1/15/2013--Introduced.Empowering Citizens Act - Amends the Internal Revenue Code and the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to revise the system of public financing for presidential primary and... Read More


This bill was introduced on Jan 15, 2013, in a previous session of Congress, but was not passed.

Bill Text


To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to reform the system of public financing for Presidential elections, to establish a system of public financing for Congressional elections, to promote the disclosure of disbursements made in coordination with campaigns for election for Federal office, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


(a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Empowering Citizens Act''. (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents of this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents. TITLE I--REFORM OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION FINANCING

Subtitle A--Primary Elections

Sec. 101. Increase in and modifications to matching payments. Sec. 102. Eligibility requirements for matching payments. Sec. 103. Inflation adjustment for matching contributions. Sec. 104. Repeal of expenditure limitations. Sec. 105. Period of availability of matching payments. Sec. 106. Examination and audits of matchable contributions. Sec. 107. Modification to limitation on contributions for Presidential primary candidates. Subtitle B--General Elections

Sec. 111. Modification of eligibility requirements for public financing. Sec. 112. Repeal of expenditure limitations and use of qualified campaign contributions. Sec. 113. Matching payments and other modifications to payment amounts. Sec. 114. Inflation adjustment for payment amounts. Sec. 115. Increase in limit on coordinated party expenditures. Sec. 116. Establishment of uniform date for release of payments. Sec. 117. Amounts in Presidential Election Campaign Fund. Sec. 118. Use of general election payments for general election legal and...

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Sentiment Map



42 Supporting
82 Opposing
34% 66%

State: CA

3 Supporting
5 Opposing
38% 63%

District: 1st

0 Supporting
0 Opposing
0% 0%

Popularity Trend

Organizations Supporting

No organizations supporting yet.

Organizations Opposing

No organizations opposing yet.

Users Supporting

I support The Empowering Citizens Act because we need to get money out of the equation for electing officials -- it should be one citizen one vote, not one dollar one vote! Level the playing field, get the corporations and super PACs out of the loop!

1 year ago

I support The Empowering Citizens Act because... why not, this country is riddled with corruption!!

1 year ago

I support The Empowering Citizens Act because money in politics is distorting and corrupting democracy. I work in international development and see the corrosive effects of corruption in developing countries all the time. Those with money and connections influence the legal and political systems for their own gain, to the detriment of others. This has resulted in vast differences in wealth and power between ordinary citizens who have no voice and those who pay bribes to officials for their own personal profit. In the US, the same corrupting influence of big money in politics is now legal, and getting worse thanks to Citizens United and more recent Supreme Court decisions. If this trend is not reversed, I believe that the result will be the same as that seen in corrupt and undemocratic nations: a concentration of power and money in the hands of the few, government and legal systems which are not of the people and for the people and the dis-empowerment of the majority.

1 year ago

I support H.R. 270: Empowering Citizens Act because...This will help to restore the "by, for, and of the people" as corporations are not people, and have absolutely no "free" speech rights in this arena. After all money isn't free.

2 years ago

I support H.R. 270: Empowering Citizens Act would provide a 5-to-1 match from public funds for contributions of $250 or less, thus establishing strong incentives for politicians to rely on smaller donors while offering the rest of us a fighting chance against the billionaires. Harnessed to new technologies, this approach could vastly expand the number of citizens who are regular contributors. Until Citizens United is overturned, as it should be, the best way out of our dilemma is to democratize the money game.

2 years ago

Users Opposing

I oppose The Empowering Citizens Act because...because the author is all for taking away the rights of the people to expand government cronyism and dictatorship and all to often democrats come up with nice sounding titles to bill that do just the opposite of what their title infers

2 years ago

I oppose H.R. 270: Empowering Citizens Act because...your kidding right?

2 years ago

I oppose H.R. 270 ("To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to reform the system of public financing") because... The best way to amend the federal income tax code is to abolish it altogether. FairTax.

2 years ago

Bill Summary

1/15/2013--Introduced.Empowering Citizens Act - Amends the Internal Revenue Code and the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to revise the system of public financing for presidential primary and general elections occurring after January 1, 2014, and to establish a system of public financing for congressional elections. Increases the amount of matching funds for presidential primaries from a one-to-one match to a five-to-one match for contributions of $250 or less from individuals. Limits the total amount of payments to a primary candidate to $100 million. Provides for an inflation adjustment to matching contributions beginning after 2013. Requires presidential primary candidates who opt to participate in the public financing system to certify to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that they have raised $25,000 (currently, $5,000) in each of 20 states, with individual contributions limited to $250. Requires such candidates to commit to accept public financing in both the primary and general elections. Limits contributions to presidential primary candidates who participate in the public financing system to $1,250 from individual contributors (currently, $2,500). Prohibits primary candidates from accepting contributions or bundled contributions (i.e., combining small contributions into one large contribution) from lobbyists or political action committees (PACs). Eliminates expenditure limitations for presidential primary and general elections. Changes the period for payment of matching funds to presidential primary candidates from January 1 of the election year to six months prior to the date of the earliest state primary election. Revises general election payment provisions to allow a grant of $50 million to candidates and an additional $150 million in matching funds based upon a five-to-one match of contributions raised after June 1 of the general election year from individual donors giving up to $250 each. Increases to $50 million the limit on coordinated spending by a national party and its presidential candidate in a general election campaign. Eliminates public financing for national party conventions. Allows individual contributions up to $25,000 in each four-year presidential election cycle to pay for national party convention costs. Prohibits the use of unregulated funds (soft money) to pay for national party convention costs. Provides for public financing of congressional election campaigns. Establishes the Empowering Citizens Payment Account in the Presidential Election Campaign Fund to finance congressional election campaigns. Increases from $3 to $20 ($6 to $40 for joint returns) the tax check-off for contributions to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund. Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe regulations to ensure that approved tax preparation software does not automatically accept or decline a check-off of contributions for the public financing system. Directs the FEC to issue regulations on best efforts for identifying persons making contributions to political committees. Prohibits an authorized committee of a candidate from establishing a joint fundraising committee with a political committee other than an authorized committee of a candidate. Revises reporting requirements for the disclosure of bundled contributions by lobbyists and to presidential campaigns. Sets forth rules for judicial review of campaign finance laws and FEC actions.

H.R. 269The Fair Elections Now Act H.R. 271The Resolving Environmental and Grid Reliability Conflicts Act