The Enron scandal has reignited pressure on Congress to enact campaign finance reform, and the House will likely bring the Shays-Meehan legislation to the floor within the next several weeks, possibly as early as February 11th. Brookings will convene a panel of experts to give a full briefing on the House debate and votes, bolstered by the important realities brought to light in the forthcoming Brookings book, Financing the 2000 Election.
Led by Thomas Mann, a panel of experts on campaign finance will discuss the political and legal underpinnings of the debate—from the rule under which the legislation will be considered to the key substitutes and amendments to the bill itself. They will examine the strategies likely to be employed by its proponents and opponents as well as when a new law would likely go into effect. They will assess the impact of Enron’s collapse, and consider the next steps for the Senate and President Bush.
David Magleby, editor of Financing the 2000 Election, will then draw on the expertise of the book’s contributors to comment on the findings gathered from the most recent presidential, congressional, state, local, and judicial races. The discussion will examine the implications of comparative congressional campaign expenditures from 1972 to 2000, soft money and its influence on federal and judicial elections, and the likely impact of a soft money ban on the parties. They will discuss issue advocacy as it could be shaped by various provisions in the Shays-Meehan legislation.