[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 195 (Friday, October 7, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 69722-69723]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-24309]


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FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION

11 CFR Parts 102, 104, 106, 109, 110, 9008, and 9012

[Notice 2016-10]


Rulemaking Petition: Implementing the Consolidated and Further 
Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015

AGENCY: Federal Election Commission.

ACTION: Rulemaking Petition: Notice of availability.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Election Commission has received a Petition for 
Rulemaking that asks the Commission to amend its regulations to 
implement amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act made by the 
Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, which 
established certain new accounts for national party committees. The 
petition also asks the Commission to amend its regulations regarding 
convention committees. The Commission seeks comments on this petition.

DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before January 30, 2017.

ADDRESSES: All comments must be in writing. Commenters are encouraged 
to submit comments electronically via the Commission's Web site at 
http://www.fec.gov/fosers, reference REG 2014-10, or by email to 
[email protected]. Alternatively, commenters may submit 
comments in paper form, addressed to the Federal Election Commission, 
Attn.: Neven F. Stipanovic, Acting Assistant General Counsel, 999 E 
Street NW., Washington, DC 20463.
    Each commenter must provide, at a minimum, his or her first name, 
last name, city, state, and zip code. All properly submitted comments, 
including attachments, will become part of the public record, and the 
Commission will make comments available for public viewing on the 
Commission's Web site and in the Commission's Public Records room. 
Accordingly, commenters should not provide in their comments any 
information that they do not wish to make public, such as a home street 
address, personal email address, date of birth, phone number, social 
security number, or driver's license number, or any information that is 
restricted from disclosure, such as trade secrets or commercial or 
financial information that is privileged or confidential.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Neven F. Stipanovic, Acting 
Assistant General Counsel, or Mr. Tony Buckley or Ms. Esther D. Gyory, 
Attorneys, Office of General Counsel, 999 E Street NW., Washington, DC 
20463, (202) 694-1650 or (800) 424-9530.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On January 8, 2016, the Federal Election 
Commission received a Petition for Rulemaking from the Perkins Coie LLP 
Political Law Group. The petition asks the Commission to adopt new 
regulations, and to revise its current regulations, to implement 
amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act, 52 U.S.C. 30101-46 
(``FECA''), made by the Consolidated and Further Continuing 
Appropriations Act, 2015, Pub. L. 113-235, 128 Stat. 2130, 2772 (2014) 
(the ``Appropriations Act''). The petition also asks the Commission to 
adopt new regulations, and to amend its current regulations, regarding 
convention committees.
    The Appropriations Act amended FECA by establishing separate limits 
on contributions to three types of segregated accounts of national 
party committees (collectively ``party segregated accounts''). The 
party segregated accounts are for expenses incurred with respect to (1) 
presidential nominating conventions; (2) party headquarters buildings; 
and (3) election recounts or contests and other legal proceedings. 52 
U.S.C. 30116(a)(9). The Appropriations Act permits a national party 
committee to maintain the party segregated accounts in addition to any 
other federal accounts that the committee may lawfully maintain.
    Under the Appropriations Act, a national party committee may use 
its presidential nominating convention account ``solely to defray 
expenses incurred with respect to a presidential nominating convention 
(including the payment of deposits) or to repay loans the proceeds of 
which were used to defray such expenses, except that the aggregate 
amount of expenditures the national committee of a political party may 
make from such account may not exceed $20,000,000 with respect to any 
single convention.'' 52 U.S.C. 30116(a)(9)(A). A committee may use its 
party headquarters building account ``solely to defray expenses 
incurred with respect to the construction, purchase, renovation, 
operation, and furnishing of one or more headquarters buildings of the 
party or to repay loans the proceeds of which were used to defray such 
expenses, or otherwise to restore funds used to defray such expenses.'' 
52 U.S.C. 30116(a)(9)(B). Finally, a national party committee may use 
its election recounts or contests and other legal proceedings account 
to ``defray expenses incurred with respect to the preparation for and 
the conduct of election recounts and contests and other legal 
proceedings.'' 52 U.S.C. 30116(a)(9)(C). The petition asks the 
Commission to adopt a ``new regulatory framework'' for each type of 
party segregated account and to amend current regulations, or adopt new 
regulations, that would apply to all such accounts.
    The petition also addresses convention committees. Until recently, 
national party committees were entitled to receive public funds to 
defray the costs of their presidential nominating conventions. See 26 
U.S.C. 9001-9013 (2012); 11 CFR part 9008. Commission regulations 
therefore established convention committees ``as a necessary 
requirement in order to enable the Commission to know who has initial 
responsibility for handling public funds and incurring expenditures.'' 
Presidential Election Campaign Fund and Federal Financing of 
Presidential Nominating Conventions, 44 FR 63036, 63038 (Nov. 1, 1979). 
In 2014, however, Congress terminated the public funding of 
presidential nominating conventions, while leaving in place most of the 
statutory framework that had implemented that funding system. See 
Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act, Pub. L. 113-94, 128 Stat. 
1085 (2014) (the ``Research Act''). Shortly after the Research Act was 
passed, in response to a request filed by two national party 
committees, the Commission issued an advisory opinion concluding that 
the requestors could establish convention committees to ``us[e] 
privately-raised funds solely to pay for the same types of convention 
expenses for which public funds were previously used.''

[[Page 69723]]

Advisory Opinion 2014-12 (Democratic National Committee et al.) at 5 
(internal quotation marks omitted). The petition asks the Commission to 
adopt new regulations, and amend its current regulations, to address 
convention committees, as well as to remove related regulations that 
are now ``obsolete.''
    The Commission seeks comments on the petition. The public may 
inspect the petition on the Commission's Web site at http://www.fec.gov/fosers, or in the Commission's Public Records Office, 999 E 
Street NW., Washington, DC 20463, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 
5 p.m. Interested persons may also obtain a copy of the petition by 
dialing the Commission's Faxline service at (202) 501-3413 and 
following its instructions. Request document #282.
    The Commission will not consider the petition's merits until after 
the comment period closes. If the Commission decides that the petition 
has merit, it may begin a rulemaking proceeding. The Commission will 
announce any action that it takes in the Federal Register.

    Dated: September 29, 2016.

    On behalf of the Commission.

Matthew S. Petersen,
Chairman, Federal Election Commission.
[FR Doc. 2016-24309 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6715-01-P