According to a letter published by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Friday, DNC Chairwoman and Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has proposed legislation to use public money to finance both parties presidential nominating conventions in July.
The bill calls for funds to be drawn from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, which is backed by tax-payers and used to finance campaigns at an individual candidates’ choosing.
A quick look at the DNC’s balance sheet shows why its chairwoman is willing to risk political blow-back on a publicly unpopular law: as of Oct. 31, the committee is $6.9 million in debt and only holds $4.7 million in cash.
The RNC, by contrast, has $20.4 million in hand and only a $1.9 million debt through the same time period.
Rep. Schultz’s bill would reverse legislation passed in 2014 which prohibited taxpayer dollars from funding party conventions, as both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama’s campaigns raised approximately $1 billion, respectively, in 2012.
According to CBO, if the bill passes each convention would receive about $20 million to help offset operating expenses. Under current law, each committee is already set to receive $50 million in public funding to supplement both conventions’ security costs.
It would be surprising if a conservative Republican congress passes this bill, given the contrast in DNC and RNC finances.
Through Oct. 31, the national Democratic committee has raised $51.2 million in 2015, while their expenditures have totaled $53.4 million. By comparison, the Republican committee has raised $89.3 million and spent $74 million.