Federal Omnibus Bill Makes Significant Changes to Federal Campaign Finance Laws

The Fiscal Year 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill (“Omnibus”) signed by President Obama on December 17, 2014, contains campaign finance provisions that allow national party committees to raise significantly more money from individuals, as well as provisions impacting federal contractors.

The first provision amends the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 so that each national party committee will now be able to accept up to $324,000 annually from individuals, a dramatic increase from the current limit of $32,400 per calendar year.

Under the new law, national party committees will be able to establish new accounts designated for: presidential nominating conventions (the “Convention Account”); election recounts and contests and other legal fees (the “Recount Account”); and the construction, purchase and operation of one or more buildings for party headquarters (the “Building Account”). Previous limits permitted a donor to give $32,400 per year to a party committee’s general election fund and another $32,400 to its recount fund. The new accounts permit an individual to give up to $324,000 per calendar year each to the Republican National Committee (“RNC”) and the Democratic National Committee (“DNC”) and $226,800 per calendar year each to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (“DSCC”), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (“DCCC”), the National Republican Senatorial Committee (“NRSC”) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (“NRCC”).

Click here to view the limits for an individual per calendar year.

The party committees will be able to begin accepting the additional allowable contributions effective immediately. Foreign nationals and corporations are still prohibited from making contributions to national party committees.

The second provision impacts federal contractors. In response to several proposals that would require federal contractors to disclose political contributions and expenditures by the contractor, its officers and directors, and its affiliates and subsidiaries, the Omnibus included a specific provision prohibiting the use of any funds to require such disclosure as a condition of application for a federal government contract.

Contact Information

If you have any questions concerning this alert, please contact:

Melissa L. Laurenza
Washington, D.C.

Samuel J. Olswanger
Washington, D.C.

Hayley Evans
Washington, D.C.