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FEC Earning Congressional Attention—for the Wrong Reasons

The Federal Election Commission — an agency of clashing commissioners, seething staffers and key vacancies — may soon face congressmen who wonder: Why’s the agency a basket case?

Such a trip under Congress’ microscope could come in the form of a Committee on House Administration oversight hearing, something the FEC hasn’t endured since 2011, when super PACs were still novel and the now-seminal Citizens United v. FEC decision wasn’t yet two years old. A planned oversight hearing in 2014 never materialized.


Congressional oversight hearings on the FEC would also be “an opportunity for the agency to state, for the record, the positive things it’s doing,” said former FEC Chairman Scott Thomas, a Democrat who today is a partner at law firm Blank Rome LLP. 

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"FEC Earning Congressional Attention—for the Wrong Reasons," by  was published in The Center for Public Integrity on March 13, 2017.