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H.R. 12406 (94th): Federal Election Campaign Act Amendments

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.


4/1/1976--Passed House amended. (Measure passed House, amended, roll call #156 (241-155)) Federal Election Campaign Act Amendments - =Title I: Amendments to Federal Election Campaign Act= - Amends the Federal Election Campaign Act to provide that six members of the Federal Election Commission be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. Makes the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives ex officio members of the Commission. States that any appointed member of the Commission shall not engage in any other business, vocation, or employment while a member of the Commission. Makes it the purpose of the Commission to seek to obtain compliance with the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 concerning the Presidential Campaign Fund and the Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account. Grants the Commission exclusive and primary jurisdiction with respect to the civil enforcement of such provisions. States that the authority or function of Congress will not be limited or diminished by this Act. Requires that an affirmative vote of four members of the Commission be taken before any guidelines for complaince with election laws are established. Provides that in any year in which a candidate is not on the ballot, such candidate and his authorized committee shall only be required to file a report with the Commission not later than the tenth day following the close of any calendar quarter in which aggregate contributions and expenditures were in excess of $10,000. Requires each treasurer of a political committee authorized by the candidate to raise contributions or make expenditures, other than the candidate's principal campaign committee, to file reports with the candidate's principal campaign committee. Requires a political committee, other than an authorized committee, with expenditures in excess of $100 to report the identification of each person to whom expenditures have been made, the amount, date, and purpose of each expenditure, and the name and address of, and office sought by, each candidate on whose behalf such expenditure was made. States that certification that such expenditure is made in cooperation with or at the suggestion of a candidate is made under penalty of perjury. Requires every person who makes expenditures or contributions expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate in an aggregate amount in excess of $100 within a calendar year to file a statement with the Commission. States which information shall be contained in such statements. Requires the Commission to prepare indices of expenditures on a candidate-by-candidate basis. Includes the Democratic Caucus and the Republican Conference of each House of Congress among those eligible to submit written requests for advisory opinions of the Commission. States that advisory opinions shall apply only to the person requesting such advisory opinion and to any other person directly involved in the specific transaction or activity with respect to which such opinion is rendered. Requires the Commission to prescribe rules or regulations in any case where the Commission receives more than one request for advisory opinions relating to similar activities where the Commission determines that such activity is not subject to any existing rule or regulation prescribed by the Commission. Requires the Commission to afford a reasonable opportunity for any person notified of an apparent violation to demonstrate that no action should be taken against him. Allows the Commission: (1) upon determination that there is probable cause to believe that a knowing or willful violation of this Act has occurred or is about to occur, to refer such apparent violation to the Attorney General of the United States; and (2) upon determination that there is clear and convincing proof of a violation, to require that such person involved in a conciliation agreement pay a civil penalty. Empowers the Commission to institute a civil action for relief if it believes that there has been a violation of any of the terms of a conciliation agreement. Prescribes civil penalties of not more than the greater of $10,000 or an amount equal to 200 percent of the contribution or expenditure involved in such violation. Allows the Commission to include specified civil penalties in the requirements of a conciliation agreement. Allows a party aggrieved by an order of the Commission dismissing a complaint filed by such a party or by a failure of the Commission to act on such complaint within 90 days to file a petition with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Sets time limits for the filing of such petitions. States that if the Commission determines after investigation that any person has violated an order of the court, it may petition the court for an order to adjudicate that person in civil contempt or criminal contempt if it believes the violation to be knowing and willful. Sets penalties for any member of the Commission or other person who makes public any investigation without written consent of the party being investigated. Extends the duties of the Commission to include the compilation of a cumulative index of reports and statements filed with it by political committees supporting more than one candidate. Changes House rules concerning consideration of resolutions where a House committee reports any resolution relating to a rule or regulation proposed by the Commission. Denies the admissibility into evidence or the creation of a presumption of violation or criminal intent of any rule, regulation, guideline, advisory opinion or other pronouncement of the Commission. Prohibits any person from making contributions to any candidate or any political party which, in the aggregate, exceed $1,000. Prohibits any person from making contributions aggregating more than $25,000 in any calendar year. Defines contributions to include (1) financing dissemination, distribution or republication of any broadcast or campaign materials; and (2) payments made through an intermediary to a particular candidate. Prohibits contributions which in the aggregate exceed $5,000 made by any political committee to any candidate or to any other political committee. Sets expenditure limitations for Presidential candidates of: (1) $10,000,000 for a candidate seeking nomination for election to the office of President; and (2) $20,000,000 for a candidate seeking election to the office of President. States that any candidate seeking nomination for President shall not make expenditures in any one State which exceed twice the greater of eight cents multiplied by the voting age population or $100,000. Provides for an inflation increase to be added to the expenditures limitations on an annual basis. Restricts the spending of a national committee of a political party to: (1) two cents multiplied by the voting age population of the United States for a candidate for the Presidency; (2) two cents multiplied by the voting age population of the State or $20,000 for a candidate for the Senate or to the House of Representatives where that State is entitled to only one Representative; and (3) $10,000 for a candidate to the office of Representative, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner in any other State. Makes these restrictions as to State and Congressional elections applicable to any State committee of a political party. Prohibits any candidate or political committee from knowingly accepting any contribution or making any expenditure in violation of the provisions of this Act. Makes it illegal for any national bank or any corporation organized by authority of any law of Congress, to make a contribution or expenditure in connection with any primary or general election or political convention or caucus held to select candidates for any political office. Prohibits corporations or labor organizations from making contributions or expenditures in connection with Presidential or Congressional elections, or in connection with any primary election or political convention or caucus held to select candidates. Prohibits specified Government contractors from directly or indirectly making contributions or promises thereof to any political party, committee, or candidate for public office or to any person for any political use. Makes it unlawful to solicit any contributions from such Government contractors. Requires a candidate or his authorized committee or their agents to file a statement with the Federal Elections Commission: (1) whenever he authorizes a communication advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate; or (2) whenever such communication is not authorized to state the name of the person that made or financed the expenditure for the communication. Prohibits contributions from any foreign nationals. Prohibits any person from making a contribution in the name of another person or from knowingly accepting a contribution made by one person in the name of another. Restricts to $100 the amount of any contribution of U.S. or foreign currency. Sets a fine for the violation of this provision of $25,000 or 300 percent of the contribution, imprisonment for one year, or both. Limits the acceptance of honorariums to: (1) $1,000 for any appearance, speech or article; or (2) $15,000 in the aggregate in any calendar year. Prescribes penalties for violations of this Act (other than violations involving the making, receiving, or reporting of contributions or expenditures exceeding $1,000 of $25,000 or 300 percent of the amount involved, or imprisonment for one year or both. Makes it illegal to fraudulently misrepresent campaign authority or to otherwise act on behalf of any candidate or political party on a matter which is damaging to another candidate or political party. =Title II: Amendments to Title 18, United States Code= - Makes technical and conforming amendments to existing law. Repeals 18 U.S.C. 608, 610-617. =Title III: Amendments to the Internal Revenue Code of 1954= - Requires that a candidate shall certify to the Federal Election Commission that such candidate did not knowingly make expenditures from his personal funds or from those of his immediate family for election to the office of President in excess of, in the aggregate, $50,000 in order to be eligible to receive payment from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund.