Club for Growth takes hard line on 527s

The conservative Club for Growth is refusing to back down from its opposition to the lobbying reform bill expected on the House floor today, arguing that it still targets spending by so-called 527 groups.

Even though conservative Republicans have tried to avoid a showdown on the issue, the Club plans to include the vote on its election-year scorecard of members.

Conservative members convinced the leadership last week to remove 527 language from the bill expected on the floor, but it will be attached to the legislation immediately after it passes the House — provided it does pass — in a self-executing rule that will bind a 527-reform bill passed out of the House earlier this year to the comprehensive reform legislation in negotiations with the Senate.

“It’s nonsense to say that it’s not in the bill,” said David Keating, the Club’s executive director. “The reality is that the bill they will have passed to the Senate will have this language in it.”

Republican leaders are hoping to marry the 527 bill to a House-Senate compromise to pressure Senate Democrats to support lobbying reform despite the 527 language that many oppose.

Centrist Republicans wanted the language to be included in the lobbying reform bill itself, but most are still planning to support the legislation when it comes to the floor.

“We’re very pleased that 527s are in there,” said Sarah Chamberlain-Resnick, the executive director of the Republican Main Street Partnership.