In a 4-0 decision today, the Federal Election Commission determined that candidates may use campaign funds to cover childcare expenses incurred while running for political office. The matter was brought before the FEC by Liuba Grechen Shirley, a congressional candidate requiring childcare in order to campaign for office. The FEC ruled childcare was a legitimate campaign expense eligible for payment by campaign funds, as it would not be incurred if the candidate was not engaging in a political campaign.
Free Speech For People was proud to submit a comment to the FEC in support of Ms. Shirley’s request. We were joined in this comment by Demos and Fordham Law Professor Zephyr Teachout. As stated in the advisory opinion, providing candidates with the ability to use campaign funds for childcare assistance will advance political equality by providing the necessary support to overcome barriers to political participation which disproportionately impact women candidates.
We congratulate Ms. Shirley on this important victory and applaud the FEC for this ruling to ensure access to childcare does not preclude candidates from seeking political office.