What Are Campaign Finance Loopholes in Congress?

A campaign finance loophole in Congress refers to any way a member of Congress finds to accept campaign contributions legally that would otherwise be considered illegal. Breitbart notes that campaign contribution loopholes include accepting small dollar donations, creating political action committees (PACS), and accepting donations via the Internet. As of 2014, politicians are not required to disclose the names of financial backers who donate $200 or less.

Breitbart also notes that politicians who accept campaign fund donations over the Internet under $200 are not required to ask for proof of U.S. residency or use credit card anti-fraud security measures. These loopholes potentially allow for fraudulent foreign donations.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington notes that by forming PACs, politicians can freely transfer assets and finances between organizations without incurring the limitations specified by the Federal Election Commission. If the politician owns two PACs, they are considered affiliated, and under the law he can transfer assets and finances between them without limit. In 2011, Senator John McCain turned a campaign PAC into a leadership PAC. Afterward, he was able to transfer legally a mailing list worth $3 million to his other PAC without encountering the $5,000 limit on donations placed on his campaign PAC.