EXTENSION AND EXPANSION OF ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY AUTHORITY OF FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION THROUGH 2018
(House of Representatives - November 18, 2013)

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[Pages H7163-H7164]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




EXTENSION AND EXPANSION OF ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY AUTHORITY OF FEDERAL 
                    ELECTION COMMISSION THROUGH 2018

  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and 
pass the bill (H.R. 3487) to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act to 
extend through 2018 the authority of the Federal Election Commission to 
impose civil money penalties on the basis of a schedule of penalties 
established and published by the Commission, to expand such authority 
to certain other violations, and for other purposes.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 3487

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. EXTENSION OF ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY AUTHORITY OF 
                   FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION THROUGH 2018.

       Section 309(a)(4)(C)(iv) of the Federal Election Campaign 
     Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(4)(C)(iv)) is amended by 
     striking ``December 31, 2013'' and inserting ``December 31, 
     2018''.

     SEC. 2. EXPANSION OF ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTY AUTHORITY OF 
                   FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION.

       (a) Application to Qualified Disclosure Requirements.--
     Section 309(a)(4)(C)(i) of the Federal Election Campaign Act 
     of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(4)(C)(i)) is amended by striking 
     ``any requirement of section 304(a) of the Act (2 U.S.C. 
     434(a))'' and inserting ``a qualified disclosure 
     requirement''.
       (b) Schedule of Penalties for Each Violation.--Section 
     309(a)(4)(C)(i)(II) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 
     1971 (2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(4)(C)(i)(II)) is amended by inserting 
     ``, for violations of each qualified disclosure 
     requirement,'' before ``under a schedule of penalties''.
       (c) Definition of Qualified Disclosure Requirement.--
     Section 309(a)(4)(C) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 
     1971 (2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(4)(C)) is amended--
       (1) by redesignating clause (iv), as amended by section 1, 
     as clause (v); and
       (2) by inserting after clause (iii) the following new 
     clause:
       ``(iv) In this subparagraph, the term `qualified disclosure 
     requirement' means any requirement of--

[[Page H7164]]

       ``(I) subsections (a), (c), (e), (f), (g), or (i) of 
     section 304; or
       ``(II) section 305.''.

     SEC. 3. EFFECTIVE DATE.

       The amendments made by this Act shall take effect on the 
     earlier of--
       (1) December 31, 2013; or
       (2) the date of the enactment of this Act.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from 
Michigan (Mrs. Miller) and the gentlewoman from California (Mrs. Davis) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Michigan.


                             General Leave

  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that 
all Members have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks 
on the bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from Michigan?
  There was no objection.
  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  I rise in support of H.R. 3487, reauthorizing the Federal Election 
Commission's Administrative Fines Program. This program, which was 
established in the year 2000, provides the FEC with a consistent, 
transparent process for determining and administering fines for 
campaign finance reporting violations primarily related to late or 
incomplete filings with the Commission. It also provides filers with an 
inexpensive and efficient alternative to full investigations and 
enforcement proceedings to resolve very minor filing violations.
  Using a public formula that takes multiple factors into 
consideration, like length of delay and repeat offenses, the FEC's 
program simply assesses the appropriate fines associated with a minor 
violation.
  For example, if a Political Action Committee or Federal candidate 
files their quarterly expenditures 24 hours past the submission 
deadline, the Administrative Fines Program will automatically determine 
the financial penalty using its formula and then send a notification. 
If there is no dispute, the fine is just simply paid.
  H.R. 3487 also expands this successful program to include reports 
filed by other types of organizations if the FEC's commissioners adopt 
a formula of fines for them. This effective program saves the agency, 
filers, and taxpayers money. However, without this bill, the program 
will expire on December 31 of this year.
  With that, I certainly want to thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania 
(Mr. Brady) as well as the other members of our committee, the House 
Administration Committee, for their support of this bill. And I would 
urge my colleagues to support this reauthorization.
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mrs. DAVIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 3487, a bill to reauthorize 
the Federal Election Commission's Administrative Fines Program through 
2018.

                              {time}  1730

  This program allows the FEC to streamline ``straightforward 
disclosure violations'' and enact a penalty. Since its introduction in 
1999, the AFP has improved the enforcement process, decreased late 
filings, and assessed over $4 million in fines. Reauthorizing the AFP 
program is a reasonable and appropriate step.
  The FEC is a small agency charged with the monumental task of 
overseeing the massive, complex, and eroding campaign funding system. 
In the wake of Citizens United, we need them more than ever. Instead, 
the agency has been mired in partisan games, distracting it from 
important functions such as conducting audits or issuing regulations, 
advisory opinions, and enforcement actions. But now, with a new, 
confirmed full slate of commissioners, I look forward to the agency 
moving ahead and returning to its core duties instead of the partisan 
squabble of the past.
  Even though my Republican colleagues and I don't always see eye-to-
eye on these campaign finance issues, we all agree that the AFP program 
has been successful. I am very proud to stand with Chairman Miller on 
this issue.
  I urge all Members to support H.R. 3487. I urge an ``aye'' vote, and 
I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I would just close by saying 
that, as a former secretary of state from the great State of Michigan 
and a former chief elections officer of my State, I think this is a 
very commonsense, cost-efficient, cost-effective program. It has worked 
very, very well for the agency, for the FEC, and certainly for filers 
as well as taxpayers.
  I would urge my colleagues to support H.R. 3487 and reauthorize the 
Federal Election Commission's Administrative Fine Program.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentlewoman from Michigan (Mrs. Miller) that the House suspend the 
rules and pass the bill, H.R. 3487.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

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