As at Sep 2019 - we can see that the Federal Election Commission is down to three members, one short of its required quorum, making it toothless.

Mitch McConnell could allow hearings for the current nominee but chooses not to.

My question is: Why is Mitch McConnell blocking nominees to the Federal Election Commission?


1 Answer 1


The FEC is meant to be a bipartisan body, meaning there should be an equal number of Democrats as Republicans. It is therefore customary for the President to work with the opposite party to ensure that this bipartisanship is maintained.

The last few appointments to the FEC have been in pairs, with one Democrat and one Republican being confirmed at roughly the same time. While President Trump has nominated a Republican to replace Ann Ravel in 2017, he has yet to nominate a Democrat to the commission. ABC News says it is possible that this is the reason that the Senate has been unable to move forward with confirmation.

  • 2
    Might be worth noting that the Trump administration is unusually slow at nominating people for almost any position no matter what it is.
    – Joe
    Commented Sep 1, 2019 at 16:02
  • 3
    With the panel currently having 3 members surely a singleton appointment is necessary eventually?
    – Jontia
    Commented Sep 1, 2019 at 19:12
  • 1
    @Jonita If a singleton appointment does take place, it will likely be an independent.
    – Joe C
    Commented Sep 1, 2019 at 19:39
  • 1
    Why do FEC members need to declare an affiliation with a party? Given that the membership comprises representatives of both parties, why not let the parties put forward their chosen representatives? It seems as if with the current situation the door is open to stack the commission in favor one way or the other by whoever has the senate majority.
    – tomr
    Commented Sep 2, 2019 at 5:23
  • @Joe Why? The overview of the commission says it's usually balanced between Republicans and Democrats (lets ignore the idea that this could cause suppression of 3rd parties) at the moment the panel has 3 members because a Republican resigned. The other two have been missing for longer and should be replaced as a pair, but presumably in the normal course a resignation means a single individual from the same party would be appointed. Or would an opposite party member have to resign so a new pair could be announced together?
    – Jontia
    Commented Sep 2, 2019 at 8:14

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