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MISS. SENATORS INTRODUCE SENATE CAMPAIGN E-FILE REQUIREMENT BILL

Cochran, Wicker Promote Bill to Require Senate Candidates to E-File Campaign Reports to Improve Transparency, Save Money

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker
(R-Miss.) today joined in introducing bipartisan, cost-saving legislation
requiring Senate candidates to electronically file election reports with the
Federal Election Commission (FEC).

The Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act was authored by Senators Jon
Tester (D-Mont.) and Cochran to require Senate campaigns to file campaign
finance reports directly with the FEC electronically rather than first
filing paper copies with the Secretary of the Senate.  Under current law,
Senate campaign committees are the only federal political committees not
required to file reports and statements electronically directly with the
FEC.

"Electronic filing of campaign reports would improve efficiency, increase
transparency, and reduce costs for taxpayers," Cochran said.  "This
commonsense, bipartisan legislation can help bring the Senate's rules in
line with modern technology."

"Filing Senate campaign reports electronically is a simple, efficient, and
cost-effective approach that is long-overdue," said Wicker, who is an
original cosponsor of the legislation. "The Senate needs to get with the
times. Senator Cochran should be commended for his continued leadership on
this issue."

"It is time to bring campaigns into the 21st Century," Tester said.  "This
bipartisan bill will shine more light on political campaigns, more quickly
make FEC reports available to the public, and save taxpayers nearly a
half-million dollars each year."

Cochran, Wicker and Tester are among the Senators who voluntarily file FEC
reports electronically.

According to a 2013 analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget
Office, this change would save taxpayers an estimated $500,000.  Currently,
Senate candidates file campaign-related reports in paper form with the
Secretary of the Senate; those paper reports are copied and delivered in
hard-copy form to the FEC, whose employees must then manually enter the
records into digital form to make the information accessible to the public.

The Senate bill would put Senate candidates under the same rules as House
candidates, presidential candidates, non-Senate party committees, PACs and
527 organizations, which have filed electronically with the FEC since 2001.

The Tester-Cochran measure has been referred to the Senate Committee on
Rules and Administration, on which both Cochran and Wicker serve.

2/3/17

Posted February 3, 2017 - 5:16 pm

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