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Public Statements

Designation of Individual Authorized to Make Campaign Committee Disbursements in Event of Death of Candidate

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. DANIEL E. LUNGREN of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, this legislation was introduced by our colleague, Congressman Walter Jones. It simply amends the Federal Elections Campaign Act of 1971 to permit candidates for election for Federal office to designate an individual who would be authorized to disburse campaign funds in the event of the death of the candidate.

Every private citizen who decides to become a candidate for public office is driven by issues that inspire and motivate them to want to serve. Often those issues outlive the individuals who champion their ideals.

This bill will ensure that every Federal candidate will have the opportunity to appoint a trusted individual to distribute campaign funds in the event they die.

I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 406, and I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. DANIEL E. LUNGREN of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I want to make it very, very clear: this does not change the law that the campaign funds would have to be used for a charitable purpose or for a political purpose, that is, to a party or candidate. It doesn't change that at all. It just changes the person who would have the decisionmaking responsibility. And since this is a situation where a Member or someone running for office would die, those funds, in some cases, would probably--the candidate would have wished them to go to a particular charity or series of charities. And this would ensure that those people who know best the candidate and know what his or her desires would be would make that determination.

But it does not in any way change it so that it could be used for personal purposes by the family or anybody else designated. It would still have to go to those legitimate legal purposes for which campaign funds are limited. It would do nothing more than change the person who would make that determination, and we have a real-life experience of that occurring, and that is why I support this very strongly. It has been supported strongly in the House before; and if we can get the attention of our friends on the other side of the Capitol, we can make this happen, and I think it would be a good, good thing.

So with that, I would urge my colleagues to support this legislation, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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