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At Senate Rules Committee Hearing, Ranking Member Klobuchar Calls on Colleagues to Restore Bipartisan Process for FEC Nominations

At the nomination hearing for only the Republican FEC nominee, Klobuchar urges the White House and Senate Republicans not to abandon bipartisan tradition and to move forward in nominating a Democratic candidate 

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee with jurisdiction over federal elections, called on her colleagues to restore the Senate tradition of considering Federal Election Commission (FEC) nominees on a bipartisan basis. At the nomination hearing for the Republican FEC nominee, Klobuchar reiterated her opposition to the partisan nominee and urged her colleagues to work together to restore Americans’ trust in our political institutions. Earlier this month, Klobuchar announced that she would oppose the partisan nomination to the FEC.

“I am deeply disappointed that my colleagues have departed from the Senate tradition of considering FEC nominees on a bipartisan basis,” Klobuchar said in her opening remarks.

“The FEC has been without a quorum for 192 days – the longest period without a quorum in the agency’s history – and I have repeatedly urged my Republican colleagues to work with us to get the agency up and running again.

“But abandoning bipartisan norms and pushing forward a highly controversial nominee is not the way to do it. Moving forward in this way does more harm than good, and it isn’t what the American people sent us here to do.

“Americans are tired of hyper-partisanship and gridlock. We should be working to restore their trust in our political institutions.”

Video footage of Klobuchar’s opening remarks can be found HERE.

Earlier this month, Senate Republicans announced that a confirmation hearing would occur for the Republican candidate, while the White House has refused to nominate the Democratic candidate, despite months of vetting by the White House.

Klobuchar has been a leader in the fight to restore a quorum at the FEC through the appointment of candidates from both parties. In January, Klobuchar led a letter to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone urging the Administration to immediately nominate the bipartisan pair of candidates that have been submitted to President Donald Trump by Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to fill the current vacancies at the FEC. This letter was preceded by one that was sent in August, where Klobuchar sent a letter to President Trump urging him to swiftly complete the vetting process on the Democratic candidate and put forward a nominee so that the Senate could move forward with the confirmation process.

Klobuchar is also leader on campaign finance reform legislation. She has been a champion of the For the People Act in the Senate and is the lead sponsor of the Campaign Finance Transparency Act, legislation that would dramatically improve the functionality of the Federal Election Commission. Last October, Klobuchar introduced the Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy (SHIELD) Act. The legislation, which passed the House of Representatives, includes three Klobuchar provisions to increase transparency and stop interference in our elections, including the Honest Ads Act, PAID AD Act, and Deceptive Practices and the Voter Intimidation Prevention Act. In October she also introduced the Help America Run Act, which would make it easier to run for office by expanding the permitted uses of campaign funds to include child care, elder care, dependent care, and health care premiums.