News Releases, Media Advisories

For Immediate Release:                                                                                            Contact:  Ron Harris
April 1, 1999                                                                                                                                 Sharon Snyder
                                                                                                                                                        Ian Stirton
                                                                                                                                                        Kelly Huff


WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission today submitted to Congress and the President a package of 38 recommendations for legislative action in the area of campaign finance law, bringing to 41 the number of recommendations since March 9.

The three March 9 legislative recommendations were deemed "urgent" by the Commission and involved electronic filing of campaign reports, campaign cycle reporting, and application of the $25,000 annual limit on individual donations to campaigns (see news release March 8, 1999, headlined "FEC Submits Legislative Recommendations to Congress and President,"

The package of 38 proposals dispatched today is submitted in two parts, the first containing recommendations that, if incorporated into the statute, "…would greatly ease the burden on political committees or streamline the administration of the current campaign finance law by addressing areas that have been problematic," wrote Commission Chairman Scott E. Thomas. The second part of the package contains recommendations that are primarily technical in nature and would correct outdated or inconsistent parts of the law.

In his cover letter accompanying the package, Chairman Thomas noted, "To illustrate how these recommendations would improve the law, here are brief summaries of three…":

Fines for reporting violations: "This recommendation was also made by PricewaterhouseCoopers in its recent [January 29] Technology and Performance Audit and Management Review of the Federal Election Commission. It would permit the Commission to dispose of straightforward, non-deliberate violations through the imposition of administrative fines."


Averting impending shortfall in the Presidential Public Funding Program: "This recommendation alerts Congress to the fact that there will not be enough funds in the Presidential Election Campaign Fund to fully cover the entitlements of Presidential primary candidates in January 2000, the height of the primary campaign season."

Commission as sole point of entry for disclosure documents: "This recommendation was noted by PricewaterhouseCoopers in its recent Technology and Performance Audit and Management Review of the Federal Election Commission and would enhance the timeliness of disclosure of campaign finance information to the public."

Chairman Thomas concluded, "As in the past, each recommendation is followed by an explanation of the need for and expected benefits from the recommended change. We hope these proposals will be helpful. They reflect 24 years of experience in regulating campaign financing."

The Federal Election Commission is required by statute (2 U.S.C. 438(a)(9)) to annually submit recommendations to Congress and the President for possible legislative action.

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Note to editors and correspondents: Full text of the FEC’s 1999 Legislative Recommendations may be obtained through the Commission’s Press Office, 202-694-1220, or at the FEC’s Website,