Communications Department

NRLC Congressional Alert: U.S. House to Vote on Shays-Meehan Bill

Jul 2, 2001 | Free Speech Issues

The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the Shays-Meehan “campaign finance reform” bill next week — on most likely on Thursday, July 12 or Friday, July 13.

This bill contains multiple provisions that would seriously restrict the ability of NRLC, NRLC affiliates, and other citizen groups to educate the public about what members of Congress are doing on pro-life issues, including alerting citizens to upcoming votes in Congress. In addition, the bill would place both groups and members of Congress at legal risk for working together towards shared public policy goals. The Senate has already passed the very similar McCain-Feingold bill (S. 27).

letter sent by NRLC to House members on July 2 reiterates NRLC’s strong objections to the bill. As the letter explains, a vote in favor of the Shays-Meehan bill will be scored negatively in NRLC’s annual congressional scorecard.

House members will be presented with an alternative bill, drafted by Congressman Bob Ney (R-Ohio) [pronounced “nay”] (H.R. 2360). While NRLC does not endorse the Ney bill, neither do we oppose it; the Ney bill is vastly preferable to the Shays-Meehan bill, and House members should be encouraged to vote for the Ney bill as a replacement for the Shays-Meehan bill (it’s called a “substitute amendment”). The Ney bill is attracting support from some Democrats who had previously supported the Shays-Meehan bill.

The most recent House vote on the Shays-Meehan bill (a somewhat different version) was on September 14, 1999. You can find how your representative or state delegation voted by referring to the NRLC scorecard for 1999-2000 at

The House is in recess for the Fourth of July. Many House members will be making public appearances in their districts — for example, for Independence Day events. Please make every effort to have constituents speak to pro-life House members OF BOTH PARTIES this week in opposition to Shays-Meehan

Categories: Free Speech Issues