At Rules Committee Hearing, Senators Worried About FEC Gridlock, Bias; Campaign Finance Transparency
WASHINGTON, D.C. – At today’s Senate Rules and Administration Committee hearing on three nominees to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), lawmakers expressed concerns about the Trump administration’s growing effort to politicize the independent campaign finance governing body.
Senator Tom Udall said during proceedings that recently, “partisan gridlock left the agency powerless” to perform its much-needed enforcement actions, and that the president’s move to put forth Republicans nominees rather than the standard bipartisan pairs “troubles” him. Senator Amy Klobuchar cited additional concerns, including that Allen Dickerson, one of Trump’s nominees, “has been focusing on less, not more transparency for political spending.”
“Senators should be deeply concerned with the Trump administration’s effort to politicize the FEC, which should be allowed to govern independently and make fair, unbiased decisions,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “As hundreds of outstanding complaints sit for months before a toothless FEC, it is highly suspect that suddenly commissioner nominations are at the top of Trump’s lame duck agenda. It’s essential that those making decisions at the FEC have the American people’s interests — not those of an increasingly unhinged president and his allies — at heart.”
Last week, in response to the administration’s transparently biased moves, nonpartisan government watchdog Accountable.US sent a letter from its president, Kyle Herrig, to Senators Klobuchar and Roy Blunt pointing to the concerning 11th hour nominations that’ll set up a gridlocked commission and asking the Rules Committee to halt any FEC commissioner nomination proceedings until after the new administration takes office. Especially in light of recent statements that came to light from FEC Chair Trey Trainor “floating baseless election fraud conspiracy theories,” the nation cannot risk the consequences of a more politicized FEC.
Trump’s swift nomination of three new FEC commissioners — two Republicans and one Independent without any Democratic counterpart — followed more than a year of the president leaving the FEC without quorum and unable to deliberate on the more than 300 outstanding complaints filed with it.