Sen. Cruz, Rep. Meadows Introduce SuperPAC Elimination Act of 2017 to Champion Free Speech in Elections
Legislation encourages freedom and transparency in campaign contributions
November 30, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) today introduced the SuperPAC Elimination Act of 2017, which champions free speech in the election process and effectively eliminates SuperPACs by allowing unlimited individual contributions to candidates with immediate disclosure. In anticipation of the upcoming 2017 legislative session, the bill lays the foundation for meaningful reforms that better protect the interests of Americans, and will serve as a model for how we should approach championing free speech in campaign finance. The SuperPAC Elimination Act of 2017 will also be reintroduced upon the commencement of the next legislative session.
“Another election cycle has come and gone without addressing a glaring issue that remains significant: free speech and transparency in campaign finance,” Sen. Cruz said. “Our current campaign finance system is absurd. Right now, a large percentage—sometimes a majority—of campaign expenditures are made by independent third-party SuperPACs that are prohibited from communicating with candidates. That makes no sense. Candidates should define their own messages, and citizens should be free to support whatever candidates they choose to support. Restrictions to political contributions are always presented under the guise of preventing corruption and holding politicians accountable, when in fact they accomplish exactly the opposite: protecting incumbent politicians. This bill will put Americans on a level playing field with the media and politicians when it comes to influencing elections and exercising our First Amendment rights. Establishing unlimited contributions paired with immediate disclosure is the best way to promote transparency, eliminate the viability of SuperPACs going forward, and ensure that free speech is protected in the electoral process. I’m proud to work alongside Rep. Meadows to shed light on the political arena and advance this important legislation.”
“I am pleased to join my friend Sen. Cruz in a fight that I believe is critical for all Americans – the fight to ensure that individual citizens have an adequate say in our political process,” Rep. Meadows said. “Too often, our government uses campaign finance laws as a backdoor to increasing their own electoral influence while weakening that of the average American on Main Street. This is a bill that will take comprehensive steps to promote engagement, accountability, and transparency in our campaign finance system while putting every day Americans on a level playing field with bureaucrats in Washington. I look forward to working with Sen. Cruz and my colleagues in the House to advance this bill and to reaffirming the critical principle of free speech within our political system.”
Specifically, the SuperPAC Elimination Act removes the caps on direct contributions to candidates from individuals and requires donations of more than $200 to be disclosed within 24 hours. The bill will protect freedom of speech in America’s electoral process, while providing much-needed transparency in campaign finance.
Sen. Cruz first introduced the SuperPAC Elimination Act in 2014.