Carter: House won't pursue change to fundraising ban

Posted: February 7, 2014 at 1:51 p.m.

Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Hot Springs,attends a meeting of the House Rules Committee at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. The committee recommended that Westerman and another House member running for Congress be allowed to raise campaign funds during next month's legislative session, but Speaker of the House Davy Carter said Friday that the House would not pursue the proposal.

The Arkansas House will not vote Monday on whether to suspend the rule that bans members from fundraising during the fiscal session, several sources confirmed Friday.

A special subcommittee of the House Rules Committee voted Thursday to recommend suspending the rules. House Majority Leader Bruce Westerman had asked for the ethics rule to be reviewed, saying it may be unconstitutional. Westerman, an engineer, is one of two current House members are seeking Congressional seats.

Speaker of the House Davy Carter confirmed through an office spokesman that the suspension "was no longer being pursued."

Rules Committee Chairman Stephane Malone, R-Fort Smith, said the caucus was up to the Speaker's discretion, but as of Friday afternoon, she did not think the proposal would move forward.

"At this point, I don't think it's going to happen," she said. "I mean, we moved from a motion to change the rules last week, to a motion to suspend them Thursday."

Both the House and Senate are banned under chamber rules from receiving campaign donations directly before, during or directly after the regular session. But only the House members are barred from campaign fundraising during special and fiscal sessions.

K. Ryan James, a spokesman for Westerman's campaign, said the campaign plans to follow House rules.

Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more details.