January 13, 2017 •
FEC Unable to Agree on Rulemaking Concerning Foreign Influence on Political Spending
On January 12, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) was unable to agree on a policy to clarify when and if a U.S. domestic subsidiary corporation of a foreign national is illegally involved in political activity.
Federal law prohibits foreign nationals from directly or indirectly making contributions, donations, expenditures, independent expenditures, and disbursements in connection with federal, state, or local elections. FEC regulations also prohibit foreign nationals from directing, controlling, or participating in the decision-making process of any person, such as a corporation, with regards to decisions concerning the making of contributions, donations, expenditures, or disbursements in connection with elections in the U.S.
Additionally, the FEC was unable to reach an agreement on the creation of a safe harbor for political committees to accept corporate contributions deemed not to have come from foreign national sources.
In response, Vice Chair Caroline C. Hunter and Commissioners Matthew S. Petersen and Lee E. Goodman issued a statement.
A previous attempt to reach an agreement on this issue in September also failed.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.