FEC Seeking Public Comment on Candidate Compensation From Campaign Funds
WASHINGTON — The Federal Election Commission is seeking public comment of proposed changes to regulations it is considering regarding candidate compensation from campaign funds.
Currently, the Federal Election Campaign Act prohibits principal campaign committees from converting campaign funds to personal use.
That means they cannot cover any expense of a candidate that would exist irrespective of the candidate’s election campaign or duties as a federal office holder.
However, FEC regulations presently allow candidates to receive a salary from their campaigns under limited circumstances.
The salary must not exceed the lesser of the minimum annual salary for the federal office sought or the earned income that candidate received during the year prior to becoming a candidate.
As a result, candidates may receive salary payments from campaign funds only if they earned income the year prior to becoming a candidate.
In March 2021, the FEC received a petition for rulemaking asking it to expand the category of candidates eligible to receive compensation from committee, extend the duration of their eligibility, to change the calculation of compensation that candidates may receive, and to authorize the use of campaign funds to pay candidates’ health insurance premiums.
On Monday, the agency announced it is seeking public comment related to those proposed changes.
Specifically, the FEC wants input on six alternative ways it is considering for capping the amount of compensation that a candidate could receive from campaign funds.
A notice published in Monday’s Federal Register also seeks comment on three alternative definitions of candidate compensation, with each alternative including both direct payments to the candidate and payments for at least some other employment-related benefit.
Public comments on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking are due by Feb. 10, 2023.
Commenters are encouraged to submit comments electronically (reference REG 2021-01) via the commission’s website. The commission may hold a public hearing on this rulemaking; commenters who wish to testify at a hearing must so indicate in their comments.