Today, in the first week that the Senate is back in session, the Senate Rules Committee will consider the nomination of Trey Trainor to the Federal Election Commission, likely clearing the way for a full Senate vote.
In response to the news, Issue One Executive Director Meredith McGehee issued the following statement:
“The FEC has gone far too long without the quorum necessary to conduct even its most basic functions, and even before it was effectively shuttered, it was mired in partisan gridlock. The president should only nominate, and the Senate should only confirm, individuals who will put their constitutional oaths to uphold the law above their personal ideological views, so that the agency charged with upholding election laws can actually fulfill that duty.
“In the midst of this presidential election cycle and fighting a pandemic, it is absolutely imperative that the American people have faith in the integrity of our elected officials and that our nation has a functional watchdog to enforce federal anti-corruption laws. In his comments at his confirmation hearing, Trey Trainor demonstrated that he does not support common-sense enforcement of our election laws. Trey Trainor is the wrong choice for the FEC.”
Trainor’s confirmation hearing in early March confirmed that he is out of touch with what needs to be done to enforce campaign laws: he professed a belief that “the agency is, in fact, [already] enforcing the law,” suggested that dark money groups are already disclosing their donors to the FEC, argued that issue ads don’t fall within the purview of the commission, and declined to support new transparency rules. His prior stance on the regulation of dark money and his support for defunding Texas’s equivalent of the FEC raise even further concerns about his commitment to enforcing the law.
The FEC has been without the four commissioners necessary to conduct even its most basic functions since September 1, 2019. Even before that, the six-member commission had only four members, all of whom were serving on long-expired terms, and was underfunded, understaffed, and paralyzed by dysfunction.