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Senate Votes to Increase Campaign Contributor DisclosureAired March 27, 2001 - 12:52 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: So, we are watching the campaign finance reform debate in the Senate. Senators have been voting on another amendment in the Chuck Hagel alternative plan to McCain- Feingold campaign finance style.
Let's check in with Jonathan Karl, who can tell us what's just happened -- Jonathan.
JONATHAN KARL, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Natalie, an overwhelming victory for the least controversial aspect of Chuck Hagel's alternative to the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill, the Senate voting 98-2 to keep this amendment, to vote in favor of having greater disclosure.
All this means, Natalie, is that when political candidates get donations now, they will have to disclose within 24 hours who was giving them money. It's something, as you can see by the 98 to vote, that almost all of the U.S. Senate is in favor of.
But now we get to the much heavier lifting, the most controversial aspect of Chuck Hagel's bill, and that is the question of soft money. As you know, soft money is that money that's given to political parties and is not bound by any limit. You can give a million dollars if you want. John McCain and Russ Feingold want to ban soft money.
What the Senate will now vote on is Chuck Hagel's alternative to that, which is limiting soft money to $60,000 a year, and that $60,000 can come from individuals, it can come from unions and it can come from corporations.
McCain and Feingold and other advocates of their bill think this is a very bad alternative. They think this is not reform at all, it's reform in name only. Chuck Hagel thinks it's a reasonable compromise. Nobody knows for sure how the vote will come down on this. And as I mentioned earlier, Dick Cheney, the vice president, is here on Capitol Hill and he is here in case there is a 50-50 vote. He will be on hand and able to break that tie.
And again, nobody really knows because there are several Democrats who are in favor of McCain-Feingold, but are nervous about its impact upon their party. So we will see how this vote comes down. That'll be the next vote. It should be happening shortly on the Senate floor. ALLEN: All right, we'll be watching it and we'll report the outcome. Jonathan Karl, thanks.
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