Policy Statement Establishing a Pilot Program for Probable Cause Hearings
The Federal Election Commission (``Commission'') is establishing a pilot program that will allow respondents in enforcement proceedings under the Federal Election Campaign Act, as amended (``FECA''), to have an oral hearing before the Commission. Hearings will take place prior to the Commission's consideration of the General Counsel's recommendation on whether to find probable cause to believe that a violation has occurred. The Commission will grant a request for a probable cause hearing if any two commissioners agree to hold a hearing. The program will provide respondents with the opportunity to present arguments to the Commission directly and give the Commission an opportunity to ask relevant questions. Further information about the procedures for the pilot program is provided in the supplementary information that follows.
Political Committee Status
In November 2004, the Federal Election Commission (``FEC'') adopted new regulations codifying when an organization's solicitations generate ``contributions'' under the Federal Election Campaign Act (``FECA'' or ``the Act''), and consequently, require that organization, regardless of tax status, to register as a political committee with the FEC. Additionally, the Commission substantially revised its allocation regulations to require the costs of voter drives, certain campaign advertisements, and a political committee's general administrative costs be paid for in whole or in substantial part with funds subject to FECA's limits, prohibitions, and reporting requirements. Pursuant to Shays v. FEC, 424 F. Supp. 2d 100 (D.D.C. 2006) (``Shays II''), the Commission is publishing a supplemental Explanation and Justification to provide a more detailed explanation of (a) The basis for the measures it adopted and (b) the reasons it declined to revise the regulatory definition of ``political committee'' to single out organizations exempt from Federal taxation under section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code (``527 organizations'') for increased regulation. This document also discusses several recently resolved administrative matters that provide considerable guidance to all organizations regarding the receipt of contributions, making of expenditures, and political committee status.
Price Index Increases for Expenditure and Contribution Limitations
As mandated by provisions of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (``BCRA''), the Federal Election Commission (``FEC'' or ``the Commission'') is adjusting certain expenditure and contribution limitations set forth in the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (``FECA'' or ``the Act''), to account for increases in the consumer price index. Additional details appear in the supplemental information that follows.