Congress to kill public funding of conventions?
posted at 12:44 pm on January 30, 2014 by Ed Morrissey
It’s been a sore spot for a while, especially among fiscal conservatives, that the quadrennial party conventions largely pay their bills from taxpayer funding. Earlier attempts to cut off the spigot have proven unsuccessful, but The Hill reports that a bipartisan effort might succeed now:
Bipartisan legislation targeting political convention money has passed the Republican-led House and is being championed in the upper chamber by Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.), a former Democratic National Committee chairman who is close to President Obama.
The bill, which was pushed through the House by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), would redirect money from political conventions to pediatric research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The “Gabriella Miller Kids Research First Act” was named after a 10-year-old Virginia girl who had an inoperable brain tumor. Gabriella lobbied hard for raising money to find a cure for childhood cancer, making videos and helping build a grassroots movement. She died in October and was the focus of an emotional CNN segment last month.
Some Democrats in the House ripped the bill as a “Band-aid” approach, but it easily passed in December, 295-103. Seventy-two Democrats backed it.
The support of Sens. Kaine and Mark Warner (D-Va.) is a huge boost for the legislation. Senate Finance Committee ranking member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is also on board.
I’m not sure why this funding should continue, especially since Barack Obama all but killed the presidential election fund in 2008 and 2012 despite his initial promise to work within it. Let the parties fund their own conventions, and let the taxpayers decide as individuals which one they’d prefer to support … or decline to support either of them.