Loopholes Grow in Bill


Loopholes Grow in Bill to Offset Ruling on Campaigns

Published: June 17, 2010

WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats are pushing hard for legislation to rein in the power of special interests by requiring more disclosure of their roles in paying for campaign advertising — but as they struggle to find the votes they need to pass it they are carving out loopholes for, yes, special interests.

In a deal that left even architects of the legislation squirming with unease, authors of a bill intended to counter a Supreme Court ruling allowing corporations and unions to pour money directly into campaign commercials provided an exception this week for the National Rifle Association, one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Washington.

The resulting uproar over special treatment for the pro-gun group led Democrats on Thursday to expand the exception to cover even more interest groups as they tried to secure votes for the measure, which is opposed by most Republicans. But with other powerful groups also weighing in and no assurance that Democrats had the votes they need, House leaders decided late Thursday to put off a planned Friday vote on the campaign bill, increasing doubts about whether Congress can enact it in time for this year’s elections.

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