Washington, D.C. – Last week, Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-9) and Congressman Walter Jones (NC-3) launched the bipartisan Congressional Campaign Finance Reform Caucus to address the undue influence of money on our political process.
“I’m excited to launch the Campaign Finance Reform Caucus with my colleague, Congressman Jones,” said McNerney. “Since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, too much campaign spending comes from undisclosed and unregulated sources. We need reform that brings transparency to the campaign finance system and restores the voice of the voters. Our democracy depends on it,” McNerney said. “By bringing together members from both sides of the aisle, the Caucus can address these inequities and advocate for changes to the current system.”
The Center for Responsive Politics reports that total federal election spending in 2012 was more than $6.2 billion, doubling money spent on the 2000 campaign. A joint report issued by the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute found that, adjusted for inflation, House candidates spend more than 300 percent as much getting elected as they did nearly 30 years ago – an average of $1.6 million dollars every two years.
“I am greatly troubled by the undue influence that fat-cat lobbyists and special interests have in Washington, DC. Now, more than ever, secretive special interest money plays an enormous role in our electoral process and in governing. Beginning in my days in the North Carolina General Assembly, I have long advocated for returning power to the people and getting big money out of politics. Launching this Campaign Finance Reform Caucus is another step in that direction,” said Congressman Jones.
At its inaugural meeting on Thursday, Reps. McNerney and Jones were joined by other Caucus members and were briefed by academic and legal scholars on the history of campaign finance policy and its effects on politics today. The Caucus will hold regular meetings to educate members of Congress and staff about these policies and advocate for relevant policy proposals.
The Caucus is open to all members of Congress and will provide a forum to discuss and advance solutions to reform the way campaigns are financed in this country.
Rep. Jerry McNerney serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District which includes portions of San Joaquin, Sacramento Counties and most of Eastern Contra Costa County. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.