The history of political financing goes back for decades as political parties and their candidates heavily rely on monetary support from individuals as well as businesses. However, the FEC announced the new contribution limits. These new monetary contribution brackets took the latest inflation rate into consideration and will be effective for the 2021-2022 federal elections. If you like to stay updated on the recent political developments or wish to make a contribution to the party or candidate you support, this post is for you.
The New Political Contribution Limits for 2021-2022
On February 2, 2021, the Federal Election Commission officially announced they are increasing the limits for financial contribution one can make to the political party or candidate of their choice. These contribution laws will come into effect for the election cycle of 2021-22.
The new updates to the political contribution limits include changes to lobbyist bundling limits, individual contributions limits, and limits on coordinated party expenditure. As usual, under the U.S Federal Election Campaign Act, 52 U.S.C. 30101-45, these new limits will be subject to periodic review, and the FEC will readjust them into the future for inflation.
The Key Amendments for Individual Contributors
The most notable changes pertaining to individual contributors or donors for the upcoming 2021-22 federal elections on November 2, 2021, are as follows:
- According to the new financial limit set by the Federal Election Commission, an individual contributor will now be able to donate up to $2,900 per election. This change introduces a $100 increase in political contribution limits from the 2020 election cycle.
- The new maximum limit for an individual’s contribution to their favorite national party committee has increased as well. Now each donor will be able to give a maximum of $36,500 to the national party committee they support by transferring the money into their main accounts. This change introduces an increase in the contribution by $1,000 compared to the 2020 cycle.
- FEC has also introduced a new maximum limit for a political contribution made by an individual into the special accounts of a national party committee. If you are thinking about contributing to the special account of the national party you support, now you can donate $109,500 per year, and this is a $3,000 increase compared to the 2020 cycle.
The Key Amendments for PAC Contributors
In the category of Political Action Committee (PAC) donations, there have been some changes that will help parties and candidates engage with their audience in the 2022 federal election cycle. These are as follows:
- If a political action committee is contesting in the election cycle, a non-multicandidate contributor can now make a donation of up to $36,500 per year. This contribution money must come directly into a national party committee’s main accounts. This change increases the new political contribution limit by $1,000 compared to the 2020 election cycle.
- If you are a non-multicandidate political action committee donor who wishes to contribute to your favorite national party committee, you can now give them a maximum of $109,500 per year. The money must only go directly into the committee’s special accounts. The new political contribution limits have increased by $3,000 in comparison to the 2020 election cycle.
For Multi-Candidate PAC Contributions
Unfortunately, there were no considerations given to the multi-candidate PAC donations category. Therefore, there are no adjustments for inflation, and the amount for contribution stays the same. The contribution bracket still remains at $5,000 for each candidate per election cycle.
Additionally, the multi-candidate national party committee’s limit remains at $15,000 for each election cycle until the Federal Election Commissions’ next review. However, you must remember that these are not subject to any periodic changes whatsoever. The political contribution limits for these categories have never been subject to revision since 1974.
The Lobbyist Bundling Disclosure
The Federal Election Commission increased the contribution threshold for the lobbyist bundling disclosure to $19,300 for 2021. Bundled contributions refer to the following donations:
- The contributions forwarded by a registrant/lobbyist or registrant/lobbyist PAC to a recipient committee
- The contributions received from a party’s committee and credited to a registrant/lobbyist or a registrant/lobbyist PAC through “record designations,” or any means to help recognize that specific sum of money raised by a party for the election cycle.
The State Level Adjustment
Apart from the federal contribution limits increase by the Federal Election Commissions, many states introduced their own limits on how much one can contribute for election cycle 2021-22. The National Conference of State legislature (NSCL) released the details on each state’s individual political contribution limits for the 2021-2022 elections.
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