Richard Nixon photo

Statement on Signing the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.

February 07, 1972

WHEN I vetoed the bill to limit expenditures on political broadcasting in October of 1970, I pointed out that the goal of controlling campaign expenditures was a highly laudable one. The chief problem with the bill then before me was that it did not limit overall costs but applied only to radio and television. As I put it then, it plugged "only one hole in a sieve."

Since that time, the House and Senate have worked to design a better bill. I believe they have succeeded in that endeavor. S. 382, the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, limits the amount candidates for Federal elective offices may spend on advertising, not just on radio and television, but through all communications media. It limits contributions by candidates and their families to their own campaigns. It provides for full reporting of both the sources and the uses of campaign funds, both after elections and during campaigns. By giving the American public full access to the facts of political financing, this legislation will guard against campaign abuses and will work to build public confidence in the integrity of the electoral process.

The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 is a realistic and enforceable bill, an important step forward in an area which has been of great public concern. Because I share that concern, I am pleased to give my approval to this bill.

Note: As enacted, S. 382 is Public Law 90-225 (86 Stat. 3).

On the same day, the White House released an announcement summarizing the provisions of the act.

Richard Nixon, Statement on Signing the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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