Following announcement that Republicans will hold nomination hearing only for 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 – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee with jurisdiction over federal elections, pushed back on the White House and Senate Republicans today following the decision to proceed with a Republican nominee to the Federal Election Commission while refusing to nominate a Democratic candidate. Traditionally nominees to the FEC have been confirmed on a bipartisan basis, and Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate have each put forward a candidate to the White House for consideration. Only the Republican candidate has been nominated. 

“It is unacceptable that Republicans are abandoning the tradition of advancing nominees in bipartisan pairs,” Klobuchar said. “At a time when unprecedented amounts of dark and foreign money are flowing into our elections, a fully functioning FEC is critical to safeguarding our political system. We should be working to restore Americans’ trust in our political institutions and with this partisan move, Republicans continue to take us backwards. As Ranking Member of the Rules Committee, I oppose this nomination.”

Yesterday Senate Republicans announced that a confirmation hearing will 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 Federal Election Commission (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 secure U.S. 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. This legislation 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.