RNC wants unlimited fundraising

The Republican National Committee (RNC) filed a lawsuit Friday seeking to raise unlimited amounts of money independent of its coordination with campaigns.

The lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission (FEC) asks for relief so the committee can set up an account, cordoned off from its partnership with candidates, to spend and raise funds from individuals without restraint.


"The patchwork of limits on political speech undermines the First Amendment and puts high transparency, full-disclosure groups like the RNC on an unequal footing with other political entities," RNC Chairman Reince PriebusReinhold (Reince) Richard PriebusPoliticon announces lineup including Comey, Hannity, Priebus Sunday shows - White House stresses Trump's determination in China trade fight as GOP challenger emerges Priebus: Left's 'wacko ideas' are opportunity for Republicans in 2020 MORE said. "We are asking that political parties be treated equally under the law."

Outside organizations, like hybrid political action committees, are already allowed to raise unlimited amounts for independent expenditures while donating limited amounts to candidates, as long as the two accounts are separated.

Political parties like the RNC, however, are restricted.

Currently, party committees can coordinate with candidates as well as make independent expenditures, but individual donations to party committees cannot exceed $32,400 per year.

The RNC said it is not seeking to set up a super-PAC and highlighted key differences. The money would continue to be subject to monthly disclosure requirements, and the party would still be barred from raising unlimited corporate and union funds.

On First Amendment grounds, the RNC calls for the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia to file permanent injunction barring the FEC from enforcing the restrictions.

Without the ruling, the RNC says party committees are “deprived of their constitutional rights under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and will suffer irreparable harm. There is no adequate remedy at law."

The lawsuit was also filed on behalf of the Republican Party of Louisiana, its chairman and two executive committees in the state.

The RNC has become increasingly bullish about campaign finance law. It joined a case decided by the Supreme Court last month, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, that struck down the aggregate contribution limit an individual can make during an election cycle.

After the ruling, Priebus said party committee's should not have spending "caps at all." But Friday, the party was quick to note that the lawsuit did not seek to nullify the limits on coordinated spending or the ban on so called "soft money" contributions.

—Updated 4:07 p.m.