Federal Election Commission to consider regulating online political speech

Federal Election Commission to consider regulating online political speech

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is holding a hearing today to receive public feedback on whether it should create new rules regulating political speech, including political speech on the Internet that one commissioner warned could affect blogs, YouTube videos and even websites like the Drudge Report.

The hearing is a response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC last year, which struck down the FEC’s previous cap on aggregate campaign contributions from a single donor in an election cycle.

Before the decision, individuals were limited to a combined total of $46,200 in contributions to all federal candidates, and $70,800 to federal political action committees and parties.

Individuals are no longer restricted by aggregate limits, which Chief Justice John Roberts said “intrude without justification on a citizen’s ability to exercise ‘the most fundamental First Amendment activities’.”

They may now “contribute up to $2,600 per election to a federal candidate, $10,000 per calendar year to a state party committee, $32,400 per calendar year to a national party committee, and $5,000 per calendar year to a PAC [political action committee],” according to the FEC.

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