On December 3, 2018, the Commission published a notice of availability in the Federal Register (83 Fed. Reg. 62282) in response to a rulemaking petition. The petition asks the Commission to amend the regulatory definition of “contribution” in light of the recent district court decision in Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Washington (CREW) v. FEC. The decision declared invalid and vacated the independent expenditure reporting rule at 11 CFR 109.10(e)(1)(vi) for persons other than political committees.
According to the petition, the CREW decision expands the scope of reportable contributions for persons other than political committees that make independent expenditures. The petition argues that “the current definition of contribution is inaccurate and misleading, especially as it pertains to groups that are not political committees,” requiring these groups to “parse over 40 years of case law” to understand existing constitutional limits. Because of this, the petition asks the Commission to open a rulemaking “to amend 11 CFR 100.52 to clarify the definition of ‘contribution.’”
The Commission seeks written comments on the petition on or before February 1, 2019. Commenters are encouraged to submit comments electronically (reference REG 2018-03) via the Commission’s website.