AMENDS FY 2003 BUDGET REQUEST,
ASKS ADDITIONAL FUNDS FOR BCRA IMPLEMENTATION
WASHINGTON The Federal Election Commission has amended its FY 2003 budget
request, asking Congress and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for an additional
$5,366,200 to fund the implementation of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002
The amended total includes $750,000 in no-year funding to acquire space for an
additional 31 staff members, requested in an emergency supplemental appropriation for FY
2002 and forwarded to OMB on April 10. If both requests are approved, the FY 2003
amendment would be reduced to $4,616,200.
The FEC originally requested an appropriation of $46,917,000 and a staff complement of
362 for FY 2003, but in a cover letter to OMB Director Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr., FEC
Chairman David M. Mason and Vice Chairman Karl J. Sandstrom wrote that with the enactment
of the BCRA the initial budget request "...is no longer sufficient. In order to
accomplish our mandated responsibilities, which include implementing the numerous
statutory changes to the [Federal Election Campaign Act], the FEC is requesting a
total of $52,283,200 and 393 FTE* [for FY 2003]. This request reflects costs for
implementing the BCRA in FY 2003 only."
The amended budget request is based on each FEC divisions assessment of the
effect of the BCRA implementation on its operations, and a detailed cost analysis was
forwarded to Congress and OMB. Under the BCRA, which goes into effect after November 5,
all new regulations are to be in place by the end of 2002 (the 270 days stipulated in the
law would make that date December 22, 2002).
The Commission in public session on April 11 adopted a schedule for writing and
proposing the new rules that will implement the BCRA.
Completion of a notice of proposed rulemaking to ban unlimited soft money contributions
to political parties and restrict soft money to state and local parties is slated for
early May, with a 17-day comment period followed by a public hearing in early June. Under
the BCRA, rules on soft money must be in place by June 25.
Other scheduled dates for rulemakings approved at the April 11 meeting include:
electioneering communications -- publish final rule Sept. 25; coordinated and independent
expenditures -- final rule October 2; "millionaires amendment" -- final
rule October 29; increased contribution limits -- final rule December 18; other
provisions final rules November 6.
# # #
*Full Time Equivalent, i.e. staff