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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 5, 1997
                       STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
                            ON FEC PETITION

Today, I have asked the Federal Election Commission to act, within its current legal authority, to end the soft money system. Currently, both parties compete to raise large sums from corporations, individuals and labor unions. There is too much money in politics, and the problem worsens with every election. This escalating arms race must stop, and I am determined that we will reform campaign finances, by every means we can.

Such an action by the FEC cannot be a substitute for comprehensive campaign finance reform legislation, which is currently before the Congress. In my State-of-the-Union Address, I challenged Congress to act by July 4th and pass bipartisan reform. That deadline is now one month away, and there is still time for Congress to move forward on this priority. I call on Congress to pass legislation that institutes voluntary spending limits, provides free broadcast time to candidates who abide by those limits, restricts special interest contributions, addresses independent expenditures, and bans soft money.

It is clear that the current campaign finance system has been overwhelmed by an unprecedented volume of money. If we are to restore the public's faith in our institutions and the political system, we must reform the campaign finance system. This request to the FEC makes clear my determination that, one way or another, we will see reform, and we will end the soft money. I want to work in the coming days with members of Congress to pass bipartisan and comprehensive campaign finance reform.