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house Bill H.R. 1827

Should Public Funds for Presidential Elections Be Repurposed for Students and Teachers?

Argument in favor

Taxpayer money should be used to invest in ordinary citizens’ futures, not to fund politicians’ campaigns. Presidential candidates are already trending away from using PECF funds, anyway, so it makes sense to end the program and spend that money on training educators.

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05/05/2019
All the money in their election funds should be forfeited when they lose or retire. If they want to try again they can start from zero, it’s a good way to see if they’re still relevant. Send the money to any worthy causes.
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Glowurm's Opinion
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05/06/2019
Wonderful idea! As long as the money only goes to public schools. Private schools get plenty already.
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Dawn 's Opinion
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05/06/2019
The funds should go to schools/students in need. I’m sorry, teachers should be paying for their own training, continued education. I’m an RN, I have to maintain my own education, training, so do the CNPA’s, and physicians. Take care of the kids.
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Argument opposed

Public funding for elections acts as a counterweight against big money’s influence in elections and levels the playing field between presidential candidates, especially for candidates outside the two major political parties.

burrkitty's Opinion
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05/06/2019
How about we stop taking private funding for elections altogether and ONLY have public funding. END DARK MONEY POLITICS! Stop selling our democracy to the corporations, superpacs, special interest groups, and the mega wealthy! Work for WE THE PEOPLE!
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CaptJack's Opinion
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05/06/2019
This sounds good at first but people are ignoring the purpose of publicly funded elections. Public funding is meant to be available to candidates as an alternative to major donors. The system needed improvements but not a complete removal. This bill increases the power of corporations and major donors in the political system by disguising it as a way to improve education.
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Jeanne's Opinion
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05/06/2019
Another disaster of a bill. All funding for elections needs to be public and all candidates get the same amount. All private and corporate donations need to be prohibited.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedMarch 18th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 1827?

This bill — the Students and Teachers Over Politicians (STOP) Act — would terminate public funding of presidential election campaigns and transfer the remaining funds in the Presidential Election Campaign Fund (PECF) to students and teachers under Title II of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which funds grants aimed at preparing and training teachers and school administrators.

Specifically, of the funds remaining in the PECF, $37,802,400 would be transferred to the 10-Year Pediatric Research Initiative Fund and the remainder would be transferred to the Secretary of Education to carry out Title II ESEA activities.

Impact

Education; students; teachers; schools; ESEA; PECF; 10-Year Pediatric Research Initiative Fund; and the Secretary of Education.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1827

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) introduced this bill to terminate public funding of presidential election campaigns and transfer the President Election Campaign Fund’s (PECF) remaining money to students and teachers:

“Recently, House Democrats passed H.R. 1, a mammoth bill dramatically expanding the public financing of elections. Taxpayer funds should not be used to line the pockets of politicians, but instead to invest in our future. My bill will give $372.4 million to teachers who spend each day educating America’s children. I think everyone can agree that teachers need this money, not Washington politicians.”

Rep. Lesko criticized H.R. 1, the For the People Act, after it passed the House on a party-line vote:

“H.R. 1 is a radical bill that lines the pockets of politicians with taxpayer dollars by giving them a 6:1 match on campaign contributions. Can you imagine how many more nasty campaign TV commercials, signs, and robocalls you’d be seeing if this bill became law? H.R. 1 totally encroaches on states’ rights.  We don't need the federal government telling our state and local county election officials how to do the job they are already doing.”

Former Federal Election Commission (FEC) Chairman Michael Toner told Bloomberg Business that no serious presidential aspirant takes public financing seriously anymore. He argues, “Taking matching funds has really been seen as the scarlet letter. It says you’re not viable and you’re not going to be nominated by your party.”


Of NoteThe Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is America’s oldest and largest federally-funded education program. Passed as part of the Lyndon B. Johnson administration’s War on Poverty campaign, its main purpose is to help underprivileged children meet challenging state academic standards. Title II of the ESEA deals specifically with preparing, training, and recruiting high-quality teachers, principals, and other school leaders.

The Presidential Election Campaign Fund (PECF) was established in the wake of the Watergate scandal. It uses tax dollars to: 1) match the first $250 of each contribution from individuals that an eligible presidential candidate receives during the primary campaign and 2) fund the major party nominees’ general election campaigns and assist eligible minor party nominees. The PECF is funded by taxpayer money from a $3 tax checkoff on the 1040 federal income tax form, which asks taxpayers whether they’d like to designate $3 of their taxes paid to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund (somewhere between four to 12 percent of taxpayers check “yes”). When taxpayers check “yes,” three of their tax dollars are placed in the Fund. Checking “yes” doesn’t increase a taxpayer’s tax bill or decrease their refund.

Politicians’ use of PCEF funds has decreased dramatically in the 21st century, as they can raise more money through fundraising than they can receive from the PCEF. In 2008, both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton rejected public funding during the Democratic primary. During the 2008 general election, Republican nominee John McCain took public funds, but Obama passed there, as well. In 2012, both Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney refused to take public money in both the primary and general elections. In 2012, Obama and the Democratic Party raised over $1 billion, and Romney and the Republicans raised $993 million. By contrast, the PCEF would’ve paid out $91.2 million to each candidate.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Mukhina1)

AKA

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase funding for certain educational activities by terminating taxpayer financing of Presidential election campaigns, and for other purposes.

Official Title

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase funding for certain educational activities by terminating taxpayer financing of Presidential election campaigns, and for other purposes.

    All the money in their election funds should be forfeited when they lose or retire. If they want to try again they can start from zero, it’s a good way to see if they’re still relevant. Send the money to any worthy causes.
    Like (83)
    Follow
    Share
    How about we stop taking private funding for elections altogether and ONLY have public funding. END DARK MONEY POLITICS! Stop selling our democracy to the corporations, superpacs, special interest groups, and the mega wealthy! Work for WE THE PEOPLE!
    Like (200)
    Follow
    Share
    This sounds good at first but people are ignoring the purpose of publicly funded elections. Public funding is meant to be available to candidates as an alternative to major donors. The system needed improvements but not a complete removal. This bill increases the power of corporations and major donors in the political system by disguising it as a way to improve education.
    Like (78)
    Follow
    Share
    Another disaster of a bill. All funding for elections needs to be public and all candidates get the same amount. All private and corporate donations need to be prohibited.
    Like (62)
    Follow
    Share
    Wonderful idea! As long as the money only goes to public schools. Private schools get plenty already.
    Like (34)
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    And give DeVos control of the money? I only had to look at the question to know this was a Republican sponsored bill. Public funding of elections is what is necessary to put everyone on an equal footing and reduce the possibility of undo influence by lobbyists,PACs and big corporations. Presidents must be accountable to the public they represent. The only way to do that is if their public funding is jeopardized by self serving decision not representative of the public’s desires as a whole. This dog of a bill won’t hunt. No on HR1825.
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    No, it should be the ONLY money available for elections. What we should stop is all PRIVATE money donations. It is the buying and selling of candidates that needs to end. As long as private donations are in the mix there will be corruption in politics.
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    NO! Well-said burrkitty & David! Get the CONSTANT & UNREMITTING campaigning for funds OUT of politics, & the DARK MONEY & the corrupt court decision Citizens United OUT of politics! Complete election funding via a public program that allots all candidates the SAME AMOUNT & prohibits any other funds to be used will level the $$$$ Field & make ideas the forefront of elections, as it should be—maybe campaigns would also use less $$$ for attack ads because their Dollars are limited...
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    Yes seems reasonable.
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    H.R. 1 includes a public financing of elections goal and plan because We the People are sick and tired of our politicians being bought by corporate and large donor money! While we work in dismantling, in whatever way possible, the effects of the Citizens United SCOTUS ruling, the goals established in H.R.1 are the Democratic Party’s best effort to undercut those effects by increasing public financing of campaigns! This bill is nothing but an attempt to keep the current corrupt election system in place by bribing We the People with a few education baubles. It is an insult to us! And since when have Republicans been supportive of education spending unless it gave them votes or power in some other form? This bill is a waste of floor time! Please vote it down!!
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    Real public funding of elections would help ameliorate some of the damage done by the blatant Citizens United, a clear power over money grab. Our checks and balances are being destroyed daily by an impaired ostensible president and a once Grand Old Party that now stands for corruption, profits for the wealthiest, and control over women and People of Color, over religion, medicine, education.
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    I’d rather see publicly financed campaigns and the abolition of all private, PAC, and corporate donations.
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    We need public financing of elections in order to stop the domination of our election system by private money from wealthy donors and corporations who only want politicians to do their bidding. This bill would only mean that candidates for President would be even more influenced by private money! Our political system is incredibly corrupt! Let’s uncorrupt it by getting private money out of the system!
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    The Same Question Again Not Going To Change My Option......NO SneakyPete:..... 5*7*19.....
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    We should be putting more public money into public officials' PUBLIC campaigns. This holds them more accountable to the constituency, and it provides much-needed transparency. Check out https://www.wolf-pac.com for more details on how to get Dark Money out of politics.
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    Presidential elections should be COMPLETELY publicly funded thereby keeping the dark money out!
    Like (8)
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    Put those unused funds to use paying down our national debt. #MAGA
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    The funds should go to schools/students in need. I’m sorry, teachers should be paying for their own training, continued education. I’m an RN, I have to maintain my own education, training, so do the CNPA’s, and physicians. Take care of the kids.
    Like (8)
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    Abolish the department of education and let the states run their schools as they see fit.
    Like (7)
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    Keep public funding for national elections.
    Like (7)
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