Boehner and Pelosi can already ask for $4.3 million, but they don’t

The biennial limit only applies to individuals, not PACs. So Boehner or Pelosi could already set up a joint fundraising committee to raise millions from PACs today. The committee could raise funds of up to $10,000 each for up to 435 House candidates, plus up to $15,000 for their party’s House campaign committee, or a total of $4.37 million in one ask. Yet they don’t do it. They don’t even do it in smaller amounts for the 50 to 100 “competitive” races in each cycle.

Similarly, if the aggregate limit is so important in supposedly battling corruption, why does it only apply to people and not to PACs? PACs can give to as many candidates as they want, and they can give a lot more to each candidate, up to $10,000 if the PAC donates for both the primary and general election campaigns. Yet we don’t see officeholders soliciting these million dollar sums through joint fundraising for PACs.

No PAC to our knowledge has ever used or proposed the type of joint fundraising tactic described by advocates of aggregate limits. Presumably, PACs, like individuals, when given the chance, prefer to donate limited contributions to candidates and committees directly and to joint fundraising committees on a narrow basis.


The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.