State of Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments and Issues for Congress [June 23, 2014] [open pdf - 438KB]
"Major changes have occurred in campaign finance policy since 2002, when Congress substantially amended campaign finance law via the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA). The Supreme Court's 2010 ruling in 'Citizens United' and a related lower-court decision, ''SpeechNow.org v. FEC [Federal Election Commission],' arguably represent the most fundamental changes to campaign finance law in decades. Citizens United lifted a previous ban on corporate (and union) independent expenditures advocating election or defeat of candidates. 'SpeechNow' permitted unlimited contributions to such expenditures and facilitated the advent of super PACs [Political Action Committees]. Although campaign finance policy remains the subject of intense debate and public interest, there have been few legislative or regulatory changes to respond to the 2010 court rulings. This report considers these and other developments in campaign finance policy and comments on areas of potential conflict and consensus. In another recent major change, the Supreme Court invalidated aggregate contribution limits in April 2014 ('McCutcheon v. FEC'). […] This version of the report includes updated material that emphasizes the issues most prominently before the 113th Congress. It also discusses foundational information about major elements of campaign finance policy. Some issues discussed in previous versions of the report, which appear to be less timely than they were in the past, have been excluded from this version. This report will be updated occasionally to reflect major developments."
CRS Report for Congress, R41542
Federation of American Scientists: http://fas.org/