Regulation of so-called "grassroots lobbying" groups

Senate Roll Call No. 17
110th Congress, 1st Session

Agreed to: 55-43 (see complete tally)

This roll call occurred on an amendment offered by pro-life Senator Robert Bennett (R-Utah) to S. 1, an "ethics reform" bill.  The bill contained a provision, Section 220, to require registration and reporting by certain activists and groups who spend money to encourage members of the general public to communicate with members of Congress or other federal officials about legislative and policy matters, which Section 220 called "grassroots lobbying."  Violations to these proposed new requirements would have been punishable by fines of up to $200,000 and prison terms of up to 10 years in certain circumstances.  The Bennett Amendment, which struck the entire Section 220 from S. 1, was strongly supported by NRLC and by many other issue-oriented groups, which warned that Section 220 infringed on rights protected by the First Amendment, and would inhibit groups from providing timely motivating information to members of the public about matters under consideration in Congress.  The Bennett Amendment was adopted, 55 to 43.  The amendment was supported by 48 Republicans and seven Democrats; it was opposed by 43 Democrats.  Roll call no. 17, January 18, 2007.  [To read NRLC's letter to the Senate in support of the Bennett Amendment, click here.]

Vote Map: Senate Roll Call No. 17
Votes For : 55
Votes Against : 43
Not Voting : 2

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