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  • Press Release

FEC Holds Public Hearing on Proposed Rules on Independent Expenditures and Electioneering Communications by Corporations and Labor Organizations

March 7, 2012

WASHINGTON—The Federal Election Commission today held a public hearing on proposed changes to rules governing corporation and labor organization funding of expenditures, independent expenditures and electioneering communications under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act).

The hearing was part of a rulemaking process in response to a Petition for Rulemaking filed by the James Madison Center for Free Speech, urging the Commission to amend its regulations in response to the decision of the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. FEC.

The Commission heard testimony from five witnesses on how to ensure that the regulations conform with that decision. Through a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission had sought comment on:

  • Eliminating the prohibitions in 11 CFR 114.2 and 114.14 on the use of corporate and labor organization general treasury funds to finance independent expenditures and electioneering communications;
  • Eliminating 11 CFR 114.15, which permits corporations and labor organizations to make electioneering communications that are not the functional equivalent of express advocacy; and
  • Eliminating the prohibitions in 11 CFR 114.3 and 114.4 regarding express advocacy in communications to the general public and revising the standards for voter registration and get-out-the-vote (GOTV) drives;
  • Revising 11 CFR 114.9, which governs the use of corporate and labor organization facilities for political activity; and
  • Eliminating or amending the regulation at 11 CFR 114.10, which governs the making of independent expenditures and electioneering communications by qualified nonprofit corporations.

A Statement was issued by Vice Chair Ellen L. Weintraub.

A complete audio file of the hearing will be available here.

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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