(a) Establishment; membership; term of office; vacancies; qualifications; compensation; chairman and vice chairman
(1) There is established a commission to be known as the Federal Election Commission. The Commission is composed of the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives or their designees, ex officio and without the right to vote, and 6 members appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. No more than 3 members of the Commission appointed under this paragraph may be affiliated with the same political party.
(2)(A) Members of the Commission shall serve for a single term of 6 years, except that of the members first appointed--
(i) two of the members, not affiliated with the same political party, shall be appointed for terms ending on April 30, 1977;
(ii) two of the members, not affiliated with the same political party, shall be appointed for terms ending on April 30, 1979; and
(iii) two of the members, not affiliated with the same political party, shall be appointed for terms ending on April 30, 1981.
(B) A member of the Commission may serve on the Commission after the expiration of his or her term until his or her successor has taken office as a member of the Commission.
(C) An individual appointed to fill a vacancy occurring other than by the expiration of a term of office shall be appointed only for the unexpired term of the member he or she succeeds.
(D) Any vacancy occurring in the membership of the Commission shall be filled in the same manner as in the case of the original appointment.
(3) Members shall be chosen on the basis of their experience, integrity, impartiality, and good judgment and members (other than the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives) shall be individuals who, at the time appointed to the Commission, are not elected or appointed officers or employees in the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Federal Government. Such members of the Commission shall not engage in any other business, vocation, or employment. Any individual who is engaging in any other business, vocation, or employment at the time of his or her appointment to the Commission shall terminate or liquidate such activity no later than 90 days after such appointment.
(4) Members of the Commission (other than the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives) shall receive compensation equivalent to the compensation paid at level IV of the Executive Schedule ( 5 U.S.C. 5315 ).
(5) The Commission shall elect a chairman and a vice chairman from among its members (other than the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives) for a term of one year. A member may serve as chairman only once during any term of office to which such member is appointed. The chairman and the vice chairman shall not be affiliated with the same political party. The vice chairman shall act as chairman in the absence or disability of the chairman or in the event of a vacancy in such office.
(b) Administration, enforcement, and formulation of policy; exclusive jurisdiction of civil enforcement; Congressional authorities or functions with respect to elections for Federal office
(1) The Commission shall administer, seek to obtain compliance with, and formulate policy with respect to, this Act and chapter 95 and chapter 96 of Title 26. The Commission shall have exclusive jurisdiction with respect to the civil enforcement of such provisions.
(2) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to limit, restrict, or diminish any investigatory, informational, oversight, supervisory, or disciplinary authority or function of the Congress or any committee of the Congress with respect to elections for Federal office.
(c) Voting requirements; delegation of authorities
All decisions of the Commission with respect to the exercise of its duties and powers under the provisions of this Act shall be made by a majority vote of the members of the Commission. A member of the Commission may not delegate to any person his or her vote or any decisionmaking authority or duty vested in the Commission by the provisions of this Act, except that the affirmative vote of 4 members of the Commission shall be required in order for the Commission to take any action in accordance with paragraph (6) , (7) , (8) , or (9) of section 30107(a) of this title or with chapter 95 or chapter 96 of Title 26.
The Commission shall meet at least once each month and also at the call of any member.
(e) Rules for conduct of activities; judicial notice of seal; principal office
The Commission shall prepare written rules for the conduct of its activities, shall have an official seal which shall be judicially noticed, and shall have its principal office in or near the District of Columbia (but it may meet or exercise any of its powers anywhere in the United States).
(f) Staff director and general counsel; appointment and compensation; appointment and compensation of personnel and procurement of intermittent services by staff director; use of assistance, personnel, and facilities of Federal agencies and departments; counsel for defense of actions
(1) The Commission shall have a staff director and a general counsel who shall be appointed by the Commission. The staff director shall be paid at a rate not to exceed the rate of basic pay in effect for level IV of the Executive Schedule ( 5 U.S.C. 5315 ). The general counsel shall be paid at a rate not to exceed the rate of basic pay in effect for level V of the Executive Schedule ( 5 U.S.C. 5316 ). With the approval of the Commission, the staff director may appoint and fix the pay of such additional personnel as he or she considers desirable without regard to the provisions of Title 5 governing appointments in the competitive service.
(2) With the approval of the Commission, the staff director may procure temporary and intermittent services to the same extent as is authorized by section 3109(b) of Title 5 , but at rates for individuals not to exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay in effect for grade GS-15 of the General Schedule ( 5 U.S.C. 5332 ).
(3) In carrying out its responsibilities under this Act, the Commission shall, to the fullest extent practicable, avail itself of the assistance, including personnel and facilities of other agencies and departments of the United States. The heads of such agencies and departments may make available to the Commission such personnel, facilities, and other assistance, with or without reimbursement, as the Commission may request.
(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (2), the Commission is authorized to appear in and defend against any action instituted under this Act, either (A) by attorneys employed in its office, or (B) by counsel whom it may appoint, on a temporary basis as may be necessary for such purpose, without regard to the provisions of Title 5 governing appointments in the competitive service, and whose compensation it may fix without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such title. The compensation of counsel so appointed on a temporary basis shall be paid out of any funds otherwise available to pay the compensation of employees of the Commission.
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