Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 10, 2015

McConnell Doubts Individual Campaign Finance Limits Will Go Away (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, an outspoken foe of many campaign finance restrictions, said Tuesday that he didn’t think limits on individual contributions to candidates will disappear any time soon.

“I think that’s not likely to happen,” the Kentucky Republican said when asked at a news conference about the possibility of the restrictions on individual contributions being thrown out.

Last week, Rules and Administration Chairman Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said on campaign finance that, “the direction that the court is heading in is just dramatic and just dark.”

But McConnell, who led the fight against the 2002 campaign finance law known as McCain-Feingold and has taken an expansive view of political contributions as being protected by the First Amendment, doesn’t think the $5,200 limit to candidates and candidate committees (counting primary and general elections) will be eliminated on Constitutional grounds.

“We’re very comfortable and have been for many years with contribution limits on gifts to parties and to candidates. As you indicated, Justice (Clarence) Thomas believes that all such limitations are unconstitutional,” McConnell said, referring to Associate Justice Clarence Thomas’ opinion issued in the McCutcheon vs. FEC case, which went further than the controlling opinion written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

“There are some states which allow — Virginia, right across the river, allows unlimited contributions … with full disclosure and rather immediate disclosure,” McConnell said. “My own view is that at this stage people seem to be comfortable with the … limits on individual contributions to party committees and to candidates.”

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