Aug 26, 2019

Federal Election Commission effectively shuts down after key resignation

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call

Following the resignation of vice chairman Matthew Petersen on Monday, the Federal Election Commission will be forced to virtually shut down due to a rule requiring a minimum of 4 commissioners to make high-level decisions, per the Center for Public Integrity (CPI).

Why it matters: The FEC is responsible for enforcing campaign finance laws. As the 2020 elections continue to ramp up, the commission's power to keep candidates accountable could be hindered by its inability to issue fines, make rules, conduct and approve audits, and vote on the outcome of investigations.

The big picture: The commission's quorum has been at the minimum threshold for about a year and a half following the resignation of commissioners Ann Ravel in 2017 and Lee Goodman in 2018.

  • So far, President Trump has only nominated 1 person to fill the vacancies on what is meant to be a 6-person commission. The Senate has not yet granted the nominee, Texas attorney Trey Trainor, a confirmation hearing.
  • The last time the commission faced a shutdown of this type was in 2008.

Between the lines: Per CPI, there is a long-standing tradition for the president to nominate commissioners in bipartisan pairs, supporting a rule that no more than 3 commissioners may represent one political party. Trainor's delayed hearing could be a reflection of Trump's failure to offer both parties a nominee.

Go deeper: FEC chair rebukes Trump's 2016 voter fraud claims

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Andrew Yang campaign says UBI raffle netted 450,000 entries in 72 hours

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Andrew Yang's 2020 presidential campaign told Politico on Monday that more than 450,000 people entered its universal basic income raffle, raising $1 million in the 72 hours after Yang's appearance in last week's third Democratic debate.

Why it matters: Yang raised $2.8 million during the second quarter, making the contest, which will give 10 families $120,000 over a year, a huge boon for his fundraising efforts.

Go deeperArrowSep 16, 2019

The national security gaps in the Trump administration

Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images

John Bolton's White House departure on Tuesday isn't the only hole in the Trump administration's national security apparatus.

Why it matters: The U.S., either on a diplomatic or military level, is currently engaged in conflicts with Iran, Venezuela, North Korea and Afghanistan — to name a few. The sheer volume of global hotspots that threaten U.S. national security demand some semblance of government stability.

Go deeperArrowSep 10, 2019

The war over Medicare Advantage audits heats up

A doctor visits an older adult at his home. Photo: Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The health insurance industry again is attacking federal proposals that would more aggressively audit Medicare Advantage claims for improper coding — audits that would save taxpayers upwards of $4.5 billion over the next decade.

The big picture: Medicare Advantage is the growth engine of the insurance industry, which has successfully delayed changes and neutered audits.

Go deeperArrowSep 3, 2019