Iowa Congressman Tom Latham says comments attributed to the U-S House speaker were likely taken out of context. Speaker Dennis Hastert reportedly is warning fellow Republicans passage of campaign finance legislation could cause them to lose control of the House. Latham says he -favors- the elimination of so-called soft money.Latham says the bill that’ll go to a vote next week raises real concerns about freedom of speech, with a “gag order” before an election that could keep people from expressing their opinions. Latham, a republican from Alexander, references the Clinton administration scandal that involved alleged contributions from the Chinese.Some republicans worry the reform measure would severely restrict the parties’ ability to raise so-called soft money, while leaving labor unions and other democratic-aligned groups free to spend large sums on campaigns.Local police and fire departments across Iowa could see more federal money funneling through to them under a bill being considered in the U-S House. Congressman Latham says the Department of Justice appropriations bill would put “a lot more emphasis on helping local responders.”The bill will also target improvements in national security, for example, paying for the hiring of 900 new F-B-I agents to focus on terrorist threats and homeland defense.
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