Two House Democrats introduced legislation last month to ban for-profit corporations from sponsoring political action committees (PACs).
Reps. Max Rose (D-NY) and Josh Harder (D-CA) said the legislation is needed to end the influence of corporate special interests. The bill does not address association PACs but would mandate that existing corporate PACs be dissolved one year after enactment. Rose and Harder said that corporate PACs gave more than $400 million to federal campaigns in the 2018 election cycle, more than any other type of PAC.
“Corporate PACs flood this city with contributions, but it’s not the American people’s priorities they have in mind – it’s their own bottom lines,” Rose said. “That’s wrong and at the root of Washington corruption. That’s why we must send a clear, unmistakable message to the American people that we are here to fight for them and only them – not the special interests and corporate PACs.”
Nearly all of the Democratic candidates running for president in 2020 have pledged not to accept corporate PAC money and many Democrats running for House and Senate seats have as well. Rose and Harder see their bill as the next needed step after the House passed a sweeping anti-corruption, campaign finance bill (H.R. 1) back in March. H.R. 1 is a compendium of ideas that Democrats have championed in recent years to promote transparency in campaign financing, strengthen government ethics and eliminate barriers to voting. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has criticized H.R. 1 as a “solution in search of a problem” and has not allowed it consideration on the Senate floor.