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Donnelly Introduces Legislation To End Gridlock At America's Election Watchdog Restoring Integrity To America's Elections Act
Updated August 2, 2017 6:41 AM
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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Tuesday, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly introduced the Restoring Integrity to America's Elections Act, which would reform the Federal Election Commission so it can carry out its intended mission to oversee campaign finance laws.

Donnelly said, "Hoosiers and Americans rightly expect for election laws to be followed and enforced. Our nation's election watchdog has been undermined by gridlock, and this legislation includes needed reforms that have bipartisan support and allow the Federal Election Commission to more effectively carry out its mission."

In recent years, the agency has regularly deadlocked on major decisions. In 2016, 30 percent of all substantive enforcement decisions by Commissioners resulted in a stalemate, compared to 2.9 percent in 2006.

Donnelly's legislation would:

  • change the number of Commissioners from six to five to eliminate stalemate decisions;
  • reduce partisanship by limiting Commissioners from serving for more than one term;
  • establish a blue ribbon panel to publicly recommend nominees to the president to fill any vacancy on the Commission.
  • maintain the requirement for a majority of the Commission to vote to initiate an investigation, take civil action against someone who has violated federal election law, issue advisory opinions, engage in rulemaking, and conduct investigations and hearings; and
  • delegate some administrative and investigatory responsibilities to the Chair to ensure timely action on investigations.
Donnelly's legislation is a companion bill to the bipartisan bill in the U.S. House of Representatives led by Congressmen Jim Renacci (OH-16) and Derek Kilmer (WA-06).

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