Committee approves bills to cut off taxpayer funds for Presidential Campaign Fund, Election Assistance Commission

The House Administration Committee approved bills on Wednesday that U.S. Reps. Tom Cole (R-OK) and Gregg Harper (R-MS) introduced to eliminate the Presidential Election Campaign Fund and the Election Assistance Commission, which lawmakers argue are a waste of taxpayer money.

The House Administration Committee approved Cole’s Eliminating the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, H.R. 133. Since 2008, the use of public money in the campaign fund by candidates running for president has declined, resulting in a balance of $317 million.

The measure would end the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, and transfer $63 million in funding to help fight childhood diseases through the 10-year Pediatric Research Initiative Fund.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) supported eliminating the fund in favor of directing more money toward pediatric cancer research and paying down the national debt.

“I think we can all agree that putting these resources toward pediatric cancer research and paying down the national debt is a far better use than funding presidential nominating conventions,” Davis said. “I continue to work to get more than 4 percent funding from NIH for pediatric cancer and every little bit helps. This money can go to research for a cure, for new prevention treatments, and developing new therapies for those children who survive but continue to have life-long medical problems.”

Harper, the chairman of the House Administration Committee, introduced the Eliminating the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) Act, H.R. 634, to do away with the independent commission that was established in 2002 to support accessible, accurate and secure state and local elections.

“The existence of the EAC is not necessary to conduct federal elections and is a waste of taxpayer funds,” Harper said. The EAC was originally intended to run temporarily following the 2000 election. According to Harper, its few remaining functions could be transferred to the Federal Elections Commission.