Press Room

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) and Mark Udall (D-CO) will introduce a bill that would prohibit the use of Presidential Election Campaign Funds (PECF) for future political party nominating conventions.

 During the 112th Congress, Dr. Coburn and Sen. Udall introduced similar legislation (S. 3257) to abolish taxpayer money from being used for conventions.  The legislation passed with a vote of 95 to 4 in the Senate as an amendment to the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012 (S. 3240).  Similarly, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5912 in the 112th Congress, a bill approved by a vote of 310-95 to end future federal funding of political conventions.  However, neither piece of legislation was signed into law by the end of the 112th Congress.          

“Congress has tough decisions on deck that must be made in order to rein in our unsustainable debt and deficit, and this is one bipartisan step forward in right direction.  Taxpayers should not foot the bill for events that are solely parties for polarized partisanship,” Dr. Coburn said.  “With this common-sense legislation receiving previous bipartisan support and passage in both houses of Congress, I am hopeful members will act again to ensure the practice of subsidizing extravagant party conventions with taxpayer dollars is ended in the new Congress.” 

"Over the past several decades, political party nominating conventions have become lavish and elaborate celebrations devoted to partisanship. At a time when we’re working to trim all unnecessary spending, it is a no-brainer for taxpayers to stop footing part of the bill for these large, expensive events, " Udall said. "The Senate passed this common-sense legislation by a broad bipartisan margin last year and the House of Representatives passed a similar bill, too, last year. This legislation is but one down payment on some of the larger decisions Congress will have to make to show that it is serious about fiscal discipline."

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 Supporting documents

• View text of the legislation, here.

• Congressional Research Service report on public funding for Presidential Nominating Conventions.

• Examples of spending by-the-numbers: 2008 Republican National Convention Committee.

• Examples of spending by-the-numbers: 2008 Democratic National Convention Committee.

• Dr. Coburn called for the elimination of taxpayer subsidies for party conventions in his 2011 Wastebook report, citing this report from the Congressional Research Service on federal funding for 2012 Presidential nominating conventions.

• Additional explanation of how the Presidential Election Campaign Fund (PECF) operates.

• Background on other efforts from the Republican Study Caucus (RSC) to eliminate funding for conventions in 2009: here.