Deadlock Shuts Down Election Commission

Spat over nominees means no campaign funds after Jan 1
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2007 9:57 AM CST
Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee campaigns in New Hampshire. The first of the nation's primaries is scheduled to take place in the state in January, just as the FEC is shut down.(AP Photo/Joel...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A standoff in Congress will force the agency that doles out federal campaign dollars and polices political spending to go dark on New Year's Eve—just in time for the start of the primaries, the Washington Post reports. The Federal Election Commission needs four votes from its six members to take any action; as of January 1, it'll only have two members.

Dems are refusing to accept a Bush nominee, and Republicans won't proceed without him. There's no hope of the situation being resolved before January; the seven candidates who have applied for matching funds, and the parties expecting about $1 million each, will have to wait as long as it takes for someone to blink. And myriad disputes over funding propriety will go undecided.