Over objections from watchdog groups, the Federal Election Commission on Thursday agreed to allow the nation’s political parties to form new committees that will raise money to finance their political conventions after Congress eliminated federal funds for the quadrennial events. The decision sought by the Republican and Democratic National Committees means each group can launch a fourth fundraising committee to collect money for convention expenses, in addition to the three committees they already operate to raise money for House races, Senate races, and general party expenses. Political donors will now be able to contribute an extra $32,400 for convention expenses on top of the other political contributions they’re allowed to make during an election cycle.
A lawyer for the Republican National Committee, which will hold the 2016 GOP convention in Cleveland, thanked the FEC for recognizing the plight of the political parties after Congress took the roughly $18 million the federal government had spent on each convention and redirected it to pediatric disease research.
“This is a very modest step in favor of the parties,” said GOP attorney John R. Phillipe, Jr., noting that the new committees will be subject to contribution limits and disclosure requirements, making them among the most “transparent and accountable and limited” types of political fundraising entities.