HR 3582 RFS
H. R. 3582
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
March 31, 1998
March 31, 1998
Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration
To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to expedite the reporting of information to the Federal Election Commission, to expand the type of information required to be reported to the Commission, to promote the effective enforcement of campaign laws by the Commission, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘Campaign Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1998’.
SEC. 2. EXPEDITING REPORTING OF INFORMATION.
(a) REQUIRING REPORTS FOR CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES MADE WITHIN 90 DAYS OF ELECTION TO BE FILED WITHIN 24 HOURS AND POSTED ON INTERNET-
(1) IN GENERAL- Section 304(a)(6) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 434(a)(6)) is amended to read as follows:
‘(6)(A) Each political committee shall notify the Secretary or the Commission, and the Secretary of State, as appropriate, in writing, of any contribution received and expenditure made by the committee during the period which begins on the 90th day before an election and ends at the time the polls close for such election. This notification shall be made within 24 hours (or, if earlier, by midnight of the day on which the contribution is deposited) after the receipt of such contribution or the making of such expenditure and shall include the name of the candidate involved (as appropriate) and the office sought by the candidate, the identification of the contributor or the person to whom the expenditure is made, and the date of receipt and amount of the contribution or the date of disbursement and amount of the expenditure.
‘(B) The notification required under this paragraph shall be in addition to all other reporting requirements under this Act.
‘(C) The Commission shall make the information filed under this paragraph available on the Internet immediately upon receipt.’.
(2) INTERNET DEFINED- Section 301(19) of such Act (2 U.S.C. 431(19)) is amended to read as follows:
‘(19) The term ‘Internet’ means the international computer network of both Federal and non-Federal interoperable packet-switched data networks.’.
(b) REQUIRING REPORTS OF CERTAIN FILERS TO BE TRANSMITTED ELECTRONICALLY; CERTIFICATION OF PRIVATE SECTOR SOFTWARE- Section 304(a)(11)(A) of such Act (2 U.S.C. 434(a)(11)(A)) is amended by striking the period at the end and inserting the following: ‘, except that in the case of a report submitted by a person who reports an aggregate amount of contributions or expenditures (as the case may be) in all reports filed with respect to the election involved (taking into account the period covered by the report) in an amount equal to or greater than $50,000, the Commission shall require the report to be filed and preserved by such means, format, or method. The Commission shall certify (on an ongoing basis) private sector computer software which may be used for filing reports by such means, format, or method.’.
(c) CHANGE IN CERTAIN REPORTING FROM A CALENDAR YEAR BASIS TO AN ELECTION CYCLE BASIS- Section 304(b) of such Act (2 U.S.C. 434(b)) is amended by inserting ‘(or election cycle, in the case of an authorized committee of a candidate for Federal office)’ after ‘calendar year’ each place it appears in paragraphs (2), (3), (4), (6), and (7).
SEC. 3. EXPANSION OF TYPE OF INFORMATION REPORTED.
(a) REQUIRING RECORD KEEPING AND REPORT OF SECONDARY PAYMENTS BY CAMPAIGN COMMITTEES-
(1) REPORTING- Section 304(b)(5)(A) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 434(b)(5)(A)) is amended by striking the semicolon at the end and inserting the following: ‘, and, if such person in turn makes expenditures which aggregate $500 or more in an election cycle to other persons (not including employees) who provide goods or services to the candidate or the candidate’s authorized committees, the name and address of such other persons, together with the date, amount, and purpose of such expenditures;’.
(2) RECORD KEEPING- Section 302 of such Act (2 U.S.C. 432) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
‘(j) A person described in section 304(b)(5)(A) who makes expenditures which aggregate $500 or more in an election cycle to other persons (not including employees) who provide goods or services to a candidate or a candidate’s authorized committees shall provide to a political committee the information necessary to enable the committee to report the information described in such section.’.
(3) NO EFFECT ON OTHER REPORTS- Nothing in the amendments made by this subsection may be construed to affect the terms of any other recordkeeping or reporting requirements applicable to candidates or political committees under title III of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.
(b) INCLUDING REPORT ON CUMULATIVE CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPENDITURES IN POST ELECTION REPORTS- Section 304(a)(7) of such Act (2 U.S.C. 434(a)(7)) is amended--
(1) by striking ‘(7)’ and inserting ‘(7)(A)’; and
(2) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
‘(B) In the case of any report required to be filed by this subsection which is the first report required to be filed after the date of an election, the report shall include a statement of the total contributions received and expenditures made as of the date of the election.’.
(c) INCLUDING INFORMATION ON AGGREGATE CONTRIBUTIONS IN REPORT ON ITEMIZED CONTRIBUTIONS- Section 304(b)(3) of such Act (2 U.S.C. 434(b)(3)) is amended--
(1) in subparagraph (A), by inserting after ‘such contribution’ the following: ‘and the total amount of all such contributions made by such person with respect to the election involved’; and
(2) in subparagraph (B), by inserting after ‘such contribution’ the following: ‘and the total amount of all such contributions made by such committee with respect to the election involved’.
SEC. 4. PROMOTING EFFECTIVE ENFORCEMENT BY FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION.
(a) REQUIRING FEC TO PROVIDE WRITTEN RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS-
(1) IN GENERAL- Title III of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 308 the following new section:
‘OTHER WRITTEN RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS
‘SEC. 308A. (a) PERMITTING RESPONSES- In addition to issuing advisory opinions under section 308, the Commission shall issue written responses pursuant to this section with respect to a written request concerning the application of this Act, chapter 95 or chapter 96 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, a rule or regulation prescribed by the Commission, or an advisory opinion issued by the Commission under section 308, with respect to a specific transaction or activity by the person, if the Commission finds the application of the Act, chapter, rule, regulation, or advisory opinion to the transaction or activity to be clear and unambiguous.
‘(b) PROCEDURE FOR RESPONSE-
‘(1) ANALYSIS BY STAFF- The staff of the Commission shall analyze each request submitted under this section. If the staff believes that the standard described in subsection (a) is met with respect to the request, the staff shall circulate a statement to that effect together with a draft response to the request to the members of the Commission.
‘(2) ISSUANCE OF RESPONSE- Upon the expiration of the 3-day period beginning on the date the statement and draft response is circulated (excluding weekends or holidays), the Commission shall issue the response, unless during such period any member of the Commission objects to issuing the response.
‘(c) EFFECT OF RESPONSE-
‘(1) SAFE HARBOR- Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, any person who relies upon any provision or finding of a written response issued under this section and who acts in good faith in accordance with the provisions and findings of such response shall not, as a result of any such act, be subject to any sanction provided by this Act or by chapter 95 or chapter 96 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
‘(2) NO RELIANCE BY OTHER PARTIES- Any written response issued by the Commission under this section may only be relied upon by the person involved in the specific transaction or activity with respect to which such response is issued, and may not be applied by the Commission with respect to any other person or used by the Commission for enforcement or regulatory purposes.
‘(d) PUBLICATION OF REQUESTS AND RESPONSES- The Commission shall make public any request for a written response made, and the responses issued, under this section. In carrying out this subsection, the Commission may not make public the identity of any person submitting a request for a written response unless the person specifically authorizes to Commission to do so.
‘(e) COMPILATION OF INDEX- The Commission shall compile, publish, and regularly update a complete and detailed index of the responses issued under this section through which responses may be found on the basis of the subjects included in the responses.’.
(2) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- Section 307(a)(7) of such Act (2 U.S.C. 437d(a)(7)) is amended by striking ‘of this Act’ and inserting ‘and other written responses under section 308A’.
(b) STANDARD FOR INITIATION OF ACTIONS BY FEC- Section 309(a)(2) of such Act (2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(2)) is amended by striking ‘it has reason to believe’ and all that follows through ‘of 1954,’ and inserting the following: ‘it has a reason to investigate a possible violation of this Act or of chapter 95 or chapter 96 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 that has occurred or is about to occur (based on the same criteria applicable under this paragraph prior to the enactment of the Campaign Reform and Election Integrity Act of 1998),’.
(c) STANDARD FORM FOR COMPLAINTS; STRONGER DISCLAIMER LANGUAGE-
(1) STANDARD FORM- Section 309(a)(1) of such Act (2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(1)) is amended by inserting after ‘shall be notarized,’ the following: ‘shall be in a standard form prescribed by the Commission, shall not include (but may refer to) extraneous materials,’.
(2) DISCLAIMER LANGUAGE- Section 309(a)(1) of such Act (2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(1)) is amended--
(A) by striking ‘(a)(1)’ and inserting ‘(a)(1)(A)’; and
(B) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
‘(B) The written notice of a complaint provided by the Commission under subparagraph (A) to a person alleged to have committed a violation referred to in the complaint shall include a cover letter (in a form prescribed by the Commission) and the following statement: ‘The enclosed complaint has been filed against you with the Federal Election Commission. The Commission has not verified or given official sanction to the complaint. The Commission will make no decision to pursue the complaint for a period of at least 15 days from your receipt of this complaint. You may, if you wish, submit a written statement to the Commission explaining why the Commission should take no action against you based on this complaint. If the Commission should decide to investigate, you will be notified and be given further opportunity to respond.’.
SEC. 5. BANNING ACCEPTANCE OF CASH CONTRIBUTIONS GREATER THAN $100.
Section 315 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 441a) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
‘(i) No candidate or political committee may accept any contributions of currency of the United States or currency of any foreign country from any person which, in the aggregate, exceed $100.’.
SEC. 6. EFFECTIVE DATE.
Except as otherwise specifically provided, this Act and the amendments made by this Act shall apply with respect to elections occurring after January 1999.
Passed the House of Representatives March 30, 1998.
ROBIN H. CARLE,