News & Media


FEC Announces New Contribution Limits for 2023-2024 Election Cycle

The Federal Election Commission has announced the new, inflation-indexed contribution limits for the 2023-2024 election cycle. The per-election limit for an individual giving to a candidate committee has been raised to $3,300. More details are provided at the hyperlink above. The FEC has also announced the 2023 inflation-indexed limit for coordinated party expenditures ( expenditure-limits-adjusted-for-2023/) and the 2023 inflation-indexed threshold for lobbyist bundling disclosures ( bundling-disclosure-threshold-increases-2023/).


FEC Finalizes Inflation Adjustments to Civil Monetary Penalties

Effective December 29, 2022, and as required by law, the Federal Election Commission has amended its regulations to revise the monetary penalties for certain civil violations of federal campaign law to account for inflation, based on a statutory formula.


FEC Approves New Rule Regarding Disclaimers on Internet Communications

At their open meeting on December 1, 2022, the Federal Election Commission approved a final rule that requires clearly legible and noticeable disclaimers to be included on "communications placed for a fee on another person's website, digital device, application, or advertising platform," with an exception allowing for shortened disclaimers on communications that do not allow space for the full disclaimer or on which the full disclaimer would occupy more that 25% of the communication. At the same meeting, the Commission approved a Supplemental Notice of Public Rulemaking asking for public comment on a proposed rule that would amend the definition of public communication to include communications that are "promoted for a fee on another person's website, digital device, application, or advertising platform." This rule will take effect on March 1, 2023.


FEC Issues Advisory Opinion Regarding Fundraising Ads for Legal Proceedings Accounts

On October 20, 2022, the Federal Election Commission approved an advisory opinion in which the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee asked whether funds from their Legal Proceedings Account could be used to pay for two specific advertisements that solicited contributions to their Legal Proceedings Account and that involved certain candidates to varying degrees. The opinion allows for such ads to be paid for by the Legal Proceedings Account, subject to reasonable cost allocation between that account and other DSCC accounts. The ads may also be coordinated with the involved candidates, provided that any costs not attributable to the Legal Proceedings Account abide by the limits on coordinated expenditures or are treated as in-kind contributions to the candidates.


FEC Seeks Comments on Petition for Rulemaking

The Federal Election Commission is seeking public comment on a petition for rulemaking that asks the Commission to amend its regulations so that the threshold for itemization of contributions on reports made by conduit organizations is the same as the itemization threshold applied to reports made by the political committees that are the ultimate recipients of those contributions. Comments must be made by December 27, 2022.


New District Court Ruling on the Foreign Agents Registration Act

On October 12, 2022, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed the suit in Attorney General of the USA v. Stephen A. Wynn. The case involved a complaint made by the Department of Justice alleging that Wynn had acted as an agent of the People's Republic of China in 2017 and failed to register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The District Court dismissed the suit because it found that the statute of limitations had expired according to the binding ruling of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in United States v. McGoff.


FEC Approves Interim Final Rule on Candidate Loan Repayments

Following the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in FEC v. Ted Cruz for Senate, et. al., the Federal Election Commission, at its meeting on August 31, 2022, voted unanimously to approve an Interim Final Rule deleting the following three regulations: 11 CFR § 110.1(b)(3)(ii)(C), 11 CFR § 116.11, and 11 CFR § 116.12. These regulations limited repayment of a candidate's loan to their authorized campaign committee to $250,000 when using funds received after an election, which the Supreme Court ruled was a violation of the First Amendment.


FEC Approves Interim Final Rule on Independent Expenditures

At its meeting on June 8, 2022, the Federal Election Commission approved and adopted a proposed Interim Final Rule to revise 11 C.F.R. § 109.10(e)(1)(vi). The regulation, as currently written, requires "[t]he identification of each person who made a contribution in excess of $200 to the person filing such report [of independent expenditures exceeding $250 in a calendar year], which contribution was made for the purpose of furthering the reported independent expenditure." In 2018, the U.S. District Court for the D.C. Circuit found that the regulation was invalid because it impermissibly narrowed the requirements of the underlying statute, 52 U.S.C. 30104(c)(2)(C). In 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld that ruling. This Interim Final Rule amends the statute to comply with these rulings by removing the clause "which contribution was made for the purpose of furthering the reported independent expenditure."


New FEC Form 1 Now Available

The Federal Election Commission has made available the updated Statement of Organization, Form 1, that it approved earlier this year. The updated form has new checkboxes that allow committees to register as Super PACs or Hybrid PACs.


Supreme Court Releases Opinion in FEC v. Ted Cruz

On May 16, 2022, the United States Supreme Court released its opinion in FEC v. Ted Cruz for Senate, et. al. In a 6- 3 ruling, the Court found that a provision of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, which caps at $250,000 the amount of funds a candidate's authorized campaign committee receives post-election that can be used to repay a personal loan the candidate made to the committee, is unconstitutional because it violates candidates and their campaigns' First Amendment rights.


FEC Enforcement Action Against Foreign Contributions

On April 6, 2022 the FEC accepted a conciliation agreement in Matter Under Review (MUR) 7613. Under the agreement, a U.S. subsidiary of a company owned by Canadian citizen and businessman Barry Zekelman was fined $975,000, one of the largest civil penalties in FEC history, for contributing a total of $1.75 million to the Super PAC America First Action, Inc. after Mr. Zekelman had been involved in discussions regarding making those contributions.


New District Court Ruling on the Foreign Agents Registration Act

A March 25, 2022, ruling from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, ordering a new trial in the case U.S.A. v. Rafiekian, used a restrictive understanding of who qualifies as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) in its analysis. It determined that, in order to find a FARA violation on the part of a defendant, it must be established both that the defendant intended to act subject to a foreign government's control and that a foreign official actually directed the defendant's actions. Merely acting in alignment with foreign interests was not considered sufficient to constitute a FARA violation.


FEC Approves New Rule of Agency Procedure

On February 17, 2022, the Federal Election Commission approved a proposed rule of agency procedure that would require the Commission's Office of General Counsel to notify the State Department's Office of the Legal Adviser whenever the Commission starts enforcement proceedings in which a foreign state is identified as a respondent.

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