Senate E-Filing Launches New Era in Campaign Disclosures

Roll Call

It’s been a good week for advocates of faster, and more, political money disclosure.

With President Donald Trump’s signature Friday, it’s official: Senate candidates now must file their campaign finance reports electronically with the Federal Election Commission, making it easier for reporters, voters and opponents alike to sift through donor and spending disclosures.   

The change was tucked into a $147.5 billion government spending bill, which covers the tab for the legislative branch, the departments of Energy and Veterans Affairs, military construction and housing projects for U.S. troops.  Advocates on and off Capitol Hill for Senate e-filing, including Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, have been lobbying Congress for years to make the change, to no avail — until now. Montana’s other senator, Republican Steve Daines, chairs the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee and included the provision in that bill.

“The Senate has finally joined the 21st century by moving to e-filing system, years after it was implemented in the House,” said Trevor Potter, president of the Campaign Legal Center, and a former GOP chairman of the FEC. “

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