Commissioner Lee E. Goodman, one of the Federal Election Commission's (FEC) three Republican appointees, announced he is returning to private practice and will leave the Commission on Feb. 16, 2018. Commissioner Goodman joined the FEC in 2013 and served as its chair in 2014.
As a result of Commissioner Goodman's departure and an existing FEC Commissioner vacancy, the FEC now has the minimum number of members to take official action. For example, under the FEC's rules an affirmative vote of at least four members is required to issue an Advisory Opinion. According to one report, Commissioner Steven Walther is considering resigning as well, which would effectively paralyze the FEC's operations.
As a result of Commissioner Goodman's resignation, and until such time as the President is able to nominate, and the Senate confirm, two new commissioners most FEC decisions will require complete agreement among its existing commissioners. This is likely to further hamper the FEC's efforts to adopt new regulations, such as its recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and or to issue future Advisory Opinions, which are used to clarify the FEC's existing rules. Any party with current pending business before the FEC, or an interesting in clarifying the current rules, is likely to face further delay until the President and Senate act to empanel a full slate of Commissioners.