Lofgren Statement on Resignation of Commissioner Hunter from the Federal Election Commission

Jun 26, 2020
Press Release

San Jose, Calif. – Today, Committee on House Administration Chairperson Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) issued the following statement on the resignation of Republican Commissioner Caroline Hunter from the Federal Election Commission:

“The FEC just emerged from a nine-month period without a quorum—the longest running period of the Commission’s history – during which it was hamstrung from doing its job. Upon Commissioner Hunter’s announced departure on July 3, the FEC will lose its quorum again for the third time since the Commission’s establishment, with just four months to go before November’s general election.

“Commissioner Hunter’s resignation makes abundantly clear the shortsightedness of the Senate Majority’s naked partisanship in abandoning a longstanding tradition of confirming bipartisan pairs of Commissioners. In confirming only a single, Republican nominee to the Commission last month, the Senate Majority failed to ensure a lasting quorum, enabling a single Commissioner’s departure to grind much of the Commission’s work to a halt once again.

“As dark money continues to flood our elections ten years after Citizens United, Americans deserve a functional Federal Election Commission to fulfill its responsibilities. I again urge the President and Senate to move forward swiftly with nominees who will enforce and administer the law fairly.”

Background:

Today, FEC Commissioner Caroline Hunter announced she will resign from the Federal Election Commission, effective July 3, 2020. Given the two pre-existing vacancies, the Commission has again 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 agency in litigation, including appeals; issue advisory opinions; conduct investigations, and make referrals to other enforcement agencies; approve enforcement actions and audits, among other things.

The Senate confirmed a Republican to the Commission last month to fill former Commissioner Petersen’s seat. Historically with FEC nominees, a Republican and Democratic nominee are paired throughout the confirmation process in the Senate, but the President and Senate abandoned that practice last year.

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Congress Number: 
116th Congress