Federal Politics

Published — February 9, 2016 Updated — Today at 2:01 pm EST

FEC marked for modest budget boost

White House proposal would mean more cash, staff for elections agency

Introduction

President Barack Obama wants the Federal Election Commission to get a modest budget boost.

The White House’s fiscal year 2017 budget proposal calls for the FEC, an agency that’s recently suffered from anemic funding, staffing cuts and internal discord, to receive about $80.5 million — more than ever before.

The funding would allow the FEC to employ the equivalent of 365 full-time staffers, according to the proposal released today by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. That represents 34 more staffers than the agency employed just two years ago — about a 10 percent workforce increase.

An FEC budget allocation at the level the White House is proposing “would provide the commission with adequate funds to fulfill its mission of protecting the integrity of the federal campaign finance system,” said agency Chairman Matthew Petersen, a Republican.

The FEC’s budget figure does come with one key caveat: $8 million of its proposed $80.5 million is reserved for expenses associated with the agency’s likely move from its current headquarters in downtown Washington, D.C., to another, yet-to-be-selected building.

When funds for moving and leasing expenses are excluded, the FEC is slated to receive $72.5 million in fiscal year 2017 — about $1.4 million more than it got in fiscal year 2016.

The proposed increase also continues to reverse a trend from earlier this decade, when the FEC’s annual budget stalled out near $66 million in 2010, 2011 and 2012 after 16 straight years of funding growth.

The agency then experienced a budget cut in 2013, the same year Chinese hackers infiltrated its computer and network systems. The hack prompted the agency to invest in cybersecurity improvements, and Congress approved small budget increases in subsequent years.

Congress created the FEC more than 40 years ago to enforce and regulate the nation’s election laws.

But the agency, which among its commissioners features three Democratic appointees and three Republican appointees, often deadlocks along ideological lines on high-profile cases.

Petersen acknowledged in December upon assuming the chairmanship that the FEC would at best hit “singles” during 2016.

In other words, don’t expect the agency to agree on prescriptions for the thornier issues of this election cycle, such as how to regulate “dark money” or write new rules governing how super PACs may coordinate efforts with the political candidates they support.

As it’s done for several years, the White House’s latest FEC budget proposal predicts a $430,000 savings from U.S. Senate candidates filing their campaign finance reports electronically, instead of on paper.

Obama’s thinking, however, may be little more than wishful: the Senate last year again refused to shed its decidedly 20th century ways and adopt the same campaign disclosure procedures used by presidential and U.S. House candidates.

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
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David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.