Contact: Jordan Dunn
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) yesterday introduced H.R. 6500, a bill that would redirect the more than $350 million sitting idle in the Presidential Election Campaign Fund and immediately allow the money to be used for the purchase of personal protective equipment and other supplies needed to support healthcare workers and first responders. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) introduced similar legislation in the Senate last month.
“At a time when we need to be surging support to hospitals and healthcare workers on the frontlines of this fight, there’s no reason for millions of dollars to be sitting idle in outdated accounts,” said Rep. Gallagher. “We should immediately direct all the money in the Presidential Election Campaign Fund to help ensure healthcare workers and first responders have the supplies they need to stay safe. This is a common sense way to get aid to the frontlines of this fight that should be included in any future relief packages.”
In addition to transferring money Department of Health and Human Services’ Strategic National Stockpile, the bill would also eliminate the Presidential Election Campaign Fund — an outdated program that provides taxpayer funding to presidential campaigns. Rep. Gallagher and Senator Ernst introduced similar legislation to eliminate the Presidential Election Campaign Fund earlier this year.
Current law allows for candidates running for President to receive public funding if they agree to limit private donations and overall campaign spending. A check-off on individual income tax returns allows taxpayers to direct $3 from their federal tax bills to this program, the Presidential Election Campaign Fund:
A few quick facts about the use and waste involved with the Presidential Election Campaign Fund:
- It has been 16 years since a candidate receiving public funding was elected president. During that time, more than $100 million has been spent on the campaigns of losing candidates.
- No candidate running for president this year has applied for support from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund.
- More than $357 million is currently sitting in the fund, an amount that is likely to grow since it can’t even be given away.
- Over the past fifty years, more than $1.6 billion in taxpayer money has been doled out to presidential campaigns and political party conventions from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund.