Reps. Pappas and Tauscher
February 19, 1997
in this forum:
How should Congress deal with entitlements? How do you tell a vital project from "pork"? Is the DNC financing scandal worse than those in the past or are they just getting noticed? Are term limits the way to go? REP. PAPPAS: Will the recent DNC scandal change the way fundraising is done? REP. TAUSCHER: What is the government's role in developing the nation's information infrastructure? REP. PAPPAS: How did you vote on term limits, population control, and a balanced budget amendment?
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A question from Matt Phillips of New Brunswick, NJ:
The scandal surrounding the White House and their money raising seems to grow everyday. Do you think these abuses were worse than those in the past or are they just getting noticed?
Also, since these scandals all focus around one thing (money), what is you position on Presidential and Congressional campaign finance reform (and please be specific)?
Rep. Mike Pappas responds:
After having only completed my last campaign a few months ago, I am quite conscious of the amount of money that is needed is needed in a campaign. Considering our current budgetary constraints, I am strongly opposed to government financing of campaigns. I hardly believe that the American taxpayer should be forced to finance negative campaign attack ads. I believe that further efforts to improve the disclosure of contributions and expenses will go a long way in cleaning up the campaign process.
I am deeply concerned with the Clinton Administration's handling of campaign finances. Our foreign policy and national security interests should not be for sale. As a member of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, I will attempt to gain a greater understanding of the relationship that existed between the Democratic National Committee and staff of the White House to raise campaign funds.
Rep. Ellen Tauscher responds:
I believe it is legitimate and appropriate to investigate not only White House abuses but also those by Members of the House and Senate, and the Democrat and Republican Campaign Committees. The amount of soft money raised and spent by the parties last year is testament to the need for substantive campaign finance reform. As a new Member of Congress who just endured one of the most expensive campaigns in the country to dislodge a long-term incumbent from the area, I know full well how spending needs to be controlled. I have recently been appointed, along with five other freshman Democratic colleagues, to the bipartisan Freshman Campaign Finance Reform Task Force to examine proposals to level the playing field for challengers and reduce the amount of money spent on campaigns. We are joined by six new Republican Members and, at this point, we as a group and individually have decided to withhold endorsement of any specific proposal on this issue so as not to bias our deliberations.