GOP Rep Introduces Bill to Stop Congressional Candidates Giving Campaign Funds to Family: ‘A Critical Step’

Republican Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX) has introduced legislation to prevent campaign funds from going to a congressional candidate’s immediate family.

The bill, introduced by Fallon on Tuesday, would hold the candidate directly responsible for knowingly violating the provision.

While announcing his legislation, Fallon specifically cited Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) as an example of why his bill is needed.

Waters has given her daughter over $1 million in campaign funds over the years.

Karen Waters, who has been organizing slate-mailing operations for her mother’s re-election since 2003, and her company, Progressive Connections, have received more than $1 million from Waters’ campaigns over the past decades, according to Fox News.

Fallon said: “The Family Integrity to Reform Elections (FIRE) Act is a critical step to reducing nepotistic practices in American campaigns.

“Allowing direct family members to be on the take of campaigns must come to an end.

“For example, Maxine Waters, the worst perpetrator, has given her daughter over $1.1 million in campaign funds.

“This is utterly egregious, and I will not stand by as the integrity of our elections is further diminished.”

But Waters isn’t the only lawmakers pumping campaign cash to a family member, according to The Daily Caller:

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Democratic Connecticut Rep. Jahana Hayes, who was caught paying her family tens of thousands of dollars since entering Congress after the Daily Caller reviewed FEC records, has continued to pay her children with campaign funds.

During Q2 2022, Hayes paid her son David Crenshaw $1,245.65 from her campaign fund. Since entering Congress, she has paid her son $18,283.08.

…The Caller also first reported in October that Republican Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw’s campaign has paid a small agency that employs his wife hundreds of thousands of dollars since 2020, according to FEC records reviewed by the Caller.

Fallon’s office issued a press release that said:

“Congressman Pat Fallon (TX-04) recently 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 of campaigns and 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,” the release said.

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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