Chairperson Lofgren Statement on Resignation of Federal Election Commission Vice Chair

Aug 27, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Committee on House Administration Chairperson Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) issued the following statement on the resignation of Federal Election Commission Vice Chair Matthew Petersen:

“The Federal Election Commission is notoriously dysfunctional. Even with a working quorum of commissioners, the FEC has failed to fulfill its mission to enforce campaign finance laws, protect the integrity of our democracy, and ensure all campaign spending is transparent. It has been mired in gridlock for years, with dark money flooding political campaigns in the wake of Citizens United.  

"The Commission now stands to lose its quorum at the end of the month, just as the 2020 federal election cycle becomes even more active. I urge the President and Senate to move forward swiftly with nominees to the Commission who will enforce and administer the law fairly. I look forward to examining these, and further issues at an FEC oversight hearing in the coming weeks."

Background:

Yesterday, FEC Vice Chair Matthew Petersen announced that he will resign from the Federal Election Commission, effective August 31, 2019. Given the two pre-existing vacancies, the Commission has now lost its quorum and will lose its policymaking and enforcement powers.

Federal campaign finance law requires at least four votes to hold hearings; make, amend or repeal rules; initiate litigation or defend the Commission in litigation, including appeals; issue advisory opinions; launch investigations and make referrals to other enforcement agencies; and approve enforcement actions and audits, among other things. 

President Trump nominated a Republican to the Commission earlier this year, which the Senate may move forward with to fill Vice Chair Petersen’s seat. Historically with FEC nominees, a Republican and Democratic nominee are paired throughout the confirmation process in the Senate.  

# # #

Issues: 
Congress Number: 
116th Congress