News. Debate. Community. Levers for a better democracy.

Add Freedom Caucus Chair to Those Who'd Ban Super PACs

The chairman of the Freedom Caucus, the most combative clutch of conservatives in the House, says so-called super PACs should be outlawed.

North Carolina Republican Mark Meadows says he was rebuffed when seeking permission to offer such an amendment to HR 1, the sweeping election and ethics overhaul bill the majority Democrats muscled to House passage (with no GOP votes) last week.

"Super PAC" is the nickname for an independent political action committee that may raise unlimited sums from corporations, unions and people but has to spend the money without any coordination with political parties or candidates.

"Super PACs remain the dark-money tool of choice for the political establishments of both parties, but Meadows's move is a reflection of a growing consensus on both the far right and the far left that there is something wrong with the way that campaigns are financed today," the Intercept said in reporting Meadows' position. "From a practical perspective, rank-and-file lawmakers see super PACs as unpredictable threats to their incumbency, and they are also deeply unpopular among the general public."

Meadows and GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas have in the past proposed ending super PACs and instead lifting the current $2,800 limit on donations to the candidates' primary and general campaigns (for a total of $5,600 per cycle). While HR 1 would not do away with super PACs, it would further limit their ability to coordinate with campaigns and require more disclosures of major donors to political organizations of all kinds.

Sign up for The Fulcrum newsletter

© Issue One. All rights reserved.