U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta Votes to Terminate Use of Taxpayer Dollars for Presidential Campaigns

(Washington – December 1, 2011)    Representative Frank Guinta (R, NH-01) joined with the majority this afternoon in voting for H.R. 3463, The Terminate Public Financing of Presidential Campaigns and the Election Assistance Commission Act.  It was approved in a vote of 235 to190 and now goes to the U.S. Senate for consideration. 

Rep. Guinta released the following statement:

“Despite spending over one billion dollars since 1976, taxpayer financing of presidential campaigns has failed to improve the public’s trust in government or increase the competitiveness of elections. Just as I’ve voted twice to cut my own office’s budget by a total of 11.4%, I’m looking everywhere for areas where we can do away with waste and duplication.  Eliminating taxpayer financing of presidential campaigns will save taxpayers nearly half a billion dollars in the next five years and return millions to the public treasury for deficit reduction immediately.  Likewise, sunsetting the Election Assistance Commission would save taxpayers $33 million over the same period and finally get rid of an agency that exemplifies wasteful bureaucratic inefficiency. Washington must stop wasting taxpayer dollars.”

BackgroundH.R. 3463 would terminate the Presidential Election Campaign Fund

  • ·         Taxpayer financing of presidential campaigns has spent approximately $1.5 billion dollars since 1976.
  • ·         Members of the public have rejected the system by choosing not to participate. The percentage of taxpayers participating dropped from 28.7% in 1980 to 7.3% in 2010 – even though participation does not affect tax liability.
  • ·         Candidates now routinely opt-out of the system altogether. In 2008, then-Senator Obama declined public financing and in the 2012 primary campaign, no candidate has requested primary certification. 
  • ·         According to a CBO estimate, the elimination of this program will save American taxpayers $447 million over the next five years and return nearly $214.5 million to the public treasury for deficit reduction immediately.


H.R. 3463 would terminate the Election Assistance Commission (EAC)

  • ·         Since 2005, the year Congress originally intended to sunset the EAC, the agency has more than doubled in size while its programs continue to decline.
  • ·         The National Associations of Secretaries of State – the direct beneficiaries of the agency’s dwindling services – has passed two resolutions calling for the EAC’s dissolution.
  • ·         While its work diminishes, the EAC spends over 50% of its budget on administrative costs.  EAC’s budget request for 2012 devoted 51.7% of its budget to management and overhead costs, leaving the agency to use $5,406,718 to manage programs totaling $3,486,601.
  • ·         Dissolving the agency would save taxpayers $33 million over five years.