FEC Increases Political Contribution Limits

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On January 30, the Federal Election Commission increased the amounts that individuals and certain PACs can contribute in the 2013-14 election cycle. The most significant change is that individuals may now give $2600 per election to each federal candidate. This is an increase from the $2500 per election limit that had been in place for 2011-12. Since primary and general election contests are viewed as separate “elections,” an individual may now contribute a total of $5200 to a federal candidate for the two-year election cycle.
In addition, individuals can now give $32,400 to each national party committee per calendar year (up from $30,800). And the overall two-year limit for contributions by individuals to federal candidates, political parties and PACs, has been increased to $123,200 (up from $117,000). This biennial limit imposes caps of $48,600 on an individual’s contributions to all candidates and $74,600 to all PACs and parties. Individuals are still restricted to giving up to $5000 to a PAC in a calendar year.
The contribution limits for larger PACs are not readjusted each election cycle. As a result, “multicandidate” PACs – those with 51 or more contributors that have supported 5 or more federal candidates – can still contribute $5000 per candidate per election, $15,000 per year to a national party committee, and $5000 per year to other PACs. However, smaller PACs that do not have “multicandidate” status have the same revised limits that apply to individuals’ contributions to candidates and national party committees for the 2013-14 election cycle.
The FEC also adjusted the reporting threshold for candidates, leadership PACs and political parties that receive lobbyist bundled contributions. Now, they must report contributions aggregated by a lobbyist if they exceed $17,100 (up from $16,700) in a semiannual period.
The 2013-14 contribution chart is available at this link. If you have any questions, please contact Jim Kahl or any of the other members of the Womble Carlyle Political Law team.