Pence Amendment to protect grassroots organizations passes the House

Yesterday afternoon the House passed Rep. Mike Pence’s amendment to the Department of Commerce and Justice, and Science, and Related Agencies appropriation bill (H.R. 3093).

The Pence amendment prohibits funds appropriated in H.R. 3093 from being used by the Department of Justice to enforce criminal penalties provisions of "McCain-Feingold" against organizations that make electioneering communications. The amendment does not change the ability of the FEC to levy civil penalties.

In his press release, Rep. Pence said:

"Today freedom of speech prevailed on the floor of the People’s House. We still have much work to do to reinstate full First Amendment protections to the American people, so badly trampled by McCain-Feingold, but passing the Pence Amendment is a first step to achieving that goal."