WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Deb Fischer (R-NE), incoming Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration with oversight over federal elections and campaign finance law, announced that their bipartisan legislation to improve the accountability of our campaign finance system. This bill would make permanent the Federal Election Commission (FEC)’s program to issue administrative fines for late or missing financial disclosure reports, which was the FEC’s highest priority bipartisan legislative recommendation in its 2022 annual report to Congress. The administrative fine program will expire at the end of the year if Congress does not act.
“The administrative fine program is an important tool to improve compliance with campaign finance disclosure requirements so that Americans know who is influencing their elections,” said Klobuchar. “That’s why the FEC unanimously recommended making this program permanent and why I’m partnering with Senator Fischer on this bipartisan legislation to do just that.”
“By permanently extending the FEC’s administrative fine program, this bill will help ensure campaign finance rules are being followed. That’s a win for the American people and the transparency they deserve. The FEC’s unanimous support of this proposal, with all three Republican and three Democrat Commissioners voting in favor, demonstrates the broad, bipartisan support for the legislation,” said Fischer.
Since the FEC’s administrative fine program was first created in 1999, Congress has passed bipartisan legislation six times to extend the program, most recently in 2018. The FEC has described the administrative fine program as “one of the most cost-effective and successful programs in its history,” with the number of late financial disclosure reports decreasing from around 21 percent before the program’s inception to less than 10 percent today.