From the office of Congressman Andy Harris:
As reported in a recent edition of “60 Minutes,” the current ban on personal use political committee funds does not include leadership PACs. Rep. Andy Harris, M.D., has introduced H.R. 3356, “Clean Campaign Contributions Act,” to close that loophole. The bill will extend the current ban on the personal use of funds by candidate reelection campaigns by clarifying that the ban also applies to leadership PACs, a campaign committee of a political party, and every kind of campaign committee.
“Public opinion of Congress is already low enough. We should close this loophole so no appearance of impropriety exists.” said Rep. Harris. “By banning the personal use of political committee funds, we can help improve the public trust in Congress.”
The Federal Election Commission has recommended extending the personal use ban to all political committees. According to the FEC, while it is illegal to use candidate committee contributions for personal use (to fulfill any commitment, obligation, or expense that would exist irrespective of the candidate’s election campaign or duties as a holder of Federal office) “no corresponding provision covers individuals who convert contributions received by party committees, separate segregated funds, leadership PACs, and other political committees to their own personal use, including through theft or embezzlement.”
The FEC has “seen a substantial number of instances where individuals with access to the funds received by political committees have used such funds to make unauthorized disbursements to pay for their own personal expenses.”
This bill simply treats all campaign committees equally regarding the personal use of funds.