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For Immediate Release
April 25, 2002

Contact:

Ron Harris
Bob Biersack
Ian Stirton
Kelly Huff

 

COMMISSION AMENDS FY 2003 BUDGET REQUEST,
ASKS ADDITIONAL FUNDS FOR BCRA IMPLEMENTATION

WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission has amended its FY 2003 budget request, asking Congress and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for an additional $5,366,200 to fund the implementation of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA).

The amended total includes $750,000 in no-year funding to acquire space for an additional 31 staff members, requested in an emergency supplemental appropriation for FY 2002 and forwarded to OMB on April 10. If both requests are approved, the FY 2003 amendment would be reduced to $4,616,200.

The FEC originally requested an appropriation of $46,917,000 and a staff complement of 362 for FY 2003, but in a cover letter to OMB Director Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr., FEC Chairman David M. Mason and Vice Chairman Karl J. Sandstrom wrote that with the enactment of the BCRA the initial budget request "...is no longer sufficient. In order to accomplish our mandated responsibilities, which include implementing the numerous statutory changes to the [Federal Election Campaign Act], the FEC is requesting a total of $52,283,200 and 393 FTE* [for FY 2003]. This request reflects costs for implementing the BCRA in FY 2003 only."

The amended budget request is based on each FEC division’s assessment of the effect of the BCRA implementation on its operations, and a detailed cost analysis was forwarded to Congress and OMB. Under the BCRA, which goes into effect after November 5, all new regulations are to be in place by the end of 2002 (the 270 days stipulated in the law would make that date December 22, 2002).

The Commission in public session on April 11 adopted a schedule for writing and proposing the new rules that will implement the BCRA.

Completion of a notice of proposed rulemaking to ban unlimited soft money contributions to political parties and restrict soft money to state and local parties is slated for early May, with a 17-day comment period followed by a public hearing in early June. Under the BCRA, rules on soft money must be in place by June 25.

Other scheduled dates for rulemakings approved at the April 11 meeting include: electioneering communications -- publish final rule Sept. 25; coordinated and independent expenditures -- final rule October 2; "millionaire’s amendment" -- final rule October 29; increased contribution limits -- final rule December 18; other provisions’ final rules November 6.

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*Full Time Equivalent, i.e. staff