RNC chairman: Campaign finance ruling 'a very big victory'

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus lauded Wednesday's Supreme Court decision striking aggregate limits on campaign contributions as a “very big victory for the RNC.”

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In a 5-4 decision, the court found that aggregate contribution limits — the maximum total amount a donor can give to federal candidates and political party committees throughout the course of a two-year election cycle — are unconstitutional.

The decision in the case, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, is the latest move to loosen campaign finance restrictions. [READ SUPREME COURT DECISION.]

“This is a good day because the First Amendment applies to all of us,” Priebus said. “People should have the right to give their money and exercise their free speech to as many candidates and as many political committees or PACs as they want to.”

The RNC was one of the plaintiffs in the case and helped fund the challenge to the limits.

Prior to the court’s decision, the limits were set at maximum aggregate contributions of $48,600 to candidates and $74,600 to political committees. Preibus said the decision will allow donors to give to candidates in “all 14 competitive Senate races,” if they choose.

Priebus added that the decision was “a long time coming and we are grateful and we are excited by the outcome.”

Opponents of the decision say it will ultimately have the same effect as eliminating contribution limits entirely, as donors could theoretically give huge contributions to joint fundraising committees, which would then be spread out among candidates and committees supporting them.

Democrats are staunchly opposed to the development, with Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) characterizing it as a decision that “further weakens” the middle class.

“The last thing the middle class needs right now is more money in politics. Yesterday the House Republicans released a budget that hurts the middle class and today the Supreme Court issued a ruling that further weakens it,” he said.

He went on to tout Democratic grassroots support as one of the party’s main assets this cycle.

“While Democrats will continue to use every tool at our disposal to win races, the DCCC is driven by our tremendous grassroots supporters, who are shattering records as they stand up to this Republican Congress that is weakening the American middle class and enriching the richest — and you don’t have to look any further than the wrong-priorities budget Republicans just unveiled to see why,” he said.