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Republican Lawmakers Want to Make It Illegal for Legislators to Pay Family Members to Run for Office

After several prominent Democratic lawmakers were publicly chastised for doing so, Republican members of Congress want to prevent their colleagues from putting family members on the campaign payroll.

Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas) will introduce the Family Integrity to Reform Elections (FIRE) Act on Monday, which would prohibit any candidate for federal office from paying immediate family members for campaign services.

In a statement to The Washington Post, Fallon said, “Maxine Waters [paid] $1.1 million to her daughter from campaign funds.” “$2.9 million in campaign funds went to Ilhan Omar’s husband.” From his campaign, James Clyburn gave more than $200,000 to several family members.”

Duane Cooper, Karen Waters, and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA).

Rep. Pat Fallon revealed that “Maxine Waters [paid] her daughter $1.1 million from campaign funds.”

Pat Fallon is a member of the House of Representatives.

The Family Integrity to Reform Elections Act, sponsored by Rep. Pat Fallon, will be introduced.

Fallon continued, “The numbers speak for themselves.” “Americans are fed up with politicians squandering their tax dollars. The spoils system of today must be abolished.

My bill exposes shady campaign finance practices and punishes those who use these funds to enrich themselves and their families.”

It is now legal for legislators to hire family members to work on their campaigns. However, unless they are “providing bona fide services to the campaign” and the salary represents “fair market value of the services provided,” federal election commission regulations prohibit paying candidate relatives a salary.

The bill, which was first reviewed by The Washington Post, would extend the prohibition to any political committee “established, maintained, or controlled by a candidate or an individual holding Federal office,” effectively prohibiting any current member of Congress from compensating a family member for campaign work.

Maxine Waters is a member of the House of Representatives from California.

In the first quarter of this year, Rep. Maxine Waters spent $24,000 on her daughter Karen’s campaign.


“Slate mailer management” fees were paid to Karen Waters by the campaign committee “Citizens for Waters.”

Campaigns would also have to report any payments made to a candidate’s immediate family members under Fallon’s bill.

Spouses, parents, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, domestic partners, and campaign committee members’ spouses would all be covered by the proposed ban.

If the bill passes, any candidate who violates the ban faces a fine of $100,000 or twice the amount paid to the family members, whichever is greater, as well as up to two years in prison if the ban is broken. The candidate’s campaign committee would not be allowed to reimburse him for any of the fines.

Ilhan Omar and her husband, Tim Mynett, pose for a photo.

Rep. Ilhan Omar is said to have paid her husband $2.9 million in campaign funds.

Reps. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), Pete Sessions (R-Texas), Jake Ellzey (R-Texas), Randy Weber (R-Texas), Brian Babin (R-Texas), Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Kat Cammack (R-Fla.), and Troy Nehls (R-Texas) are co-sponsoring the bill.

In 2020, Opensecrets discovered that at least $16,000 in wages was paid to family members by more than a dozen current members of Congress – five Republicans and nine Democrats.

According to Federal Election Commission records, Waters has long outspent her colleagues in this area, handing over $24,000 in campaign funds to her daughter Karen in just the first quarter of this year.

The campaign committee “Citizens for Waters” paid Waters’ daughter “slate mailer management” fees, according to the records.

Similar payments were made in 2021 when the younger Waters received $81,650, and in the previous election cycle, when she received around $240,000.

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“Campaign funds should never be used to enrich a candidate or his or her family under any circumstances.” In a statement to The Washington Post, Garbarino said, “Voters deserve to know that their elected officials are running to represent them, not to line their own pockets.”

“This bill will shine a light on campaign finance and hold candidates for public office to a higher standard that is commensurate with the public trust they hold.”

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