Legislation & policy analysis

Issue One commends minibus conferees for including provision to create e-filing system for Senate candidates as part of the FY19 Legislative Branch appropriations bill

Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee and House Appropriations Committee announced an agreement on H.R. 5895, the minibus appropriations package for fiscal year 2019 comprised of the Energy and Water Development; Military Construction and Veterans Affairs; and Legislative Branch Appropriations Acts.

Issue One urges the House and Senate to act swiftly to approve this legislation in the wake of the news that this minibus appropriations package includes a bipartisan provision — supported by more than half of all sitting senators — that would require Senate candidates to join all other federal candidates in electronically filing their campaign finance reports.

“We applaud the minibus conferees for including this much-needed reform in this appropriations bill,” said Issue One Executive Director Meredith McGehee. “This provision is the right mix of smart policy and good politics. The House and Senate should act quickly to adopt this commonsense, bipartisan reform that will increase government transparency and save taxpayers money. ”

For more than a year, Issue One, along with a broad coalition of organizations from across the ideological spectrum, has repeatedly called on the Senate to embrace e-filing.

As the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Legislative Branch subcommittee, Republican Senator Steve Daines of Montana — a co-sponsor of the e-file bill introduced last year by Democratic Senator Jon Tester of Montana — worked to include the e-filing provision in the FY19 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill and in the minibus package. Daines has said, “This provision enhances government transparency, reduces unnecessary bureaucratic red tape, and would save taxpayer dollars by having candidates directly file to the Federal Election Commission.”

Now that the House-passed and Senate-passed versions of this minibus appropriations bill have been reconciled by the conference committee, each chamber must again vote to approve the new version of this legislation. Upon passage, the bill would go to President Donald Trump to be signed into law.