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  • Press Release

FEC approves Notice of Availability on rulemaking petition, discusses staff work on improving disclosure of potential Scam PAC campaign finance activity

April 22, 2021

WASHINGTON – At its open meeting today, the Federal Election Commission approved a Notice of Availability seeking comment on whether to initiate a rulemaking in response to a petition regarding candidate salaries. The Commission discussed recommendations of a staff working group aimed at helping the public identify possible Scam PACs. The Commission was unable to approve a draft Statement of Policy regarding closing enforcement files at the initial stage.

Draft Statement of Policy Regarding Closing the File at the Initial Stage in the Enforcement Process The Commission was unable to approve a draft policy statement concerning matters where there are not four affirmative votes to take any of the following actions at the initial stage of the enforcement process: find reason to believe a violation has occurred, dismiss the matter, dismiss the matter with admonishment, or find no reason to believe a violation has occurred. The draft policy statement provides that the file would close in those circumstances unless four Commissioners vote to keep the file open. The Commission received comments on the draft statement on April 8 and April 21.

Draft Notice of Availability in REG 2021-01 (Candidate Salaries) The Commission unanimously approved a Notice of Availability that seeks comment on whether the Commission should initiate a rulemaking on a proposal in a petition from Nabilah Islam. The former congressional candidate asks the Commission to amend its existing regulations regarding candidate salaries and permissible uses of campaign funds. Members of the public will be able to submit comments on the proposal for 60 days following the publication of the Notice of Availability in the Federal Register.

Proposed Commission Actions to Address “Scam PACs” The Commission discussed a memorandum from the staff Scam PACs Working Group, which recommended improvements in transparency and educational outreach to help the public identify and avoid potential Scam PACs. Chair Shana M. Broussard directed the working group to continue its work and expand on recommendations outlined in its memo and discussed during the open meeting.

Proposed Amendment to Directive 17 The Commission held over discussion of a 2016 Memorandum from the Acting General Counsel, which recommended amending the directive to provide for certification of tally votes in which fewer than four Commissioners cast affirmative votes and all the remaining Commissioners objected for the record. Currently, in such circumstances, the Commission Secretary is required to place the matters on the next meeting agenda.

OIG FY 2022 Appropriations Language The Commission held over discussion of this agenda item regarding budget appropriations for the Office of the Inspector General.

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.