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For Immediate Release
October 18, 2006

Corrected October 19, 2006*

Contact: Bob Biersack
Kelly Huff
Michelle Ryan
George Smaragdis

WASHINGTON – Political parties, Political Action Committees, and others have reported $117.1 million in independent expenditures in U.S. Senate and House races thus far in the 2005-2006 election cycle, according to the Federal Election Commission.  This total represents an increase of 27% over the $92.5 million spent on congressional candidates during the comparable 2003-2004 election cycle.

Independent expenditures expressly advocate the election or defeat of a clearly identified federal candidate and are made independently of a candidate’s campaign.  Political committees (including parties) and individuals  may make unlimited independent expenditures using funds raised within the limits and prohibitions of federal law.  However, such independent expenditures must be reported to the FEC.

            National party committees are the largest independent spenders this cycle, with five committees reporting a total of $96.6 million in independent expenditures.  The table below summarizes independent party expenditure for congressional races through mid-October of 2006 and 2004 respectively.







For Candidates






Against Candidates







For Candidates






Against Candidates






DSCC – Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

NRSC – National Republican Senatorial Committee

DCCC – Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

NRCC – National Republican Congressional Committee

RNC – Republican National Committee

Information includes reports filed with the FEC through October 17, 2006 and expenditures through October 17, 2004.

            Most independent expenditures in the current election cycle have been made in opposition to candidates ($92 million or 78% of all spending vs. $26.1 million (22%) spent in support of candidates). This contrasts with spending in the 2004 election cycle when $36.8 million was spent in opposition to candidates (40%) and $55.6 million (60%) was spent in support of candidates.

            PACs and other groups reporting independent expenditures in excess of $1 million include the National Association of Realtors PAC ($4.2 million), Club for Growth PAC ($2.4 million), American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees PAC ($2.3 million), Moveon.org PAC ($1.9 million), Emily’s List ($1.8 million), the American Medical Association ($1.2 million), and the National Rifle Association PAC ($1.1 million).

            The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA, or McCain-Feingold) requires an individual, group or committee to file reports within 48 hours if its spending exceeds $10,000 for or against a federal candidate and the spending occurs prior to 20 days before the election.  For the final 20 days of the campaign independent expenditures aggregating at least $1,000 must be reported within 24 hours. Note that some independent expenditures that are below reporting thresholds have not yet been disclosed.

Tables attached to this release summarize independent expenditures by the organization making the expenditures, by the candidate for whom the spending was made, and the states and districts where independent spending has been reported.


Note: The tables containing independent expenditure information will be updated daily from now through November 7 - and can be found here

*Due to a processing error, some filings of independent expenditures were omitted from the original release.


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