Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) affirmed her support for taxpayer-funded congressional campaigns last week, voting to kill a budget amendment that would have stopped taxpayer dollars from being given to members of Congress like Katie Porter for her reelection campaign.
The vote passed entirely on partisan lines and was met with allegations that Porter and other vulnerable Democrat freshmen were attempting to access tax dollars to boost their reelection prospects.
The amendment that Porter voted against was an attempt to stop Congressional Democrats from taking the amount of money they raised in small contributions then taking a 600% match from the taxpayers via the United States Treasury.
So, if Rep. Katie Porter raised $25,000 from small dollar contributions, she could then hit up the taxpayer (regardless of their party or their views) for $150,000!
Porter and her fellow Democrats refused to address criticism that their actions appeared to be a fairly naked attempt to widen their fundraising advantage on the small-dollar, Democrat-aligned fundraising platform ACTBLUE.
The language that Porter and her fellow Democrats voted down read: “No Federal funds may be used to make any payment in support of a campaign for election for the office of Senator or Representative…”. The amendment failed via a procedural vote entirely on party lines with Porter and Congressional Democrats in lockstep for allowing taxpayer funding.
Taxpayer subsidized campaigns is but one of many controversial provisions of House Democrats flagship legislation HR1, which also includes efforts to repeal certain political speech protections for organizations, shift control of elections from local to national, and ban voter ID laws. Opponents describe it as “anti-free speech” and a “political power grab”. Ironically, the legislations is billed by House Democrats as “anti-corruption legislation”.
Porter, who won election in 2018 by campaigning as a moderate, has since shed the moderate label upon arriving in DC. Aligning herself with the more liberal wing of her party, backing impeachment and supporting single-payer healthcare will be an odd fit in purple Orange County in 2020.