A member of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) traveled to Europe, leaving too few commissioners for the panel to have a quorum then warned about the dangers of the agency being unable to hold a quorum just days later.
“The @FEC is down to just four commissioners,” Commissioner Ellen Weintraub tweeted Monday. “Here are the facts from the Congressional Research Service on why this is a perilous state of affairs.” (RELATED: Campaign Watchdog Cancels Crucial Meeting So Dem Can Travel To Europe)
“If there are any departures before additional confirmations, it will be impossible for the FEC to reach a policymaking quorum … this means that even if all remaining commissioners agreed on an outcome, the agency would have too few votes to execute its most consequential duties,” the report Weintraub included in her tweet said.
The FEC has two vacancies, leaving the panel with only four members — the minimum number needed for the commission to have a quorum. The White House nominated Texas lawyer Trey Trainor in September 2017, but the Senate hasn’t held a confirmation hearing.
Weintraub’s tweet comes four days after an FEC meeting was canceled so she could travel to Lithuania. A fifth member would have allowed the agency to meet, even with the commissioner in Europe.
It’s unclear how Weintraub spent her time in Europe besides hosting a one-hour presentation at an event organized by a group previously barred from U.S. polls in nine states.
Weintraub did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The commissioners would have discussed five pending actions at April 12’s meeting. The cancellation puts the panel on a time crunch to make a decision, since rulings must be made within 60 days of their file dates and typically require additional debate and discussion.
Weintraub has a history of taking foreign- and taxpayer-funded trips domestically and abroad, and she previously proposed a plan to prevent foreign influence on U.S. elections.
Taxpayers funded a $9,200 trip Weintraub took to Indonesia in 2013 while serving as the FEC’s chairwoman, TheDCNF previously reported. The agency also hasn’t responded to TheDCNF’s requests for formal documents regarding the commissioner’s travel.
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