26 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2011 Edition
Title 26 - INTERNAL REVENUE CODE
Subtitle H - Financing of Presidential Election Campaigns
CHAPTER 96 - PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY MATCHING PAYMENT ACCOUNT
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov

CHAPTER 96—PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY MATCHING PAYMENT ACCOUNT

Sec.
9031.
Short title.
9032.
Definitions.
9033.
Eligibility for payments.
9034.
Entitlement of eligible candidates to payments.
9035.
Qualified campaign expense limitations.
9036.
Certification by Commission.
9037.
Payments to eligible candidates.
9038.
Examinations and audits; repayments.
9039.
Reports to Congress; regulations.
9040.
Participation by Commission in judicial proceedings.
9041.
Judicial review.
9042.
Criminal penalties.

        

Prior Provisions

A prior chapter 96, relating to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Advisory Board, consisted of section 9021, added by Pub. L. 92–178, title VIII, §801, Dec. 10, 1971, 85 Stat. 572, providing for the establishment and composition of the Advisory Board and the compensation and status of members, and was repealed by Pub. L. 93–443, title IV, §408(c), Oct. 15, 1974, 88 Stat. 1297. Section 410(c)(1) of Pub. L. 93–443, set out as an Effective Date of 1974 Amendment note under section 431 of Title 2, The Congress, provided that the amendments made by section 408(c) shall apply with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1974.

Amendments

1976—Pub. L. 94–283, title III, §305(b), May 11, 1976, 90 Stat. 499, substituted “limitations” for “limitation” in item 9035.

§9031. Short title

This chapter may be cited as the “Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account Act”.

(Added Pub. L. 93–443, title IV, §408(c), Oct. 15, 1974, 88 Stat. 1297.)

Effective Date

Section applicable with respect to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1974, see section 410(c)(1) of Pub. L. 93–443, set out as an Effective Date of 1974 Amendment note under section 431 of Title 2, The Congress.

§9032. Definitions

For the purposes of this chapter—

(1) The term “authorized committee” means, with respect to the candidates of a political party for President and Vice President of the United States, any political committee which is authorized in writing by such candidates to incur expenses to further the election of such candidates. Such authorization shall be addressed to the chairman of such political committee, and a copy of such authorization shall be filed by such candidates with the Commission. Any withdrawal of any authorization shall also be in writing and shall be addressed and filed in the same manner as the authorization.

(2) The term “candidate” means an individual who seeks nomination for election to be President of the United States. For purposes of this paragraph, an individual shall be considered to seek nomination for election if he (A) takes the action necessary under the law of a State to qualify himself for nomination for election, (B) receives contributions or incurs qualified campaign expenses, or (C) gives his consent for any other person to receive contributions or to incur qualified campaign expenses on his behalf. The term “candidate” shall not include any individual who is not actively conducting campaigns in more than one State in connection with seeking nomination for election to be President of the United States.

(3) The term “Commission” means the Federal Election Commission established by section 306(a)(1) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.

(4) Except as provided by section 9034(a), the term “contribution”—

(A) means a gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money, or anything of value, the payment of which was made on or after the beginning of the calendar year immediately preceding the calendar year of the presidential election with respect to which such gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money, or anything of value, is made, for the purpose of influencing the result of a primary election,

(B) means a contract, promise, or agreement, whether or not legally enforceable, to make a contribution for any such purpose,

(C) means funds received by a political committee which are transferred to that committee from another committee, and

(D) means the payment by any person other than a candidate, or his authorized committee, of compensation for the personal services of another person which are rendered to the candidate or committee without charge, but

(E) does not include—

(i) except as provided in subparagraph (D), the value of personal services rendered to or for the benefit of a candidate by an individual who receives no compensation for rendering such service to or for the benefit of the candidate, or

(ii) payments under section 9037.


(5) The term “matching payment account” means the Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account established under section 9037(a).

(6) The term “matching payment period” means the period beginning with the beginning of the calendar year in which a general election for the office of President of the United States will be held and ending on the date on which the national convention of the party whose nomination a candidate seeks nominates its candidate for the office of President of the United States, or, in the case of a party which does not make such nomination by national convention, ending on the earlier of (A) the date such party nominates its candidate for the office of President of the United States, or (B) the last day of the last national convention held by a major party during such calendar year.

(7) The term “primary election” means an election, including a runoff election or a nominating convention or caucus held by a political party, for the selection of delegates to a national nominating convention of a political party, or for the expression of a preference for the nomination of persons for election to the office of President of the United States.

(8) The term “political committee” means any individual, committee, association, or organization (whether or not incorporated) which accepts contributions or incurs qualified campaign expenses for the purpose of influencing, or attempting to influence, the nomination of any person for election to the office of President of the United States.

(9) The term “qualified campaign expense” means a purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, or gift of money or of anything of value—

(A) incurred by a candidate, or by his authorized committee, in connection with his campaign for nomination for election, and

(B) neither the incurring nor payment of which constitutes a violation of any law of the United States or of the State in which the expense is incurred or paid.


For purposes of this paragraph, an expense is incurred by a candidate or by an authorized committee if it is incurred by a person specifically authorized in writing by the candidate or committee, as the case may be, to incur such expense on behalf of the candidate or the committee.

(10) The term “State” means each State of the United States and the District of Columbia.

(Added Pub. L. 93–443, title IV, §408(c), Oct. 15, 1974, 88 Stat. 1297; amended Pub. L. 94–283, title I, §115(c)(2), title III, §306(b)(1), May 11, 1976, 90 Stat. 495, 500; Pub. L. 110–172, §11(a)(42)(C), Dec. 29, 2007, 121 Stat. 2488.)

References in Text

Section 306(a)(1) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, referred to in par. (3), is classified to section 437c(a)(1) of Title 2, The Congress.

Amendments

2007—Par. (3). Pub. L. 110–172 substituted “section 306(a)(1)” for “section 309(a)(1)”.

1976—Par. (2). Pub. L. 94–283, §306(b)(1), inserted provision that “candidate” shall not include any individual who is not actively conducting campaigns in more than one State in connection with seeking nomination for election to be President of the United States.

Par. (3). Pub. L. 94–283, §115(c)(2), substituted “309(a)(1)” for “310(a)(1)”.

Effective Date of 1976 Amendment

Amendment by section 306(b)(1) of Pub. L. 94–283 effective May 11, 1976, see section 306(c) of Pub. L. 94–283, set out as a note under section 9002 of this title.

§9033. Eligibility for payments

(a) Conditions

To be eligible to receive payments under section 9037, a candidate shall, in writing—

(1) agree to obtain and furnish to the Commission any evidence it may request of qualified campaign expenses,

(2) agree to keep and furnish to the Commission any records, books, and other information it may request, and

(3) agree to an audit and examination by the Commission under section 9038 and to pay any amounts required to be paid under such section.

(b) Expense limitation; declaration of intent; minimum contributions

To be eligible to receive payments under section 9037, a candidate shall certify to the Commission that—

(1) the candidate and his authorized committees will not incur qualified campaign expenses in excess of the limitations on such expenses under section 9035,

(2) the candidate is seeking nomination by a political party for election to the office of President of the United States,

(3) the candidate has received matching contributions which in the aggregate, exceed $5,000 in contributions from residents of each of at least 20 States, and

(4) the aggregate of contributions certified with respect to any person under paragraph (3) does not exceed $250.

(c) Termination of payments

(1) General rule

Except as provided by paragraph (2), no payment shall be made to any individual under section 9037—

(A) if such individual ceases to be a candidate as a result of the operation of the last sentence of section 9032(2); or

(B) more than 30 days after the date of the second consecutive primary election in which such individual receives less than 10 percent of the number of votes cast for all candidates of the same party for the same office in such primary election, if such individual permitted or authorized the appearance of his name on the ballot, unless such individual certifies to the Commission that he will not be an active candidate in the primary involved.

(2) Qualified campaign expenses; payments to Secretary

Any candidate who is ineligible under paragraph (1) to receive any payments under section 9037 shall be eligible to continue to receive payments under section 9037 to defray qualified campaign expenses incurred before the date upon which such candidate becomes ineligible under paragraph (1).

(3) Calculation of voting percentage

For purposes of paragraph (1)(B), if the primary elections involved are held in more than one State on the same date, a candidate shall be treated as receiving that percentage of the votes on such date which he received in the primary election conducted on such date in which he received the greatest percentage vote.

(4) Reestablishment of eligibility

(A) In any case in which an individual is ineligible to receive payments under section 9037 as a result of the operation of paragraph (1)(A), the Commission may subsequently determine that such individual is a candidate upon a finding that such individual is actively seeking election to the office of President of the United States in more than one State. The Commission shall make such determination without requiring such individual to reestablish his eligibility to receive payments under subsection (a).

(B) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1)(B), a candidate whose payments have been terminated under paragraph (1)(B) may again receive payments (including amounts he would have received but for paragraph (1)(B)) if he receives 20 percent or more of the total number of votes cast for candidates of the same party in a primary election held after the date on which the election was held which was the basis for terminating payments to him.

(Added Pub. L. 93–443, title IV, §408(c), Oct. 15, 1974, 88 Stat. 1299; amended Pub. L. 94–283, title III, §§305(c), 306(b)(2), May 11, 1976, 90 Stat. 499, 500.)

Amendments

1976—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 94–283, §305(c), substituted “limitations” for “limitation”.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 94–283, §306(b)(2), added subsec. (c).

Effective Date of 1976 Amendment

Amendment by section 306(b)(2) of Pub. L. 94–283 effective May 11, 1976, see section 306(c) of Pub. L. 94–283, set out as a note under section 9002 of this title.

§9034. Entitlement of eligible candidates to payments

(a) In general

Every candidate who is eligible to receive payments under section 9033 is entitled to payments under section 9037 in an amount equal to the amount of each contribution received by such candidate on or after the beginning of the calendar year immediately preceding the calendar year of the presidential election with respect to which such candidate is seeking nomination, or by his authorized committees, disregarding any amount of contributions from any person to the extent that the total of the amounts contributed by such person on or after the beginning of such preceding calendar year exceeds $250. For purposes of this subsection and section 9033(b), the term “contribution” means a gift of money made by a written instrument which identifies the person making the contribution by full name and mailing address, but does not include a subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money, or anything of value or anything described in subparagraph (B), (C), or (D) of section 9032(4).

(b) Limitations

The total amount of payments to which a candidate is entitled under subsection (a) shall not exceed 50 percent of the expenditure limitation applicable under section 315(b)(1)(A) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.

(Added Pub. L. 93–443, title IV, §408(c), Oct. 15, 1974, 88 Stat. 1299; amended Pub. L. 94–283, title III, §307(b), May 11, 1976, 90 Stat. 501; Pub. L. 110–172, §11(a)(42)(D), Dec. 29, 2007, 121 Stat. 2488.)

References in Text

Section 315(b)(1)(A) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, referred to in subsec. (b), is classified to section 441a(b)(1)(A) of Title 2, The Congress.

Amendments

2007—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 110–172 substituted “section 315(b)(1)(A)” for “section 320(b)(1)(A)”.

1976—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 94–283 substituted “section 320(b)(1)(A) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971” for “section 608(c)(1)(A) of title 18, United States Code”.

§9035. Qualified campaign expense limitations

(a) Expenditure limitations

No candidate shall knowingly incur qualified campaign expenses in excess of the expenditure limitation applicable under section 320(b)(1)(A) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, and no candidate shall knowingly make expenditures from his personal funds, or the personal funds of his immediate family, in connection with his campaign for nomination for election to the office of President in excess of, in the aggregate, $50,000.

(b) Definition of immediate family

For purposes of this section, the term “immediate family” means a candidate's spouse, and any child, parent, grandparent, brother, half-brother, sister, or half-sister of the candidate, and the spouses of such persons.

(Added Pub. L. 93–443, title IV, §408(c), Oct. 15, 1974, 88 Stat. 1300; amended Pub. L. 94–283, title III, §§305(a), 307(c), May 11, 1976, 90 Stat. 499, 501.)

References in Text

Section 320 of The Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, referred to in subsec. (a), was renumbered section 315 of that Act by Pub. L. 96–187, title I, §105(5), Jan. 8, 1980, 93 Stat. 1354, and is classified to section 441a of Title 2, The Congress.

Amendments

1976—Pub. L. 94–283 substituted “limitations” for “limitation” in section catchline, designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), inserted “Expenditure limitations” as heading of subsec. (a) as so redesignated and substituted “section 320(b)(1)(A) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, and no candidate shall knowingly make expenditures from his personal funds, or the personal funds of his immediate family, in connection with his campaign for nomination for election to the office of President in excess of, in the aggregate, $50,000” for “section 608(c)(1)(A) of title 18, United States Code”, and added subsec. (b).

Effective Date of 1976 Amendment

Section 305(d) of Pub. L. 94–283, as amended by Pub. L. 99–514, §2, Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095, provided that: “For purposes of applying section 9035(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 [formerly I.R.C. 1954], as amended by subsection (a), expenditures made by an individual after January 29, 1976, and before the date of the enactment of this Act [May 11, 1976] shall not be taken into account.”

§9036. Certification by Commission

(a) Initial certifications

Not later than 10 days after a candidate establishes his eligibility under section 9033 to receive payments under section 9037, the Commission shall certify to the Secretary for payment to such candidate under section 9037 payment in full of amounts to which such candidate is entitled under section 9034. The Commission shall make such additional certifications as may be necessary to permit candidates to receive payments for contributions under section 9037.

(b) Finality of determinations

Initial certifications by the Commission under subsection (a), and all determinations made by it under this chapter, are final and conclusive, except to the extent that they are subject to examination and audit by the Commission under section 9038 and judicial review under section 9041.

(Added Pub. L. 93–443, title IV, §408(c), Oct. 15, 1974, 88 Stat. 1300.)

§9037. Payments to eligible candidates

(a) Establishment of account

The Secretary shall maintain in the Presidential Election Campaign Fund established by section 9006(a), in addition to any account which he maintains under such section, a separate account to be known as the Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account. The Secretary shall deposit into the matching payment account, for use by the candidate of any political party who is eligible to receive payments under section 9033, the amount available after the Secretary determines that amounts for payments under section 9006(c) and for payments under section 9008(b)(3) are available for such payments.

(b) Payments from the matching payment account

Upon receipt of a certification from the Commission under section 9036, but not before the beginning of the matching payment period, the Secretary shall promptly transfer the amount certified by the Commission from the matching payment account to the candidate. In making such transfers to candidates of the same political party, the Secretary shall seek to achieve an equitable distribution of funds available under subsection (a), and the Secretary shall take into account, in seeking to achieve an equitable distribution, the sequence in which such certifications are received.

(Added Pub. L. 93–443, title IV, §408(c), Oct. 15, 1974, 88 Stat. 1300; amended Pub. L. 94–455, title XIX, §1906(b)(13)(A), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1834.)

Amendments

1976—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 94–455 struck out “or his delegate” after “Secretary” in three places.

§9038. Examinations and audits; repayments

(a) Examinations and audits

After each matching payment period, the Commission shall conduct a thorough examination and audit of the qualified campaign expenses of every candidate and his authorized committees who received payments under section 9037.

(b) Repayments

(1) If the Commission determines that any portion of the payments made to a candidate from the matching payment account was in excess of the aggregate amount of payments to which such candidate was entitled under section 9034, it shall notify the candidate, and the candidate shall pay to the Secretary an amount equal to the amount of excess payments.

(2) If the Commission determines that any amount of any payment made to a candidate from the matching payment account was used for any purpose other than—

(A) to defray the qualified campaign expenses with respect to which such payment was made, or

(B) to repay loans the proceeds of which were used, or otherwise to restore funds (other than contributions to defray qualified campaign expenses which were received and expended) which were used, to defray qualified campaign expenses,


it shall notify such candidate of the amount so used, and the candidate shall pay to the Secretary an amount equal to such amount.

(3) Amounts received by a candidate from the matching payment account may be retained for the liquidation of all obligations to pay qualified campaign expenses incurred for a period not exceeding 6 months after the end of the matching payment period. After all obligations have been liquidated, that portion of any unexpended balance remaining in the candidate's accounts which bears the same ratio to the total unexpended balance as the total amount received from the matching payment account bears to the total of all deposits made into the candidate's accounts shall be promptly repaid to the matching payment account.

(c) Notification

No notification shall be made by the Commission under subsection (b) with respect to a matching payment period more than 3 years after the end of such period.

(d) Deposit of repayments

All payments received by the Secretary under subsection (b) shall be deposited by him in the matching payment account.

(Added Pub. L. 93–443, title IV, §408(c), Oct. 15, 1974, 88 Stat. 1300; amended Pub. L. 94–455, title XIX, §1906(b)(13)(A), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1834.)

Amendments

1976—Subsecs. (b)(1), (2), (d). Pub. L. 94–455 struck out “or his delegate” after “Secretary”.

§9039. Reports to Congress; regulations

(a) Reports

The Commission shall, as soon as practicable after each matching payment period, submit a full report to the Senate and House of Representatives setting forth—

(1) the qualified campaign expenses (shown in such detail as the Commission determines necessary) incurred by the candidates of each political party and their authorized committees,

(2) the amounts certified by it under section 9036 for payment to each eligible candidate, and

(3) the amount of payments, if any, required from candidates under section 9038, and the reasons for each payment required.


Each report submitted pursuant to this section shall be printed as a Senate document.

(b) Regulations, etc.

The Commission is authorized to prescribe rules and regulations in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c), to conduct examinations and audits (in addition to the examinations and audits required by section 9038(a)), to conduct investigations, and to require the keeping and submission of any books, records, and information, which it determines to be necessary to carry out its responsibilities under this chapter.

(c) Review of regulations

(1) The Commission, before prescribing any rule or regulation under subsection (b), shall transmit a statement with respect to such rule or regulation to the Senate and to the House of Representatives, in accordance with the provisions of this subsection. Such statement shall set forth the proposed rule or regulation and shall contain a detailed explanation and justification of such rule or regulation.

(2) If either such House does not, through appropriate action, disapprove the proposed rule or regulation set forth in such statement no later than 30 legislative days after receipt of such statement, then the Commission may prescribe such rule or regulation. Whenever a committee of the House of Representatives reports any resolution relating to any such rule or regulation, it is at any time thereafter in order (even though a previous motion to the same effect has been disagreed to) to move to proceed to the consideration of the resolution. The motion is highly privileged and is not debatable. An amendment to the motion is not in order, and it is not in order to move to reconsider the vote by which the motion is agreed to or disagreed to. The Commission may not prescribe any rule or regulation which is disapproved by either such House under this paragraph.

(3) For purposes of this subsection, the term “legislative days” does not include any calendar day on which both Houses of the Congress are not in session.

(4) For purposes of this subsection, the term “rule or regulation” means a provision or series of interrelated provisions stating a single separable rule of law.

(Added Pub. L. 93–443, title IV, §408(c), Oct. 15, 1974, 88 Stat. 1301; amended Pub. L. 94–283, title III, §304(b), May 11, 1976, 90 Stat. 499.)

Amendments

1976—Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 94–283, §304(b)(1), inserted provision for accelerated consideration by the House of Representatives of resolutions relating to rules or regulations reported out by committees of the House.

Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 94–283, §304(b)(2), added par. (4).

Termination of Reporting Requirements

For termination, effective May 15, 2000, of reporting provisions in subsec. (a) of this section, see section 3003 of Pub. L. 104–66, as amended, set out as a note under section 1113 of Title 31, Money and Finance, and page 168 of House Document No. 103–7.

§9040. Participation by Commission in judicial proceedings

(a) Appearance by counsel

The Commission is authorized to appear in and defend against any action instituted under this section, either by attorneys employed in its office or by counsel whom it may appoint without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and whose compensation it may fix without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title.

(b) Recovery of certain payments

The Commission is authorized, through attorneys and counsel described in subsection (a), to institute actions in the district courts of the United States to seek recovery of any amounts determined to be payable to the Secretary as a result of an examination and audit made pursuant to section 9038.

(c) Injunctive relief

The Commission is authorized, through attorneys and counsel described in subsection (a), to petition the courts of the United States for such injunctive relief as is appropriate to implement any provision of this chapter.

(d) Appeal

The Commission is authorized on behalf of the United States to appeal from, and to petition the Supreme Court for certiorari to review, judgments or decrees entered with respect to actions in which it appears pursuant to the authority provided in this section.

(Added Pub. L. 93–443, title IV, §408(c), Oct. 15, 1974, 88 Stat. 1302; amended Pub. L. 94–455, title XIX, §1906(b)(13)(A), Oct. 4, 1976, 90 Stat. 1834.)

Amendments

1976—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 94–455 struck out “or his delegate” after “Secretary”.

§9041. Judicial review

(a) Review of agency action by the Commission

Any agency action by the Commission made under the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to review by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upon petition filed in such court within 30 days after the agency action by the Commission for which review is sought.

(b) Review procedures

The provisions of chapter 7 of title 5, United States Code, apply to judicial review of any agency action, as defined in section 551(13) of title 5, United States Code, by the Commission.

(Added Pub. L. 93–443, title IV, §408(c), Oct. 15, 1974, 88 Stat. 1302.)

§9042. Criminal penalties

(a) Excess campaign expenses

Any person who violates the provisions of section 9035 shall be fined not more than $25,000, or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both. Any officer or member of any political committee who knowingly consents to any expenditure in violation of the provisions of section 9035 shall be fined not more than $25,000, or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(b) Unlawful use of payments

(1) It is unlawful for any person who receives any payment under section 9037, or to whom any portion of any such payment is transferred, knowingly and willfully to use, or authorize the use of, such payment or such portion for any purpose other than—

(A) to defray qualified campaign expenses, or

(B) to repay loans the proceeds of which were used, or otherwise to restore funds (other than contributions to defray qualified campaign expenses which were received and expended) which were used, to defray qualified campaign expenses.


(2) Any person who violates the provisions of paragraph (1) shall be fined not more than $10,000, or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(c) False statements, etc.

(1) It is unlawful for any person knowingly and willfully—

(A) to furnish any false, fictitious, or fraudulent evidence, books, or information to the Commission under this chapter, or to include in any evidence, books, or information so furnished any misrepresentation of a material fact, or to falsify or conceal any evidence, books, or information relevant to a certification by the Commission or an examination and audit by the Commission under this chapter, or

(B) to fail to furnish to the Commission any records, books, or information requested by it for purposes of this chapter.


(2) Any person who violates the provisions of paragraph (1) shall be fined not more than $10,000, or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(d) Kickbacks and illegal payments

(1) It is unlawful for any person knowingly and willfully to give or accept any kickback or any illegal payment in connection with any qualified campaign expense of a candidate, or his authorized committees, who receives payments under section 9037.

(2) Any person who violates the provisions of paragraph (1) shall be fined not more than $10,000, or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(3) In addition to the penalty provided by paragraph (2), any person who accepts any kickback or illegal payment in connection with any qualified campaign expense of a candidate or his authorized committees shall pay to the Secretary for deposit in the matching payment account, an amount equal to 125 percent of the kickback or payment received.

(Added Pub. L. 93–443, title IV, §408(c), Oct. 15, 1974, 88 Stat. 1302.)