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FEC approves advisory opinion

May 24, 2018

WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission today approved an advisory opinion, and discussed the reconsideration of a rulemaking to protect U.S. elections from foreign interference and the publication of a 40-Year Report.

 Advisory Opinion 2018-07 (Mace). The Commission approved an advisory opinion in response to a request from South Carolina State Representative Nancy Mace, concluding that the independent expenditure-only political committee described in the request would be acting as Representative Mace’s agent in making the proposed public communications, and thus may not use contributions from corporations or individuals in amounts above the contribution limits in the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended, to pay for such public communications. During the discussion, the Commission heard from Counsel for the Requestor.

 Rulemaking Proposal to Combat Foreign Influence in U.S. Elections. The Commission discussed a proposal to reconsider a rulemaking to protect future U.S. elections from foreign interference, but was unable to approve two motions on the proposal by the required four affirmative votes.

 Adoption of Forty Year Report. The Commission discussed the publication of a draft report chronicling the agency’s first four decades. Commissioner Steven T. Walther proposed revising the draft and re-introducing it at the next public meeting.

 Chair Caroline C. Hunter noted that Friday is the deadline for comments on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on REG 2011-02, containing two alternative proposals to amend the Commission regulations concerning disclaimers on public communications on the internet that contain express advocacy, solicit contributions, or are made by political committees. The Commission will hold a public hearing on this notice on June 27, 2018.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent regulatory agency that administers and enforces federal campaign finance laws. The FEC has jurisdiction over the financing of campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, the Presidency and the Vice Presidency. Established in 1975, the FEC is composed of six Commissioners who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

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