Election experts urge Trump, congressional leaders to end stalemate at FEC

Election experts urge Trump, congressional leaders to end stalemate at FEC
© Stefani Reynolds, Greg Nash

Lobbyists and lawyers who specialize in U.S. elections wrote to President TrumpDonald John TrumpOvernight Health Care: US hits 10,000 coronavirus deaths | Trump touts 'friendly' talk with Biden on response | Trump dismisses report on hospital shortages as 'just wrong' | Cuomo sees possible signs of curve flattening in NY We need to be 'One America,' the polling says — and the politicians should listen Barr tells prosecutors to consider coronavirus risk when determining bail: report MORE and congressional leaders on Monday, urging the confirmation of another federal election commissioner to end "an untenable situation."

The Federal Election Commission (FEC), the government's campaign watchdog organization, only has three out of six commissioners, one shy of a quorum. Former FEC Vice President Matthew Peterson resigned in August and, since then, the organization has been unable to do its job, which is to enforce campaign laws.

Lobbyists and lawyers from Berke Farah, Foley & Lardner, Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky, Miller and Chevalier, and Steptoe & Johnson, among others, sent a letter to Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellFlorida Democrat hits administration over small business loan rollout The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Dybul interview; Boris Johnson update Schumer says nation will 'definitely' need new coronavirus relief bill MORE (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer names coronavirus czar candidates in plea to White House Democrats struggle to keep up with Trump messaging on coronavirus Schumer: Fired inspector general will be remembered as a 'hero' MORE (D-N.Y.), Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiWe need to be 'One America,' the polling says — and the politicians should listen Florida Democrat hits administration over small business loan rollout The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Dybul interview; Boris Johnson update MORE (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Dybul interview; Boris Johnson update Pelosi, McConnell clash over next coronavirus bill Pelosi scales back coronavirus infrastructure proposal MORE (R-Calif.).

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“Now that we are in the 2020 election year, with voting in presidential and congressional elections commencing in only a few weeks, it is critical to maintain public confidence in our national election systems,” they wrote. 

The group identified themselves as lawyers who represent organizations and candidates regulated by federal campaign finance law on both sides of the aisle. 

“In representing those clients, we often find ourselves in adversarial positions in the legal arena,” they wrote. “Yet we are united in our commitment to the rule of law and the need for the agency tasked with regulating federal campaign finance laws to fully function and carry out the mission assigned to it by Congress.”

The three current commissioners are all ineligible for reappointment, and no one new has been nominated, so there are no signs of the shutdown ending soon. The FEC has not been left without a quorum since 2008.

“This is an untenable situation. We urge you to work together and immediately identify, nominate, and confirm a full slate of qualified individuals to serve as Commissioners of the FEC,” the group of lawyers wrote.