Political & Election Law: Federal Election Commission Announces New Limits For 2017-18 Election Cycle

Friday, February 10, 2017

No increase in the $2,700 Individual contribution limit to candidate committees

It’s that time of the election cycle again: The time where federal candidates and political committees wait with bated breath to see how much MORE money they can ask donors to contribute. Federal law indexes some of the federal contribution limits for inflation (rounded to the nearest $100), so the Federal Election Commission adjusts and updates those limits at the beginning of each two-year election cycle after the Department of Labor determines the inflation rate for the previous years. After one full month into 2017, the FEC has finally announced the new limits for the 2017-2018 cycle.

This cycle, the limit for contributions by individuals and non-multicandidate PACs to federal candidates actually remains at $2,700 per election, which will probably result in a collective sigh among the nation’s political fundraisers. The limit for contributions by individuals and non-multicandidate PACs to national party committees has risen to $33,900, while the limit for individual and non-multicandidate PAC contributions to each of the additional three national party committee accounts – that is the “legal” account, the “convention” account, and the “building fund” account – has increased to $101,700 per year. For Senate candidates, the limit on combined contributions by a national party committee and its Senatorial campaign committee to their campaign committee has increased to $47,400 over the six-year Senate cycle. According to the FEC, the new limits are effective retroactively to January 1, 2017. The other limits are not indexed to inflation and remain the same. The FEC’s chart with all of the limits can be found here, and we’ll be releasing a printer friendly version to post near your desk.

Additionally, two other amounts have been adjusted for inflation. First, the coordinated party expenditure limits have been increased and are now $48,700 for House nominees in states with more than one representative, $97,400 for House nominees in states with only one representative, and various amounts for Senate nominees based on their state’s population. The second amount is the threshold for disclosing lobbyist bundled contributions, which is now set at $17,900 for 2017.

The FEC’s full press release for this information is available here.