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Congressman Pat Fallon Introduces the Family Integrity to Reform Elections (FIRE) Act

As first reported by New York Post, earlier today, Congressman Pat Fallon (TX-04) introduced The Family Integrity to Reform Elections (FIRE) Act. Current law allows for candidates to pay their immediate family members at market rates for a bona fide service to the campaign. However, this loophole has allowed for millions of dollars to flow out campaigns in into the bank accounts of the candidate’s family members with little proof they are contributing.

This legislation would address this problem by: 

  • Prohibiting any campaign funds from going to the candidate’s immediate family and holding the candidate directly responsible for knowingly violating this provision. 
  • Clarifying the definition of immediate family in the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971. 
  • Punishing violators with a $100,000 fine or two times the amount paid to the family member — whichever is greater. Violators may face up to 2 years in prison in addition to fines. 

This legislation is co-sponsored by Reps. Ronny Jackson (TX-13), Pete Sessions (TX-17), Jake Ellzey (TX-06), Randy Weber (TX-14), Byron Donalds (FL-19), Brian Babin (TX-36), Andrew Garbarino (NY-02), Kat Cammack (FL-03), and Troy Nehls (TX-22). 

Congressman Fallon issued the statement below: 

“Maxine Waters, $1.1 million to her daughter from campaign funds. Ilhan Omar, $2.9 million to her husband from campaign funds. James Clyburn, over $200,000 to multiple family members from his campaign. The numbers speak for themselves. Americans are sick of politicians abusing their voters’ hard-earned money. This modern-day spoils system must end. My bill shines light on shady campaign finance practices while punishing those who take advantage of these funds to enrich their families.  

I want to thank my colleagues for joining me on this legislation, and I urge the Speaker to put it to a vote.”

Congressman Garbarino added: 

“Campaign funds should never under any circumstances be used to enrich a candidate or their family. Voters deserve to feel confident that their public officials are running to represent them, not line their own pockets. This legislation will shine a light on campaign finance and hold candidates for public office to a higher standard on par with the public trust they wield.”