Blame for Lack of FEC Quorum Lies with Schumer, Not McConnell

Since Republican Commissioner Matthew Petersen resigned in August, the Federal Election Commission has only had three commissioners and lacked the four commissioners necessary for it to approve agency actions.  Never missing an opportunity to make a political point while ignoring the facts, the left has continued criticizing Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the lack of a quorum at the FEC (for example).  

This is one of the worst lies of the left. This is 100% the Democrats' fault and a part of their war on free speech and democracy. 

1. The FEC is bipartisan; it has always had three Democrat and three Republican commissioners. The concept is that this prevents one side or the other from unfairly enforcing election laws and chilling political speech.

2. FEC commissioners are always nominated in pairs. One Republican and one Democrat. They are confirmed or not confirmed as a pair.

3. For example, arguably then-Senator Obama's only accomplishment was destroying the nomination of Hans von Spakovsky to the FEC (in part over his support for voter ID laws). When this happened, the Democrat, who had support previously from Republicans, was also defeated as his nomination was paired with von Spakovsky's.

4. President Trump nominated Trey Trainor to be a commissioner over two years ago.

5. Trump and Republicans have been waiting for Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for well over two years to recommend a Democrat, as has been the tradition for the party opposite of the President. The Senate will not act otherwise.

6. Democrat Commissioner Ann Ravel stepped down. As did Republican Commissioners Matt Petersen and Lee Goodman.

7. Democrat Ellen Weintraub was nominated in 2002 by President Bush at the recommendation of Senator Daschle and is now in the 17th year of her 6 year term. You read that right. Yet Schumer won't move.

8. Always in the past the other party has recommended nominees. For example, Senator McConnell did his job and recommended Lee Goodman, whom President Obama nominated with Democrat Ann Ravel.

9. This is 100% on Schumer and his fault the FEC is broken.

10. Democrats do not want a functional FEC because Republicans on the FEC have enforced campaign finance laws as written, not as the Democrats and the so-called reform community wishes the laws to be. They would rather complain about the FEC's "dysfunction" than have an FEC that can perform its statutory function.

11. The terrible thing is in HR1 and their annual attempt to pass the DISCLOSE Act, Democrats are trying to further break the FEC by proposing giving the President's party a majority in the FEC. It is a bad idea that would further break a broken FEC.


Leader McConnell's hands are tied, and he is in a catch-22 situation.  By following Senate practice and waiting for Schumer to name a Democrat, he’s vilified by the left; if he had moved Trey Trainor without a paired Democrat, he’d be vilified by the left. Either way, the Democrats and the left will attack Leader McConnell and the FEC. Even with a quorum, they would attack the FEC for enforcing the law as written. It all feeds into their narrative advocating for increased regulation of political speech.