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Shays-Meehan "campaign finance reform"
restrictions on free speech about politicians
08/03/1998
House Roll Call No. 379
105th Congress, 2nd Session

Agreed to: 237-186 (see complete tally)
In August, 1998, the House approved a so-called "campaign finance reform" bill, sponsored by pro-abortion Reps. Chris Shays (R-Ct.) and Martin Meehan (D-Mass.), that would have placed sweeping restrictions on free speech about federal politicians. The Shays-Meehan bill (very similar to the McCain-Feingold bill in the Senate) contained numerous restrictions on the right of citizen groups, such as NRLC and NRLC affiliates, to communicate with the public regarding the
votes and positions of those who hold or seek federal office -- and even regarding upcoming votes in Congress. For example, one provision would have made it unlawful for any group (other than a federal political action committee, or PAC) to even mention the
name of a member of Congress or candidate for Congress, in a broadcast communication to the public, for 60 days before a primary or general election. Other provisions would have placed groups at legal risk every time they express approval or disapproval of a politician's position in a manner that could
be interpreted as "support for" or "opposition to" that politician. On this roll call, the House gave initial approval to the Shays-Meehan measure, 237-186, by adopting it in preference to a less-sweeping alternative (House roll call no. 379, August 3, 1998).


Vote Map: House Roll Call No. 379
Votes For : 237
Votes Against : 186
Not Voting : 12

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