On April 5, 2006, the US House of Representatives passed legislation that required non-profit political groups (called "527s" for the tax code section they are organized under) to register as political committees and follow campaign finance rules. The 527 Reform Act of 2006 would have eliminated a loophole in federal election laws that allowed 527s to avoid "soft-money" restrictions required by the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002 known popularly as the McCain-Feingold law. However, the bill was never passed by the Senate. The debate over 527s continued, with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) declining to issue new rules or explain their current policies regarding the organizations, despite a court order and legislative pressure.
Learn more about the laws governing campaign finance from the JURIST news archive.