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FEC Raises Contribution Limits, Bundling Reporting Thresholds for the 2011-2012 Cycle

March 2011

At the beginning of each new two-year election cycle, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) raises certain political contribution limits to account for inflation.  The increased 2011-2012 contribution limits for individuals are as follows:

  • $2,500 per election to federal candidates; and
  • $30,800 per calendar year to a national political party committee (e.g., RNC, DNC, NRCC, NRSC, DCCC, DSCC).

The two-year aggregate limit for individuals is now $117,000 (with a maximum of $46,200 going to federal candidates in the aggregate in 2011-2012 and a maximum of $70,800 going to all Political Action Committees (PACs) and party committees combined in the same two-year cycle).  Of the $70,800 sublimit, only $46,200 may go, in the aggregate, to federal PACs and state, district and local party committees in the two-year election cycle.

The individual contribution limits did not change with respect to PACs and state, district and local political party committees. These limits are as follows:

  • $5,000 per calendar year to federal PACs; and
  • $10,000 per calendar year to the federal accounts of state, district and local party committees (combined amount).

The FEC also adjusted the monetary threshold for the bundling disclosure requirements.  Previously, candidate committees, leadership PACs and political party committees had to report the names and addresses of any registered federal lobbyist, lobbyist employer or PAC established or controlled by either that bundles two or more contributions in a six-month period when such contributions exceeded $16,000.  The applicable dollar threshold has now been raised to $16,200.