Legislation proposed to end taxpayer funding of campaigns, conventions

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) has proposed legislation that would end taxpayer funding of presidential campaigns and party conventions:

The House Rules Committee next week will hold a meeting to consider H.R. 359, which would end taxpayer funding for presidential campaigns and party conventions.

The Committee announced tonight that it would take up this bill on Tuesday at 10 a.m. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), and Republicans estimate it would save $520 million over ten years.

According to information on House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the bill would require all presidential candidates to “rely on private donations rather than tax dollars” through the Presidential Election Campaign Fund. The proposal is featured as part of Cantor’s “You Cut” project that allows people to suggest and vote on ways to trim federal spending.

I can’t find any specific source, like a watchdog group, that gives the total taxpayers spent on party conventions in 2008. This CNN article says it was $34 million two years ago. Barack Obama declined public funding of his campaign, which would have been upwards of $80 million. John McCain accepted the funding.

Another positive step toward cutting spending.

Here is the text of Cole’s bill:

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