McConnell Warns Sens. Hawley’s Bill Will Gut Corporate Funding

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Mitch McConnell is warning the GOP senators that they’ll face “incoming” if they back the Josh Hawley bill to limit corporate giving in campaigns. He believes it will put Republican funding in jeopardy.

He told the senators not to sign the bill, aimed at limiting corporate money, bankrolling high-powered outside groups, telling them that many of them won their seats thanks to the powerful super PAC the Kentucky Republican has long controlled.

One senator added that the bill landed with a thud among the Senate GOP conference.

He warned him that they would face incoming from the center-right if they signed onto Hawley’s bill. Then, he listed the senators who won their races with financial support from the Senate Leadership Fund controlled by McConnell (see below). He put Hawley on that list.

INCOMING

An example of incoming is National Review’s Noah Rothman, who attacked Hawley along these lines with a post on X.

Josh Hawley hopes to restore the government’s right to censor anti-Hillary Clinton documentaries that might broadcast too close to the election. Finally, a fighter emerges!”

According to Conn Carroll at The Washington Examiner, “But Rothman either hasn’t read Hawley’s bill or hasn’t read Citizens United. Citizens United was a non-profit organization. Hawley’s bill only targets publicly traded corporations. Nothing in Hawley’s bill would prevent Citizens United from showing an anti-Hillary documentary. Corporations like Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines, both of which attacked Republicans over Georgia’s election reforms, would be prohibited from making independent expenditures.”

Congress can’t change the SCOTUS decision on Citizen’s United, but it can tweak it, and that’s what Hawley did.

Mitch McConnell
McConnell opposes tighter campaign finance restrictions. There is no love lost between McConnell and Hawley.

Hawley frequently calls for new leadership and said recently it was a mistake for McConnell to stand with Senator Schumer to push for Ukraine Aid to be added to the Israel funding package.

Senator Hawley’s bill is called the Ending Corporate Influence on Elections Act, and it is aimed at reversing the Citizen United decision that loosened campaign finance laws. It would ban publicly traded corporations from making independent expenditures and political advertisements and ban those publicly traded companies from giving money to super PACs.

Senator Hawley believes corporate influence should be limited in elections. He said it’s warping our politics, and he sees “no reason for conservatives to defend it.”

“It’s wrong as a matter of the original meaning of the Constitution,” he contends. “It’s bad for our voters. And I just think, on principle, we are to be concerned.”

The Hill:

In an interview, the Missouri Republican said that McConnell is “dead wrong” on this subject and argued that Republicans need to “get consistent” on this topic.

“He doesn’t like my bill,” Hawley said. “As an originalist, there is no original meaning giving corporations the right to make political contributions, and it’s warping our politics. It is giving them incredible power, and I just think it’s a big mistake.”

The overwhelming majority of Republican voters think he’s wrong. They don’t want more woke, corporate money in our politics. You can’t complain about Major League Baseball doing what they’ve done, and you can’t complain about Coca-Cola and all of these things and decry all of that, and then turn around and have your hand out and say, ‘please give me the money.’ It’s one or the other,” Hawley said, referring to McConnell’s comments two years ago that corporations should keep out of politics, save for contributions.

Senators who benefit from this type of funding include Mike Braun, Kevin Kramer, Marsha Blackburn, Dan Sullivan, Joni Ernst, Roger Marshall, Susan Collins, Steve Danes, Tom Tillis, Lindsey Graham, Katie Britt, Mason Ratkowski, Eric Schmidt, Ted Budd, JD Vance, and Ron Johnson. In 2018, Hawley benefitted more than $20 million from McConnell’s group. McConnell said he never would have won without it.

McConnell left out all the senators he crushed using his PAC. For example, he spent $6 million on RINO Murkowski to crush the Alaskan conservative. He also crushed numerous conservatives by overspending on primary opponents, as did Kevin McCarthy.

Despite that, do you think this bill is a good idea? Democrats have unions, and they would still be a force under this law.

The Washington Examiner‘s Conn Carroll wrote: Hawley is at the forefront of a fight in the Republican Party over the proper role of corporations in a democracy. Corporations are, after all, not free market inventions. Corporations only exist because they are given special privileges by the government, including eternal life and limited liability. No American citizen I know has either of those powers.


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