Summary: S.1655 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.1655. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (09/21/1989)

Federal Election Enforcement Act - Amends the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to revise the enforcement provisions. Changes the determination the Federal Election Commission (FEC) must make upon receiving a complaint, before notifying the person of an alleged violation.

Authorizes the FEC to seek an injunction if: (1) it believes that there is a substantial likelihood that a violation of the Federal election laws is occurring or about to occur; (2) the failure to act expeditiously will result in irreparable harm; (3) such expeditious action will not cause undue harm or prejudice to the interests of others; and (4) the public interest would be best served by such an injunction.

Reduces the period provided for the FEC to attempt informally to prevent or correct a violation of such Act from 90 to 60 days. Requires the FEC to make such an attempt for a period of no more than 15 days, if the violation occurs during the 45 days prior to an election.

Provides greater penalties for knowing and willful violations committed during the 15-day period immediately preceding any election.

Requires the FEC, upon an affirmative vote of four of its members, institute a civil action if it is unable to correct or prevent a violation of such Act. Requires a court in such civil action to grant a specified remedy upon a showing that the person involved has committed or is about to commit a violation of such Act.

Provides a private right of action if, by a tie vote, the FEC does not vote to institute a civil action.

Requires a court to impose a specified civil penalty for a knowing and willful violation of such Act.

Reduces the time which an aggrieved party must wait before seeking judicial redress because the FEC dismissed, or failed to reasonably pursue, a complaint filed by such party. Allows the aggrieved party to file an action in any U.S. district court having jurisdiction. Requires that any monetary award under such action be paid to the United States. Provides for a mandatory award of attorney fees and costs to the prevailing party.

Increases the penalties for violation of the confidentiality requirement with respect to any notification or investigation made under such Act.

Removes the ceiling on the fine for any person who willfully and knowingly commits a violation of such Act which involves any contribution or expenditure aggregating $2,000 or more during a calendar year.

Requires a candidate, within 15 days of qualifying for a primary election ballot, to file with the FEC and each other qualifying candidate a declaration stating whether or not such candidate intends to expend funds and incur personal loans for the primary and general election in the aggregate of $25,000 or more from the following sources: (1) personal funds; (2) family funds; and (3) personal loans incurred in connection with the campaign for office. Allows the opponents of such candidate to accept larger contribution amounts from individuals.

Requires a candidate who files a declaration of intent not to expend more than $25,000 and who subsequently does exceed such amount, to file an amended declaration within 24 hours after exceeding such amount. Deems such a candidate unqualified to receive the broadcast media rates provided in the Communications Act of 1947.

Allows a candidate to repay a personal loan in connection with the candidate's campaign from contributions made to such candidate or any authorized committee of such candidate. Prohibits the repayment of any interest on the principal amount of such loan.

Prohibits a candidate who makes expenditures from his personal funds or those of his immediate family to his campaign committee, or makes a loan from such funds to such committee, from using post-election contributions made by any other person to repay any such expenditure or loan.

Sets forth disclosure requirements for independent expenditures through broadcast communications on any radio or television station.

Provides that an expenditure is not an independent expenditure where the person making an expenditure is in coordination, consultation, or concert with a candidate.

Requires the FEC to provide a hearing within three days after receiving a complaint alleging that an independent expenditure was made in cooperation, consultation, or concert with a candidate.

Increases the dollar limits on individual contributions in any election in which an organization expends or incurs $25,000 or more in independent expenditures to oppose a candidate or to support the opponent of such candidate.

Allows a candidate to file a declaration with the FEC renouncing the support of an organization which makes independent expenditures to publicly communicate support for a candidate or opposition to the opponent of such candidate.

Requires contributions that are solicited and contributed to a candidate or his authorized committee or agent to be made payable to a specific payee by the original payer.

Requires that any expenditures made by a multicandidate political committee or a separate segregated fund for direct mail fundraising for clearly identified candidates be treated as a contribution to each such candidate on a pro rata basis.

Repeals the exception which permits any individual who was a Member of Congress on January 8, 1980, to convert excess campaign funds to personal use.

Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit a licensee from preempting the use of a broadcasting station by a legally qualified candidate for public office during specified periods.