Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had been seeking to add a rider to the continuing resolution bill that would allow both presidential and congressional candidates the flexibility to coordinate their spending with political parties. In McConnell’s view, it is a common sense measure that allows the cash donations to be spent in the most effective manner. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has vowed that the measure would not become part of the continuing resolution bill by any means.
Senate Democrats and political front groups on the left were thrilled at Reid’s willingness to prevent campaign finance changes from the budget bill. While McConnell’s measure may not have made it into the $1.1 trillion compromise bill reached Tuesday evening, the budget does contain a major change in campaign finance law. The current cap of $32,400 on donations to political parties has now been modified. Under the compromise bill, donors will also be allowed to contribute up to $97,200 or 3X the prior cap to committees within a political party . Those donations can be done for a maximum of three committees. This allows a single donor to give as much as $324,000 ($32,400 + $97,200*3) annually to a political party. A recent Facebook post by Bernardo Chua on one of the pages that I am a fan of said that funds will be used to help the parties fund building, legal proceedings, and fund conventions. Over the coming days, it will become clearer just how much compromise was made and which party exacted the best deal in the negotiations.