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Letter to Members of Congress on Campaign Finance Reform Legislation

September 13, 1999

Dear __________:

This week, the House of Representatives will have an historic opportunity to strengthen our democracy when it considers legislation to reform our campaign finance system. I write to you today to urge the passage of the bipartisan campaign finance reform bill offered by Representatives Christopher Shays and Martin Meehan.

The Shays-Meehan legislation represents real, comprehensive reform. It would ban the raising of unregulated "soft money" by both parties, address backdoor campaign spending by outside organizations, and strengthen public disclosure. It would revitalize the political process by curbing the role of special interests, giving voters a louder voice, and treating incumbents and challengers of both parties fairly.

For nearly four years I have challenged Congress to pass the Shays-Meehan bill. As you know, it was approved by the House last year, only to be blocked by a minority of the Senate. Today, I ask Members of the House to pass it—without unnecessary amendments that would undermine its intent and reach.

We have had enough talk about reform; the House of Representatives now has a rare and fleeting opportunity to act. The American people know the system needs to be fixed—but many have come to doubt Congress's will to fix it. I urge you to make this the year that Congress proves the cynics wrong, and passes bipartisan, comprehensive campaign finance reform. Sincerely,


NOTE: Letters were sent to every Member of the House of Representatives.

William J. Clinton, Letter to Members of Congress on Campaign Finance Reform Legislation Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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