FEC Approves Use of Campaign Funds for Personal Security

March 26, 2021 by Dan McCue
Riot police clear the hallway inside the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission granted a request from Republican lawmakers that they be allowed to use campaign funds to pay for personal security for themselves and their families.

The National Republican Senate Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee requested an advisory opinion from the FEC board in January, shortly after the siege of the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead. 

As previously reported by The Well News, attorneys for the committees requested an expedited opinion on the matter on Jan. 26, “in light of recent developments that have elevated the threat environment facing members.”

They cited the riot and the still unsolved case of who planted two pipe bombs outside the headquarters of the Republican and Democratic national committees as among the reasons for their concern.

The request for an advisory opinion is signed by Jessica Johnson and Chris Winkelman, of the law firm of Holztman, Vogel, Josefiak, Torchinsky PLLC, counsel to both the NRSC and NRCC, Ryan Dollar, in-house counsel to the NRSC, and Erin Clark, in-house counsel to the NRCC.

“In light of current events involving concrete threats of physical violence against members and their families, members have been compelled to consider further security measures for themselves and their families,” the attorneys write.

“As has been well-documented in the media, members and their families continue to endure threats and security breaches, which are being timely reported to appropriate law enforcement officials,” they continue.

Previously, the commission had found that the members can use campaign funds for things like residential security systems and enhanced outdoor home lighting systems if they or their family face a threat of personal harm, and argue allowing members to hire security personnel would not be inconsistent with that and other prior opinions of the body.

When it came to home security systems, the commission concluded “that if a candidate ‘can reasonably show that the expenses at issue resulted from campaign or officeholder activities, the commission will not consider the use to be personal use.”

During its meeting on Thursday, the commission concluded the use of campaign funds for “bona fide, legitimate, professional personal security personnel against threats arising from the members’ status as officeholders, as proposed in the request, is a permissible use of campaign funds under the Federal Election Campaign Act.”

It also voted  unanimously to instruct the Office of General Counsel to draft a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in connection with the use of campaign funds for personal security. 

In The News

Health

Voting

Congress

Biden Wants Infrastructure Deal, But GOP Doubts Persist
Congress
Biden Wants Infrastructure Deal, But GOP Doubts Persist

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden wants Congress to know he's sincere about cutting a deal on infrastructure, but Republican lawmakers have deep-seated doubts about the scope of his proposed package, its tax hikes and Biden's premise that this is an inflection point for the U.S.... Read More

House Ethics Panel to Investigate Gaetz
Congress
House Ethics Panel to Investigate Gaetz
April 9, 2021
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The House Ethics Committee has opened an investigation into the recent flood of allegations against Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., including that he broke sex trafficking laws, shared graphic images of women with lawmakers on the House floor, and misused campaign funds. In a brief... Read More

Biden Unveils $1.52 Trillion Budget Proposal
White House
Biden Unveils $1.52 Trillion Budget Proposal
April 9, 2021
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden unveiled a $1.5 trillion budget proposal for the 2022 fiscal year, that among other things, includes a 16% increase in non-defense spending. In his first budget proposal as president, Biden is asking Congress for $753 billion for the Defense Department and... Read More

Alcee Hastings Dies of Cancer at 84
Congress
Alcee Hastings Dies of Cancer at 84
April 6, 2021
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Rep. Alcee Hastings, the dean of Florida’s congressional delegation, died Tuesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 84. Hastings announced his cancer diagnosis just over two years ago, but he continued to press on with his work until near the very end... Read More

Biden's Big Infrastructure Plan Hits McConnell, GOP Blockade
Infrastructure
Biden's Big Infrastructure Plan Hits McConnell, GOP Blockade

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans in Congress are making the politically brazen bet that it's more advantageous to oppose President Joe Biden's ambitious rebuild America agenda  than to lend support for the costly $2.3 trillion undertaking for roads, bridges and other infrastructure investments. Much the way Republicans... Read More

Goldmine of New Resources for Railroads
Transportation
Goldmine of New Resources for Railroads
April 5, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Virginia’s plan for a $3.7 billion passenger rail expansion was revolutionary on Tuesday when the governor announced it but later in the week looked like the tip of the iceberg. The next day, President Joe Biden presented his plan for $2.2 trillion in infrastructure improvements,... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top