The White House at night

Watching immigration changes under Biden

The Investigative Reporting Workshop continues tracking immigration policy changes, executive orders and court decisions made by and during the Biden administration in an interactive timeline. President Joe Biden, who entered the White House with a promise to tackle major, unsolved immigration challenges, has faced several additional hurdles during his first year in office. These challenges …

Lobbying data includes convictions

The Accountability Project database now includes 5 million new records with data from federal lobbying disclosure filings. We have collected all filings from the API operated by the Senate Office of Public Records and extracted the relevant data into five new datasets that can now be instantly searched alongside our existing collection: Quarterly lobbying client …

men sitting at a table

FEC takes shape under Hays’ watchful eyes

If you were a Congressman in the early 1970s, you were probably scared of the late Rep. Wayne Hays (D-Ohio). You definitely hated him. His dominance in Congress has had lasting effects on how elections are monitored today.

FEC stuck on the sidelines

Two major court rulings in 2010 fundamentally changed the landscape of campaign finance law in the United States. The floodgates were opened to unprecedented levels of campaign donations, much of it untraceable.

figures in tug of war

FEC debates deadlocks and dismissals

Since its founding in 1974, the Federal Election Commission has long been regarded as an ineffective agency, garnering criticism as a “toothless tiger” or a “tightly leashed watchdog.”

FEC office building exterior

What is the FEC?

Following the Watergate scandal, Congress introduced the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in an amendment to existing campaign finance regulations. An independent agency that would enforce campaign finance law, the FEC officially opened for business in April 1975.

businesswoman sitting on hourglass

Commissioners linger in ‘holdover’ status

In 1997, the Treasury and Government Appropriations Act mandated that FEC commissioners may serve a single six-year term, with no opportunity for reappointment. When a commissioner’s term expires, they may choose to continue serving in holdover status until they are replaced. Currently, three out of the six commissioners are in holdover status.