Notice of adjustments to expenditure limitations and lobbyist bundling disclosure threshold.
As mandated by provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (“FECA” or “the Act”), the Federal Election Commission (“FEC” or “the Commission”) is adjusting certain expenditure limitations and the lobbyist bundling disclosure threshold set forth in the Act, to index the amounts for inflation. Additional details appear in the supplemental information that follows.
Date: January 1, 2012.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Ms. Elizabeth S. Kurland, Information Division, 999 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20463; (202) 694-1100 or (800) 424-9530.
Under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, 2 U.S.C. 431 et seq., coordinated party expenditure limits (2 U.S.C. 441a(d)(2) and (3)(A), (B)) and the disclosure threshold for contributions bundled by lobbyists (2 U.S.C. 434(i)(3)(A)) are adjusted periodically to reflect changes in the consumer price index. See 2 U.S.C. 434(i)(3)(B) and 441a(c)(1), 11 CFR 104.22(g), 109.32 and 110.17(a), (f). The Commission is publishing this notice to announce the adjusted limits and disclosure threshold.
Coordinated Party Expenditure Limits for 2012
Under 2 U.S.C. 441a(c), the Commission must adjust the expenditure limitations established by 2 U.S.C. 441a(d) (the limits on expenditures by national party committees, state party committees, or their subordinate committees in connection with the general election campaign of candidates for Federal office) annually to account for inflation. This expenditure limitation is increased by the percent difference between the price index, as certified to the Commission by the Secretary of Labor, for the 12 months preceding the beginning of the calendar year and the price index for the base period (calendar year 1974).
1. Expenditure Limitation for House of Representatives in States With More Than One Congressional District
Both the national and state party committees have an expenditure limitation for each general election held to fill a seat in the House of Representatives in states with more than one congressional district. This limitation also applies to those states and territories that elect individuals to the office of Delegate or Resident Commissioner.
The formula used to calculate the expenditure limitation in such states multiplies the base figure of $10,000 by the difference in the price index (4.56207), rounding to the nearest $100. See 2 U.S.C. 441a(c)(1)(B) and 441a(d)(3)(B), and 11 CFR 109.32(b) and 110.17. Based upon this formula, the expenditure limitation for 2012 general elections for House candidates in these states is $45,600.
2. Expenditure Limitation for Senate and for House of Representatives in States With Only One Congressional District
Both the national and state party committees have an expenditure limitation for a general election held to fill a seat in the Senate or in the House of Representatives in states with only one congressional district. The formula used to calculate this expenditure limitation considers not only the price index but also the voting age population (“VAP”) of the state. The VAP of each state is published annually in the Federal Register by the Department of Commerce. 11 CFR 110.18. The general election expenditure limitation is the greater of: The base figure ($20,000) multiplied by the difference in the price index, 4.56207 (which totals $91,200); or $0.02 multiplied by the VAP of the state, multiplied by 4.56207. Amounts are rounded to the nearest $100. See 2 U.S.C. 441a(c)(1)(B) and 441a(d)(3)(A), and 11 CFR 109.32(b) and 110.17. The chart below provides the state-by-state breakdown of the 2012 general election expenditure limitation for Senate elections. The expenditure limitation for 2012 House elections in states with only one congressional district 
Senate General Election Expenditure Limitations—2012 Elections
|State||Voting age population (VAP)||VAP × .02 × the price index (4.56207)||Senate expenditure limit (the greater of the amount in column 3 or $91,200)|
3. Expenditure Limitation for President
The national party committees have an expenditure limitation for their general election nominee for President. The formula used to calculate the Presidential expenditure limitation considers not only the price index but also the total VAP of the United States. The Department of Commerce also publishes the total VAP of the United States annually in the Federal Register. 11 CFR 110.18. The formula used to calculate this expenditure limitation is $0.02 multiplied by the total VAP of the United States (237,657,645), multiplied by the price index, 4.56207. Amounts are rounded to the nearest $100. See 2 U.S.C. 441a(d)(2) and 11 CFR 109.32(a). Based upon this formula, the expenditure limitation for 2012 Presidential nominees is $21,684,200.
Limitations on Contributions by Individuals, Non-Multicandidate Committees and Certain Political Party Committees Giving to U.S. Senate Candidates for the 2011-2012 Election Cycle
For the convenience of the readers, the Commission is also republishing the contribution limitations for individuals, non-multicandidate committees and for certain political party committees giving to U.S. Senate candidates for the 2011-2012 election cycle:
|Statutory provision||Statutory amount||2011-2012 Limitation|
|2 U.S.C. 441a(a)(1)(A)||$2,000||$2,500.|
|2 U.S.C. 441a(a)(1)(B)||$25,000||$30,800.|
|2 U.S.C. 441a(a)(3)(A)||$37,500||$46,200.|
|2 U.S.C. 441a(a)(3)(B)||$57,500 (of which no more than $37,500 may be attributable to contributions to political committees that are not political committees of national political parties)||$70,800 (of which no more than $46,200 may be attributable to contributions to political committees that are not political committees of national political parties) The overall biennial limit for 2011-12 is $117,000.|
|2 U.S.C. 441a(h)||$35,000||$43,100.|
Lobbyist Bundling Disclosure Threshold for 2012
The Act requires certain political committees to disclose contributions bundled by lobbyists/registrants and lobbyist/registrant political action committees once the contributions exceed a specified threshold amount. The Commission must adjust this threshold amount annually to account for inflation. The disclosure threshold is increased by multiplying the $15,000 statutory disclosure threshold by 1.11578, the difference between the price index, as certified to the Commission by the Secretary of Labor, for the 12 months preceding the beginning of the calendar year and the price index for the base period (calendar year 2006). The resulting amount is rounded to the nearest multiple of $100. See 2 U.S.C. 434(i)(3)(A) and (B), 441a(c)(1)(B) and 11 CFR 104.22(g). Based upon this formula ($15,000 × 1.11578), the lobbyist bundling disclosure threshold for calendar year 2012 is $16,700.
Dated: February 14, 2012.
On behalf of the Commission.
Caroline C. Hunter,
Chair, Federal Election Commission.
[FR Doc. 2012-3841 Filed 2-17-12; 8:45 am]
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