Blasting Senate Republican Leadership on Campaign Finance Vote, Hailing Three Republicans for Joining Reform Process

Oct. 19, 1999

Statement of Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook Blasting Senate Republican Leadership on Campaign Finance Vote, Hailing Three Republicans for Joining Reform Process

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Reacting to the Senate Republican leadership?s decision to abruptly terminate the debate on the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill, Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook said, “Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and Senator Mitch McConnell can?t wait to get their unpopular defense of big money in politics off the TV screen. Today?s cloture votes showed that ten Republican senators — three more than last year — have now joined all 45 Democrats in support of a ban on soft money.”

The three new Republican senators who voted for the Reid (D-Nev.) amendment to invoke cloture on the McCain-Feingold bill and end the Republican filibuster were: Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Tim Hutchinson (R-Ark.) and William Roth (R-Del.).

During the debate, McConnell, the chief Senate Republican fund-raiser and key opponent of campaign finance reform, discouraged his colleagues from offering amendments that might eventually have produced a bill with broader support.

“The American people are fed up with political game-playing on soft money and will not accept excuses for failing to eliminate it,” Claybrook said.

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