Is the FEC toothless to enforce campaign-finance laws because it lacks enough commissioners?

Thursday, July 30, 2020
By Allegra Taylor

The Federal Election Commission needs at least four sitting members to legally act, but currently has only three. A fourth commissioner was appointed in May, but another member voluntarily resigned in July.

From August 2019 to May 2020, the FEC, intended to have six seats to oversee the conduct of presidential and congressional elections, had only three confirmed members. In March it reported a backlog of 333 pending cases.

The President nominates its members, subject to Senate confirmation. The White House says it will nominate a new commissioner, but it’s unclear if its nominee can be confirmed before the November general election. Members are appointed for six-year terms but may continue to serve until replaced; the three remaining current members were appointed by President George W. Bush.

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