Making Free Speech Affordable: A Discussion of Legislation to Provide Public Funding to Candidates for the U.S. Congress


This article discusses a recent attempt by the U.S. Congress to provide for public financing of campaigns for the House of Representatives. Although a good start, this legislation would not go far enough to ensure that every voice has an opportunity to be heard in federal elections. My article discusses the strengths and weaknesses of this legislation and also provides suggested amendments to make this bill more effective should it become law.

Making Free Speech Affordable provides an in-depth comparison of this proposed legislation with current law at the state level providing for public financing of campaigns. This discussion includes an examination of state law in Massachusetts, Nebraska, Michigan, and Florida. A discussion of current federal campaign financing law is also included. At the conclusion of this article, a version of the proposed bill with all amendments suggested in the article is reprinted.


Civil Rights and Discrimination | Constitutional Law | Law and Politics | Legislation | Social Welfare Law

Date of this Version

October 2005