Political action committee

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This article is part of the
Campaign Finance
subseries of the
Transparency and Disclosure in the US Congress
series.
Political action committee
Federal Election Commission
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Current Campaign Finance Legislation
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Institute of State Money & Politics

A political action committee (PAC) is a type of political committee organized to spend money for the election or defeat of a candidate. The PAC was created in 1944 by the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The CIO used their PAC to contribute money to pro-union candidates for office and to get around the Smith-Connally Act, which banned direct union contributions to candidates. Business groups began to create PACs in the 1960s and 1970s to counter the strength of the union PACs. In the 1980s Members of Congress began creating Leadership PACs to distribute money to members of their party with the intent of gaining clout within the party. By 1994 at least 38 Members of Congress had Leadership PACs. Today, there are hundreds of Members with Leadership PACs (see below).[1]

PACs are required to file with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) within 10 days of opening. Campaign Finance restrictions state that PACs can give $5,000 to a candidate committee per election (primary, general or special); give up to $15,000 annually to any national party committee, and $5,000 annually to any other PAC. PACs may receive up to $5,000 from any one individual, PAC or party committee per calendar year.[2]

Although most political action committees would be considered either conservative or liberal -- Republican or Democrat -- many are non-partisan, favoring neither political party, and focus on issues rather than party affiliation.

Contents

Controversy

Political Action Committees

Major Business PACs

  • American Bankers Association
  • National Association of Realtors
  • National Beer Wholesalers Association
  • National Assn of Home Builders
  • National Auto Dealers Association
  • United Parcel Service

Major Labor PACs

  • AFL-CIO
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • American Federation of State/County/Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
  • Laborers Union
  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
  • Teamsters Union
  • United Auto Workers
  • AFL-CIO

Ideological PACs

Current Congressional Leadership PACs

<td>Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga)</td><td>13th Colony Leadership Cmte</td><td>Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii)</td><td>DANPAC</td><td>Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif)</td><td>Leadership of Today & Tomorrow</td><td>Rep. Jerry Weller (R-Ill)</td><td>Re-elect Freshmen of the Repub Majority</td></tr> <tr><td>Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga)</td><td>21st Century Majority Fund</td><td>Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala)</td><td>Defend America PAC</td><td>Del. Luis Fortuno (R-PR)</td><td>Leading Us In Success PAC</td><td>Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla)</td><td>RED PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Howard McKeon (R-Calif)</td><td>21st Century PAC</td><td>Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-Fla)</td><td>Democracy Believers PAC</td><td>Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas)</td><td>Liberty PAC</td><td>Rep. Nathan Deal (R-Ga)</td><td>Red Rooster Leadership PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WVa)</td><td>3T PAC</td><td>Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher (D-Calif)</td><td>Democrats for the Future</td><td>Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas)</td><td>Longhorn PAC</td><td>Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo)</td><td>Rely on Your Beliefs</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill)</td><td>Abraham Lincoln Leadership PAC</td><td>Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)</td><td>Denali PAC</td><td>Sen. David Vitter (R-La)</td><td>Louisiana Reform PAC</td><td>Rep. Steven R. Rothman (D-NJ)</td><td>Renewing Opportunity, Trust & Hope</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Lynn A. Westmoreland (R-Ga)</td><td>Acton PAC</td><td>Rep. Charles Dent (R-Pa)</td><td>DENT PAC</td><td>Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash)</td><td>M-PAC</td><td>Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga)</td><td>Republican Majority Fund</td></tr> <tr><td>Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)</td><td>Alamo PAC</td><td>Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)</td><td>Dirigo PAC</td><td>Rep. John Mica (R-Fla)</td><td>Majority In Congress PAC</td><td>Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif)</td><td>Rescue California</td></tr> <tr><td>Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho)</td><td>Alliance for the West</td><td>Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga)</td><td>DOC PAC</td><td>Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich)</td><td>Majority Initiative-Keep Electing Repubs</td><td>Rep. Roger Wicker (R-Miss)</td><td>Responsibility & Freedom Work PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii)</td><td>Aloha PAC</td><td>Rep. David Wu (D-Ore)</td><td>Education & Opportunity Fund</td><td>Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa)</td><td>Majority PAC</td><td>Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn)</td><td>Responsibility/Opportunity/Community PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)</td><td>America Works</td><td>Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md)</td><td>Empowering Each Community PAC</td><td>Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo)</td><td>Making Business Excel PAC</td><td>Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan)</td><td>Restore America PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif)</td><td>American Success PAC</td><td>Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif)</td><td>Eureka PAC</td><td>Rep. Mary Bono (R-Calif)</td><td>Mary's PAC</td><td>Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D-RI)</td><td>Rhode Island PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Christopher Shays (R)</td><td>Americans for Common Sense Government</td><td>Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va)</td><td>Every Republican is Crucial PAC</td><td>Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass)</td><td>Mass PAC</td><td>Rep. John Duncan (R-Tenn)</td><td>Road to Victory PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind)</td><td>Americans for Responsible Leadership</td><td>Rep. Thomas Davis (R-Va)</td><td>Federal Victory Fund</td><td>Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska)</td><td>Midnight Sun</td><td>Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC)</td><td>Robin PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md)</td><td>AmeriPAC: The Fund for a Greater America</td><td>Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla)</td><td>Federalist PAC</td><td>Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-NJ)</td><td>Mike PAC</td><td>Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo)</td><td>Rocky Mountain PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla)</td><td>ANDER PAC</td><td>Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D-Del)</td><td>First State PAC</td><td>Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich)</td><td>Milead Fund</td><td>Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb)</td><td>Sandhills PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. John Boozman (R-AR)</td><td>Arkansas for Leadership</td><td>Rep. Jeffrey Fortenberry (R-Neb)</td><td>For Our Republic's Traditions Fund</td><td>Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine)</td><td>Mill to the Hill PAC</td><td>Rep. Jim Saxton (R-NJ)</td><td>SAXPAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Richard H. Baker (R-La)</td><td>Back America's Conservatives PAC</td><td>Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla)</td><td>Freedom & Democracy Fund</td><td>Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC)</td><td>MINT PAC</td><td>Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev)</td><td>Searchlight Leadership Fund</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Tom Petri (R-Ohio)</td><td>Badger Fund</td><td>Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)</td><td>Freedom Fund</td><td>Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif)</td><td>Moderate Victory Fund</td><td>Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas)</td><td>Secure America's Majority PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis)</td><td>Badger PAC</td><td>Rep. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio)</td><td>Freedom Project</td><td>Rep. Melvin L. Watt (D-NC)</td><td>Motivating Energetic Leadership PAC</td><td>Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif)</td><td>SecureUS</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md)</td><td>BARTLETT PAC</td><td>Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla)</td><td>Fund for a Conservative Future</td><td>Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla)</td><td>Moving America Forward</td><td>Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz)</td><td>Senate Majority Fund</td></tr> <tr><td>Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev)</td><td>Battle Born PAC</td><td>Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)</td><td>Fund for America's Future</td><td>Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)</td><td>Narragansett Bay PAC</td><td>Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss)</td><td>Senate Victory Fund</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn)</td><td>Betty PAC</td><td>Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif)</td><td>Future Leaders PAC</td><td>Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY)</td><td>National Leadership PAC</td><td>Rep. Howard Coble (R-NC)</td><td>Sharp Pencil PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa)</td><td>Big Tent PAC</td><td>Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont)</td><td>Glacier PAC</td><td>Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb)</td><td>Nebraska Leadership PAC</td><td>Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ)</td><td>Shore PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky)</td><td>Bluegrass Cmte</td><td>Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va)</td><td>Good Fund</td><td>Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill)</td><td>New American Leadership Fund</td><td>Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO)</td><td>Show Me PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich)</td><td>BRIDGE PAC</td><td>Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-ND)</td><td>Great Plains Leadership Fund</td><td>Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wa)</td><td>New Apollo Energy</td><td>Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo)</td><td>Show-Me Fund</td></tr> <tr><td>Sen. George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio)</td><td>Buckeye PAC</td><td>Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt)</td><td>Green Mountain PAC</td><td>Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)</td><td>New Millennium PAC</td><td>Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev)</td><td>Silver State 21st Century PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Patrick J. Tiberi (R-Ohio)</td><td>Buckeye State PAC</td><td>Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala)</td><td>Growth & Prosperity PAC</td><td>Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Ca)</td><td>New PAC</td><td>Sen. Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah)</td><td>SNOWPAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY)</td><td>Build America PAC</td><td>Rep. Allen Boyd (D-Fla)</td><td>Harvest PAC</td><td>Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss)</td><td>New Republican Majority Fund</td><td>Rep. George Miller (D-Calif)</td><td>Solidarity PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md)</td><td>Building A Majority PAC</td><td>Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)</td><td>Hawkeye PAC</td><td>Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)</td><td>Next Century Fund</td><td>Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN)</td><td>Storm Chasers</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont)</td><td>Building Our Opportunities Together PAC</td><td>Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan)</td><td>Heart PAC</td><td>Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND)</td><td>NODAK PAC</td><td>Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz)</td><td>Straight Talk America</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-Ind)</td><td>Calumet PAC</td><td>Sen. John Thune (R-SD)</td><td>Heartland Values PAC</td><td>Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska)</td><td>Northern Lights PAC</td><td>Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-WV)</td><td>Summit PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah)</td><td>Campaign for America's Future</td><td>Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky)</td><td>Help America's Leaders</td><td>Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn)</td><td>Northstar Leadership PAC</td><td>Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-Calif)</td><td>Superior California Fed Leadership Fund</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest (R-MD)</td><td>Campaign for Maryland</td><td>Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla)</td><td>Help Elect America's Team PAC</td><td>Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill)</td><td>Our Common Values PAC</td><td>Rep. John B. Larson (D-Conn)</td><td>Synergy PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI)</td><td>CANDICE PAC</td><td>Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY)</td><td>HILLPAC</td><td>Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR)</td><td>Our Congress PAC</td><td>Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala)</td><td>Tallatchee Creek Inc</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Ralph Regula (R-Ohio)</td><td>CARE PAC</td><td>Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore)</td><td>Holding Onto Oregon's Priorities</td><td>Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif)</td><td>PAC for a Change</td><td>Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn)</td><td>Tenn PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC)</td><td>Carolina Majority PAC</td><td>Sen. Barack Obama</td><td>Hope Fund</td><td>Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif)</td><td>PAC for Democracy</td><td>Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas)</td><td>Texas Freedom Fund</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. John Carter (R-Texas)</td><td>CARTER PAC</td><td>Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga)</td><td>House Majority Fund</td><td>Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif)</td><td>PAC to the Future</td><td>Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)</td><td>To Organize a Majority PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo)</td><td>Changing Tide Cmte</td><td>Sen. Gordon H. Smith (R-Ore)</td><td>Impact America</td><td>Rep. Paul E. Gillmor (R-Ohio)</td><td>Patriots for United Leadership</td><td>Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds (R-NY)</td><td>Together for Our Majority</td></tr> <tr><td>Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn)</td><td>CHRIS PAC</td><td>Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)</td><td>Independent Action</td><td>Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif)</td><td>Peace Through Strength PAC</td><td>Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich)</td><td>TRUST PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn)</td><td>Cmte for a Democratic Future</td><td>Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla)</td><td>IRL PAC</td><td>Rep. Mark Udall (D-Colo)</td><td>Peak PAC</td><td>Joseph Biden (D-DE)</td><td>Unite Our States</td></tr> <tr><td>Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass)</td><td>Cmte for a Democratic Majority</td><td>Sen. Mary L. Landrieu (D-La)</td><td>Jazz PAC</td><td>Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas)</td><td>People for Enterprise/Trade/Econ Growth</td><td>Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez (D-NY)</td><td>Velazquez Victory Fund</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore)</td><td>Cmte for a Livable Future</td><td>Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas)</td><td>Jobs, Economy & Budget Fund</td><td>Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif)</td><td>People Helping People</td><td>Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md)</td><td>Victory Now PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. David R. Obey (D-Wis)</td><td>Cmte for a Progressive Congress</td><td>Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY)</td><td>Jobs, Opportunities & Education PAC</td><td>Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)</td><td>People's House PAC</td><td>Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla)</td><td>Victory PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Bud Cramer (D-Ala)</td><td>Cmte for Common Sense in Government</td><td>Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill)</td><td>John S Fund</td><td>Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-NM)</td><td>Pete's PAC</td><td>Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA)</td><td>Virginia Leadership PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-NY)</td><td>Cmte for Leadership & Progress</td><td>Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill)</td><td>Keep Our Majority PAC</td><td>Rep. David Hobson (R-Ohio)</td><td>Pioneer PAC</td><td>Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga)</td><td>Voice for Freedom</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va)</td><td>Cmte for Southwest Virginia</td><td>Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass)</td><td>Keeping America's Promise</td><td>Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky)</td><td>Political Hall of Fame PAC</td><td>Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn)</td><td>Wedge PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Jim McCrery (R-La)</td><td>Cmte for the Preservation of Capitalism</td><td>Rep. Pete King (R-NY)</td><td>KingPAC</td><td>Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill)</td><td>Prairie PAC</td><td>Sen. Craig Thomas (R-WY)</td><td>Western Action PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. James Walsh (R-NY)</td><td>COLDPAC</td><td>Sen. Christopher Bond (R-MO)</td><td>KITPAC</td><td>Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan)</td><td>Preserving America's Traditions</td><td>Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH)</td><td>White Mountain PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla)</td><td>COLE PAC</td><td>Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas)</td><td>KPAC</td><td>Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind)</td><td>Principles Exalt A Nation PAC</td><td>Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla)</td><td>ZackPAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas)</td><td>Common Sense Common Solutions</td><td>Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif)</td><td>LA PAC</td><td>Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR)</td><td>Priority PAC</td><td>Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM)</td><td>Zia PAC</td></tr> <tr><td>Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga)</td><td>Common Sense Leadership Fund</td><td>Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn)</td><td>Leadership 21</td><td>Sen. Russell D. Feingold (D-Wis)</td><td>Progressive Patriots Fund</td><td></td><td></td></tr> <tr><td>Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich)</td><td>Continuing a Majority Party Action Cmte</td><td>Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC)</td><td>Leadership Circle PAC</td><td>Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio)</td><td>Promoting Republicans You Can Elect</td><td></td><td></td></tr> <tr><td>Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND)</td><td>DAKPAC</td><td>Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz)</td><td>Leadership for America's Future</td><td>Rep. Phil English (R-Pa)</td><td>Prosperity Helps Inspire Liberty PAC</td><td></td><td></td></tr> <tr><td>Sen. John E. Sununu (R-NH)</td><td>Daniel Webster PAC</td><td>Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark)</td><td>Leadership in the New Century</td><td>Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis)</td><td>Prosperity PAC</td><td></td><td></td></tr> </table>

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