The Senate on Monday confirmed President Barack Obama’s two nominees to the Federal Election Commission, giving the panel its first new members since the George W. Bush administration. Democrat Ann Ravel and Republican Lee Goodman were approved by unanimous consent in a brief voice vote on the Senate floor. The commission — a six-member panel that regulates political spending on campaigns and elections — has been operating with just five commissioners since the spring when chairwoman Cynthia Bauerly departed for the private sector. Last week, Bauerly’s successor as chair Donald McGahn also left the commission to return to practicing law at Patton Boggs.
Ravel and Goodman’s confirmation bring the panel back up to full strength — but four other commissioners are serving on expired terms. The panel’s unusual rules allow commissioners to continue to serve indefinitely until their successors are confirmed by the Senate.
Obama’s only other nominee to the panel — labor attorney John J. Sullivan — was withdrawn in 2010, after objections from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and then-Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) over his refusal to appoint a new slate of nominees.
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