August 31, 2019

In Response to Lack of Quorum at the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Ranking Member Klobuchar Urges the President to Nominate a New Commissioner

Beginning today, the FEC no longer has a quorum and cannot fully enforce federal election laws 

Klobuchar is the Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee with jurisdiction over the FEC and federal elections

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee with jurisdiction over federal elections, sent a letter to President Donald Trump today urging him to work with the Senate to help reestablish a quorum at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) by nominating a commissioner to fill the vacant Democratic seat. Today, Commissioner Matt Petersen’s resignation will take effect, leaving only three remaining commissioners at the FEC and resulting in the first loss of a quorum since 2008. The lack of a quorum means that the FEC will be unable to hold meetings, promulgate rules, or vote on enforcement matters, leaving the agency unable to fully enforce federal election laws. In the letter, Klobuchar urged the President to swiftly complete the vetting process on the Democratic candidate and put forward a nominee so that the Senate can move forward with the confirmation process.

“The FEC plays a vital role in administering and enforcing federal campaign finance laws. Strong enforcement of the laws that regulate how campaigns can raise and spend money is fundamental to ensuring transparency and accountability in our democracy,” Klobuchar wrote. “A fully functioning FEC is critical to safeguarding our political system from corruption and foreign influence. The Rules Committee is ready to act quickly restore a quorum to the FEC.”

Full text of the letter can be found HERE and below:

Dear President Trump:

As the Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee with jurisdiction over the Federal Election Commission (FEC), I write to express concern regarding news that the Commission will soon lose a quorum to conduct business. As such, I urge you to work with the Senate and act swiftly to ensure that the FEC is able to fully function.

The FEC plays a vital role in administering and enforcing federal campaign finance laws. Strong enforcement of the laws that regulate how campaigns can raise and spend money is fundamental to ensuring transparency and accountability in our democracy.

Last week, Commissioner Matt Petersen announced that he will resign from the FEC on August 31. Commissioner Petersen’s departure leaves only three remaining commissioners, which will result in the first loss of a quorum on the FEC since 2008. The lack of a quorum means that the FEC will be unable to hold meetings, promulgate rules, or vote on enforcement matters. In other words, the FEC will be unable take any substantive measures to enforce federal election laws. This is unacceptable, especially as foreign adversaries are working to influence our political system. Accordingly, we must work to restore a bipartisan quorum and ensure that the Commission is effectively working for the American people.

I respectfully request that you move to swiftly complete the vetting process on the Democratic candidate for the Commission and put forward a nominee so that the Senate can move forward with the confirmation process.

A fully functioning FEC is critical to safeguarding our political system from corruption and foreign influence. The Rules Committee is ready to act quickly restore a quorum to the FEC.

Sincerely, 

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