Without opposition, the House yesterday enacted a change in federal election law that should put more bumper stickers, signs and buttons into presidential politics.
The bill, which now goes to the president, would permit local political parties to spend an unlimited amount of money on a narrowly defined list of activities encouraging voluntary participation in campaigns.
Among the expenditures that would be allowed are those for neighborhood headquarters and such election paraphernalia as yard signs, bumper stickers and lapel buttons.
These items were largely absent in the 1976 campaign because of the tight spending limits in effect.
With public funds financing the general election for the first time, the campaigns of both Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford spent most of their funds for television advertising and travel.
Under the election law, the 1980 Democratic and Republician presidential nominees each will receive about $23.2 million in public campaign funds. But, if Carter signs the bill the House passed yesterday, which he is expected to do, state and local parties will be allowed to spend an unlimited amount of money on activities to promote volunteer efforts.
It also would exempt local committees from spending limits on voter registration and get-out-the-vote campaigns.
In addition, the measure would simplify congressional campaign reporting, by reducing from 24 to nine the number of campaign financing reports required to be filed with the Federal Election Commission in a two-year period. Candidates and committees that raise less than $5,000 in a campaign would not have to report.