WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ranking Member of the Senate Rules Committee with jurisdiction over federal elections, made the following statement upon the news that Commissioner Caroline Hunter will resign from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) next week.
“This resignation means that the FEC will once again lose its quorum and be unable to hold meetings, promulgate rules, or vote on enforcement matters. In other words, the FEC will be unable to take any substantive measures to enforce federal election laws. This is unacceptable, especially during a presidential election year disrupted by COVID-19 and as foreign adversaries continue their work to influence our political system. A fully functioning FEC is critical to safeguarding our political system from corruption and foreign influence.
“Traditionally, FEC nominees are nominated and confirmed in bipartisan pairs. A year ago, Leader Schumer and I referred an immensely qualified Democratic candidate to the White House for consideration, and she has been vetted and cleared, but she has yet to be nominated. The President should advance our Democratic nominee and a Republican nominee immediately so that the Rules Committee can work on a bipartisan basis to quickly restore a quorum to the FEC.”
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 had been submitted to President Donald Trump by Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to fill vacancies at the Federal Election Commission (FEC). This letter was preceded by a letter Klobuchar sent in August 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 a 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.