Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

Super PACs Fuel GOP Civil War

Republicans who have long pushed for campaign finance deregulation are now paying for one of its consequences: the rise of influential conservative super PACs vying for the soul of a fractured GOP.

That Republicans crushed by the 2012 election results are feuding over what went wrong and what comes next is nothing new. Less noticed has been the big money bankrolling GOP factions and the influential new super PACs and outside groups that hold the party’s future in their hands.

More than a dozen such groups have sprung up since Election Day, CQ Weekly reports this week — some promoting centrists, minorities or liberalized immigration rules, others championing conservatives at odds with “establishment” party leaders. As the story notes:

The super PAC wars are roiling Republican fundraising, midterm elections and policy making on Capitol Hill. Unlike previous intra-GOP fights, this one involves big money, which intensifies the tug of war and could suck dollars and influence away from official Republican Party candidates and committees. Outside GOP groups are poised to get involved in Senate primaries, and some outside players are disrupting attempts to reach legislative compromises on immigration, health care and federal spending.

Some argue that such groups will help the GOP generate new policy ideas and reconnect the party with its disaffected rank and file. Others warn that well-funded, fractious outside players are long on negative messages and short on policy solutions.

One thing is clear: As GOP super PACs grow in numbers and influence, they’re creating fresh headaches for party leaders on and off Capitol Hill. Read the whole story here. (Subscription required.)

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