WASHINGTON (AP) - Supporters of campaign finance legislation moved closer to forcing a House vote on the measure, assuring it will be a central issue when Congress returns next month after its mid-session break.
Reps. Marty Meehan, D-Mass., and Christopher Shays, R-Conn., said they had picked up four more signatures on a petition drive to force House Republican leaders, who generally oppose their bill, to bring it to the floor for a vote. They now have 214 signatures, just four short of the 218 that would be a majority in the House.
Shays and Meehan were close to reaching that goal in early September when the terrorist attacks drastically changed the legislative agenda of Congress.
Last April, led by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Russ Feingold, D-Wis., the Senate passed a bill that, like Shays-Meehan, would ban soft money and restrict certain types of political ads during the final 60 days of a general election campaign.
But the bill was pulled from the House floor last July after supporters of the measure, on a 228-203 vote, helped defeat GOP ground rules for debate they said were unfair to their bill.
House leaders said they had no intention of bringing the issue up again, but under what is called a discharge petition a majority of the 435-member House can force action on a bill.
``Campaign finance reform is a must-do item from our viewpoint,'' House Democratic leader Dick Gephardt of Missouri said Thursday. ``We're right on the cusp of being able to get that bill up early next year. And I will work endlessly and as hard as I know how with Democrats and Republicans to get that bill passed.''
The additions to the signature lists were Democrats Alcee Hastings of Florida, Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas and Peter Visclosky of Indiana, and Republican Greg Ganske of Iowa.
18 Republicans, 195 Democrats and one independent have signed the petition.
Note From Webmaster: Looks like we now know who is really for campaign finance reform and who is not. If only 18 republicans out of 214 in the house vote for it then you know they are truly against campaign finance reform and should be voted out of office for violating the trust of the american people.