WASHINGTON -- House Republicans and Democrats agreed on at least one way to reduce government spending, by ending federal assistance for the two parties' increasingly expensive and stage-managed presidential conventions.
Rep. Tom Cole, the Oklahoma Republican who sponsored the legislation, says the government has spent about $224 million on the quadrennial gatherings of party faithful since 1976, when in the post-Watergate era it was considered a way to reduce the influence of money in politics.
He says this year federal assistance for the two conventions was about $35 million, slightly more than 20 percent of the costs as the parties turn to private donors to pay for the lavish events.
The vote Wednesday was 310-95. The Senate has approved similar legislation but must act on the House bill.