Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House amended (07/10/2001)

Campaign Reform and Citizen Participation Act of 2001 - Title I: Soft Money of National Parties - Amends the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA) to prohibit: (1) national political party committees (including national political party congressional campaign committees) from soliciting, receiving, or directing to another person a contribution, donation, or transfer of funds or any other thing of value for Federal election activity, or spend any funds for Federal election activity, that are not subject to FECA limitations, prohibitions, and reporting requirements (soft money); and (2) any person from making to a national party political committee more than $75,000 in contributions, donations, or transfers of funds per year, for any purpose (non-federal election activities), which are not subject to FECA limitations and prohibitions. Applies such restrictions to any political committee established and maintained by a national political party, any officer or agent of such a committee acting on behalf of the committee, and any entity that is directly or indirectly established, maintained, or controlled by such a national committee.

(Sec. 101) Defines Federal election activity to include: (1) voter registration activity 120 days before a Federal election, unless for generic campaign activity; (2) voter identification or get-out-the-vote activity in an election in which a Federal candidate appears on the ballot (regardless of whether a candidate for State or local office also appears on the ballot), unless for generic campaign activity; (3) any public communication that refers to or depicts a clearly identified Federal candidate (regardless of whether a candidate for State or local office is also mentioned or identified) and that promotes, supports, attacks, or opposes a candidate for that office (regardless of whether it expressly advocates a vote for or against a candidate); or (4) any public communication made by broadcast, cable, or satellite. Exempts any activity relating to establishment, administration, or solicitation costs of a national party political committee if the funds used to carry out the activity are derived from funds payments made to the committee which are segregated and used exclusively to defray the costs of such activities.

Defines generic campaign activity as any activity that does not mention, depict, or otherwise promote a clearly identified Federal candidate.

Title II: Modification of Contribution Limits - Amends FECA to increase: (1) from $20,000 to $30,000 the annual limit on contributions by individuals to national political party committees; (2) from $15,000 to $30,000 the annual limit on contributions by multicandidate political committees (PACs) to national party political committees which are not the authorized political committees of any candidate; and (3) from $25,000 to $37,500 the aggregate annual limit on contributions by individuals to Federal candidates, PACs, and parties.

(Sec. 202) Increases from $5,000 to $10,000 the aggregate annual limit on contributions by persons and PACs to a political committee established and maintained by a State political party committee.

(Sec. 203) Exempts contributions by individuals to any national party political committee which is not the authorized political committee of any candidate from counting toward the annual aggregate limit on an individual's Federal election contributions.

(Sec. 204) Exempts the costs of volunteer campaign materials produced and distributed by any political party committee from treatment as contributions and expenditures.

(Sec. 205) Provides for indexing for inflation of all contribution limits beginning in 2003.

Title III: Disclosure of Election-Related Communications - Amends FECA reports requirements, as amended by the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Act, 2001, to prescribe disclosure requirements for any person who makes a disbursement for any communication publicly disseminated via any broadcast, cable, or satellite communication within 120 days of a Federal election that mentions a clearly identified Federal candidate for such election by name, image, or likeness. Requires filing a disclosure statement with the FEC within 24 hours after making the disbursement. Exempts from such requirement any communications that appear in news broadcasts unless the broadcasting facilities are owned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidate, or the communication constitutes an expenditure under FECA. Provides that a person shall not be considered to have made a disbursement for a communication if the person made the disbursement solely as a vendor acting pursuant to a contractual agreement with the person responsible for sponsoring the communication.

(Sec. 302) Requires any person who makes a disbursement for targeted mass communications in an aggregate amount over $50,000 annually to file a disclosure statement with the FEC within 24 hours of each disclosure date.

Defines a targeted mass communication as any communication disseminated within 120 days of a Federal election that refers to or depicts a clearly identified Federal candidate for such election by name, image, or likeness, and is targeted to the relevant electorate. Excludes from the meaning of targeted mass communication: (1) specified expenditures; (2) broadcast, cable, or satellite communications; and (3) certain communications by membership (including labor) organizations or corporations solely to its members, stockholders, or executive or administrative personnel, if the organization or corporation is not organized primarily for the purpose of influencing Federal elections.

Considers a broadcast communication to be targeted if the broadcaster's audience includes a substantial number of residents of the district the candidate seeks to represent in the case of a candidate for the House of Representatives or a substantial number of residents of the State the candidate seeks to represent in the case of a candidate for the Senate. Prescribes criteria for deeming other types of communications as targeted.

Title IV: Effective Date - Sets forth the effective date of this Act.