Bill Would Fund Elections With Spectrum Proceeds

Publish date:
Updated on

A bill that would use proceeds from spectrum auctions to help finance the political campaigns of House members has been introduced, and one powerful Republican is trying to make sure it gets a full vetting.
House Energy & Commerce Committee ranking member Joe Barton (R-Tex.) has called on committee chairman Henry Waxman to hold a hearing on the bill, HR 6116, before it gets any consideration on the House floor. The bill was referred to the committee
The Fair Elections Now Act would provide government matches for contributions by small-dollar contributor. Fair Elections Fund that would be fueled by, among other things, money collected from spectrum auctions.
The FCC already has its eye on some of that money to help compensate broadcatsers for reclaiming their spectrum for wireless and helping fund an interoperable emergency communications network.
In a letter to Waxman Wednesday, Barton said that he wanted to make sure the committee exercised its jurisdication over the bill, which was introduced by Re. John Larson (D-Conn.), who is not a member of the committee.
"Over the last two decades, spectrum auctions have raised billions of dollars for the American people," Barton wrote to Waxman. "They have been a source of substantial defecit reduction and have helped fund important telecommunications initiatives for the good of all Americans. HR 6116 would now use those auction funds to bail out failing congressional candidates."