr. HATCH. Because then you get into the NAACP, and we have already

[[Page 4208]]

had the Supreme Court say that is unconstitutional.
  Mr. DODD. Should we know who are making the contributions to these 
organizations that are out every day with such activities as get out 
the vote, voter registration, voter information, and mailings? You talk 
about full disclosure, why not full disclosure on these organizations?
  Mr. HATCH. The Supreme Court has ruled in cases that you cannot 
require disclosure of membership lists. I don't personally have much 
problem with disclosure of moneys that have been put into the process, 
but not the names.
  Mr. DODD. Are we going to keep that secret?
  Mr. HATCH. The main case was the NAACP where one of the Southern 
States tried to get them to disclose their membership list and the 
Court said they didn't have to do. They are a legitimate organization. 
I am not asking the unions to disclose their membership lists either, 
nor am I asking corporations to disclose their shareholder lists, 
although anybody who looks at a corporate filing can figure that out.
  If disclosure requirements applied equally to the Sierra Club, to 
NARAL, and to other groups, disclosure might not be a bad thing for all 
of them. I would not be pushing for disclosure of members in nonprofit 
foundations because the Supreme Court has already ruled on that. But 
now we are talking about real players in the political process, not 
peripheral organizations. The fact is, many members of the NRA are 
Democrats. They are just offended by some of the phony demagoging that 
has been done about guns through the years. They are tough on crime. 
That is another debate.
  With regard to the right-to-life community, I have to admit that they 
support both sides, but they support people who are pro-life, just as 
the pro-choice groups support the people who are pro-choice on both 
  Mrs. CLINTON. Will the Senator yield on this point?
  Mr. HATCH. I am happy to.
  Mrs. CLINTON. My good friend from Connecticut raised an issue that 
troubles me about this proposed amendment that the distinguished 
Senator from Utah has put forth.
  In addition to the issues that Senator Kennedy and Senator Dodd have 
raised about the vagueness and definitional concerns raised in the 
amendment, this particular issue is the real heart of the parity 
problem that many of us have with this amendment.
  It reminds me of the old Anatole France saying: The law is fair; 
neither the rich nor the poor can sleep under the bridge. What we have 
is an amendment that in its practice not only would fall 
disproportionately on unions as compared to corporations but which, 
under the rationale put forward by it, completely leaves out other 
membership groups, as the Senator from Connecticut so rightly points 
  The burdensome reporting requirements that are imposed under this 
amendment on unions in particular are really much more difficult to 
comply with than if they would be in a corporation. As I understand the 
amendment, corporations would be required to report only on 
expenditures from their own general treasuries and from the general 
treasuries of their subsidiaries. However, unions would be required to 
report on the expenditures from all of their affiliates, which would 
mean that a local union would be required to report on expenditures by 
a national union, and vice versa, even though neither of them had 
either access or control to the financial records of the other.
  This point we heard about from Senator Dodd is particularly 
important. If the point we are trying to get at with this amendment is 
to understand who is doing what with what funds to engage in political 
activity during election cycles, then clearly a lot of the other 
membership groups that raise and spend tremendous amounts of money--two 
were mentioned, the NRA, the Sierra Club, you can add the Chambers of 
Commerce, National Right to Work Foundation, other groups across the 
political spectrum----
  Mr. HATCH. Does the Senator have a question because I think I have 
the right to the floor.
  Mrs. CLINTON. My question would be: In response to the discussion 
between the Senators on this issue, how can we impose undue burdens on 
only unions as compared to corporations and completely leave out of the 
Senator's concerns all of these membership groups that raise tremendous 
amounts of money, are on the front lines of our political campaigns, 
have a direct influence on how voters vote, and yet are in no way 
covered by the Senator's amendment?
  Mr. HATCH. Let me answer the question. The fact is, we are equal with 
regard to both corporations and unions. We don't include any 
ideological groups because when you give to the Sierra Club, you know 
the causes they advocate. You have a right to give. You are not forced 
or compelled to contribute to these organizations. But when people join 
unions or are forced to join unions because of the laws that we have, 
they are forced to pay fees to unions. Most of the union members 
probably don't know what the union dues are used for, especially with 
regard to politics or things such as an effort in 1996 to legalize 
marijuana in California, for instance. The Teamsters contributed 
$195,000 to that effort in union dues to support that effort. How many 
working families want their hard-earned money to be used for marijuana 
legalization? I think that they have a right to know this kind of 
  Disclosing expenditures is constitutionally different from disclosing 
contributors to ideological groups which the Supreme Court has said we 
should not do. Disclosing expenditures does not implicate free 
association. It is important to differentiate between expenditures and 
contributors. The difference is, union members are forced to pay dues.
  Mr. DODD. If my colleague will yield, we disagree so fundamentally on 
  Mr. HATCH. Let me restate that.
  Mr. DODD. That is not true.
  Mr. HATCH. It is true in nonright-to-work States. People are forced 
to join the union and forced to pay dues. They don't have to stay in 
the union, I agree. They can quit if they give up their jobs.
  Mr. DODD. Nor are they required to contribute union dues. Under those 
29 States, that is not the case with respect to the contribution of 
union dues.
  Mr. HATCH. In right-to-work States, that is not the case.
  Mr. DODD. They get the benefits of the collective bargaining 
agreements even though they are not members per se. They all get the 
same benefits.
  Mr. HATCH. That is another argument for another day. The fact is, I 
don't think anybody in their right mind is going to say that people are 
not compelled to pay union dues in nonright-to-work States, if they 
want the job and they want to work in a union business. It is that 
simple. Nobody doubts that. I don't have any problem with that. That is 
the way the law is. But to say they can spend 100 percent of the money 
for only one party and not disclose it seems to me to be a bad process, 
especially when Democrats have suggested: Well, if you don't make the 
corporations disclose, why should you make the unions? I am saying 
let's make both of them disclose. Let's be fair so there is no 
  The imbalance is in the fact that the only two things the unions 
don't care about are TV advertisements and radio advertisements. They 
can do all these other things: Get out the vote, voter identification, 
voter registration, mass mailings, phone banks, TV advertisement, radio 
advertisements, magazine advertisements, newspaper advertisements, 
outdoor advertising, leafleting, polling, volunteer recruitment and 
training, and most of their employees are union salaried, full-time 
political operatives, all working for one party, and at the same time 
this McCain-Feingold bill limits the Republican Party, which has no 
outside organization doing this. It limits hard dollars to no more than 
$1,000 per contributor. Talk about imbalance. In other words, the two 
groups that you would hope would be fully in the political process--

[[Page 4209]]

the two political parties--are the ones that are left out, while we 
ignore all this other stuff.
  Talk about imbalance. The McCain-Feingold bill is imbalanced. What is 
even worse, in my eyes, is that the one thing they impose on unions and 
others is TV advertisements and radio advertisements within 30 to 60 
days of the primary and general elections. Think about that. That says 
they don't have the right to speak during that time which, under 
Buckley v. Valeo, shows that directly violative of the first amendment. 
Here we have the media and everybody else arguing for this.
  My amendment does one thing. It doesn't stop the unions from doing 
this. It doesn't say you are bad people, you should not do this. It 
says you need to disclose what you are doing so that all members of the 
union know what political ideologies they are supporting with their 
dues. That includes 40 percent of them who are basically Republicans 
and whose moneys are all going to elect Democrats, people who are 
basically contrary to their philosophical and political viewpoints.
  All I ask is that there be disclosure. But to even it up, since the 
Democrats have raised this time and again, I would require disclosure 
in the corporate world, too--disclose what the money is used for 
regarding politics.
  With that, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Who yields time?
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I suggest the absence of a quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order 
for the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.