The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA), as amended in 1974, limited the amount of individual and group political contributions. Contributions and expenditures above certain threshold levels had to be reported and publicly disclosed. (1) imposed a $1,000 ceiling on political contributions made by an individual or a group to candidates for federal office, & a $5,000 limit on contributions by a political committee to a candidate, imposed an annual limit of $25,000 for each contributor. (2) set limits on expenditures by a candidate from personal funds or the funds from his or her immediate family. (3) created disclosure requirements for individuals and committees giving money to political campaigns. (4) created public funding for presidential elections.
Thus, the FECA's limits on individual campaign contributions are constitutionally permissible, while the limits on independent expenditures by individuals and groups to an identifiable candidate violate the First Amendment.
Limits on self-expenditures by a candidate in connection with his campaign violate the First Amendment because they impose a "substantial restraint on the ability of persons to engage in protected First Amendment expression."
Finally, the limits on overall campaign expenditures are also unconstitutional because there is no countervailing government interest that would justify the restriction on the quantity of political expression that could be expressed by a campaign.