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FEC approves 14 legislative recommendations and proposed amendment to Commission directive, discusses advisory opinion request –

WASHINGTON – At its open meeting today, the Federal Election Commission unanimously adopted 14 legislative recommendations and an amendment to a Commission directive concerning certification of tally votes. The Commission discussed and held over a vote on an advisory opinion request from a data services firm. Chair Shana M. Broussard paid tribute to the Commission staff on the occasion of Public Service Recognition Week.

Advisory Opinion Request 2021-05 (Tally Up, LLC). The Commission discussed two draft advisory opinions in response to a request from Tally Up, LLC, and held over a vote on the request to consider information gleaned from the requestor at the meeting. Tally Up, LLC asks whether it may use certain aggregated contribution data derived from FEC reports in its data services to candidates. During the discussion, the Commission heard from the requestor.

Proposed Amendment to Directive 17 The Commission adopted a recommendation from the Acting General Counsel to amend Directive 17 to provide for certification of tally votes in which fewer than four Commissioners cast affirmative votes and all the remaining Commissioners objected for the record. Currently, in such circumstances, the Commission Secretary is required to place the matters on the next meeting agenda unless the Commission takes a second vote to instruct the Secretary to certify the matter immediately.

Draft Legislative Recommendations 2021 The Commission unanimously approved 14 legislative recommendations for 2021 to be submitted for consideration to Congress: 1) Electronic Filing of Electioneering Communication Reports; 2) Authority to Create Senior Executive Service Positions; 3) Prohibit Fraudulent PAC Practices; 4) Fraudulent Misrepresentation of Campaign Authority; 5) Conversion of Campaign Funds; 6) Prohibit Aiding or Abetting the Making of Contributions in Name of Another; 7) Require Disclosures to Contributors Regarding Recurring Contributions; 8) Make the Administrative Fine Program for Reporting Violations Permanent; 9) Increase and Index for Inflation Registration and Reporting Thresholds; 10) Increase the In-Home Event Exemption and Unreimbursed Travel Expense Exemption for Candidates and Political Parties; 11) Permit Political Committees to Make Disbursements by Methods Other than Check; 12) Extend the Time to Establish Reporting Dates for Special Elections; 13) Update Citations to Reflect the Recodification of [the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended] FECA; and 14) Repeal the Convention Funding Provisions Rendered Non-Operational by the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act.

OIG FY 2022 Appropriations Language. The Commission held over discussion of this agenda item regarding budget appropriations for the Office of Inspector General.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Chair Broussard expressed appreciation to the staff, on behalf of all the Commissioners, on the occasion of Public Service Recognition Week.

“We are all joined together finally, having a quorum after years of not having a full complement of six Commissioners. We’re all different people, we all have different ideas and bring different nuances to the job but I think one thing that we all truly agree on is a true appreciation for the hard work our staff does and how they have managed to keep this ship going and moving forward despite the lack of quorum and a backlog of work,” Chair Broussard said. “So I want to publicly say thank you to them.”

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