U.S. Senate confirms three to Federal Election Commission

Graphic with the five pillars of the

The new commissioners are Shana Broussard (D), Allen Dickerson (R), and Sean Cooksey (R). They join current commissioners James “Trey” Trainor (R), Steven T. Walther (I), and Ellen L. Weintraub (D). Trainor chairs the commission, and Walther is vice chair. 

Broussard previously served as counsel to now fellow commissioner Walther, while Dickerson was the legal director of the Institute of Free Speech and Cooksey the general counsel to Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.). Broussard is also the first person of color to serve as commissioner.

Congress created the FEC as an independent regulatory agency in 1975 to administer and enforce the Federal Elections Campaign Act. It is responsible for disclosing campaign finance information, enforcing limits and prohibitions on contributions, and overseeing the public funding of presidential elections.

The president appoints commissioners who serve six-year terms, with two seats up for appointment every two years. According to the Federal Election Campaign Act Amendments of 1976, no more than three members can be of the same political party, and there is a four-vote minimum for any proposal to be passed. Chairs of the commission serve one-year terms and are limited to one term as chair during their tenure. 

The FEC is one of 88 administrative state agencies tracked by Ballotpedia. The administrative state is a term used to describe the phenomenon of executive branch administrative agencies exercising the power to create, adjudicate, and enforce their own rules. Ballotpedia’s Administrative State Project is an encyclopedic overview of the administrative state. It includes information about the administrative and regulatory activities of the United States government. It also covers concepts, laws, court cases, executive orders, scholarly work, and other material related to the administrative state. 

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