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Increased Campaign Contribution Limits in 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Act

December 17, 2014

President Obama signed an omnibus appropriations bill into law on December 16, 2014 that, among other things, substantially increases the limits on the amounts that individuals and PACs may contribute to national political party committees.

Previously, individuals were allowed to contribute only up to $32,400 per calendar year to each of the major political parties' three national committees: a national campaign committee (DNC or RNC), a House campaign committee (DCCC or NRCC), and a Senate campaign committee (DSCC or NRSC). Under the new regime, a national party committee is now permitted to establish up to three new, segregated accounts to accept additional funds for designated purposes:

  • A "party convention" account (RNC and DNC only) that may accept up to $97,200 per year from an individual and up to $45,000 per year from a multicandidate PAC;

  • A "building headquarters" account that may accept up to $97,200 per year from an individual and up to $45,000 per year from a multicandidate PAC; and

  • A "recount/legal proceedings" account that may accept up to $97,200 per year from an individual and up to $45,000 per year from a multicandidate PAC.

In effect, the new law significantly raises the cap on an individual's total contributions to all national political party committees from $97,200 per year to $777,600 per year. The table below depicts the new limits for individual contributors.

Annual Contribution Limits from Individuals to National Party Committees

-Current Limits-               --------Limits for New Additional Segregated Accounts--------     

Main Party Account

Convention Account

Building Account

Recount / Legal Account

TOTAL

National Campaign Committee
(RNC / DNC)

$32,400/year

$97,200/year

$97,200/year

$97,200/year

$324,000/year

Senate Campaign Committee
(NRSC / DSCC)

$32,400/year

N/A

$97,200/year

$97,200/year

$226,800/year

House Campaign Committee
(NRCC / DCCC)

$32,400/year

N/A

$97,200/year

$97,200/year

$226,800/year

$777,600/year

The ultimate impact of these changes are subject to the rulemaking authority of the Federal Elections Commission (FEC), which is responsible for administering and implementing federal campaign finance law, as well as regulating the fundraising practices of parties and donors. 

Finally, please note that the amounts above will change in early 2015, as they are indexed for inflation. The FEC will announce the new contribution limits after the New Year.

Caplin & Drysdale's Political Law Group counsels for-profit corporations, nonprofit entities, and their principals on these and other matters relating to political law compliance. We work collaboratively with in-house personnel to craft tailored political activity policies and programs. If you have questions concerning this Alert or for more information, please contact:

Trevor Potter
202.862.5092
tpotter@capdale.com

 

Kirk L. Jowers
202.862.5057
kjowers@capdale.com

 

Matthew T. Sanderson
202.862.5046
msanderson@capdale.com

Rachel E. Goldstein
202.862.7862
rgoldstein@capdale.com

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