Washington (CNN)A key Senate panel voted Thursday to advance President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Federal Election Commission — an effort to end the months-long paralysis at the nation’s top election watchdog. If the full Senate confirms Texas lawyer James “Trey” Trainor to the agency, it would restore the commission’s power to police campaign finance laws for the first time since August. The six-member commission currently has only three members and cannot take enforcement actions or issue formal guidance to candidates, political parties and others without a quorum of at least four commissioners Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, who serves as chairman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, said a fully functioning agency is critical to help campaigns navigate the “novel campaign issues” created by the coronavirus pandemic. The outbreak has upended traditional election-year campaigning, pushing candidates to rely on virtual fundraising events and online contributions. Read More Democrats and campaign watchdogs have opposed Trainor’s nomination, citing his past opposition to full disclosure of political donors and his work to redraw political maps in Texas. The committee’s top Democrat, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, voted against Trainor on Thursday and criticized Republicans who control the Senate for breaking with tradition and… Read full this story
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