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House Democrats reach deal on campaign spending exemptions for businesses, other groups

By Dan Eggen
Tuesday, June 15, 2010; A03

House Democrats reached a compromise that would exempt the National Rifle Association and other large organizations from proposed campaign finance disclosure rules aimed primarily at large corporations, sources said Monday.

The deal paves the way for a House vote as soon as this week on the legislation, which is aimed at pushing back against a Supreme Court ruling this year that freed corporations, unions and nonprofit groups to spend unlimited amounts in support of or against political candidates.

The legislation would require companies and organizations to identify themselves when they pay for ads, disclose information about such expenditures to shareholders and the public, and stand by the message of any ads through statements from a chief executive or other top official, much as political candidates must do.

Some interest groups had objected to some of the disclosure requirements, saying they were overly intrusive. Under the House compromise, groups such as the NRA would be exempt from the requirements if they are more than 10 years old, have at least 1 million members and receive 15 percent or less of their funding from corporations, a Democratic aide said.

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