June Due Date for Political Activity Rules Fuels Speculation

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May 22 — Eagle-eyed observers were quick to notice that a listing of federal government regulatory actions includes a June due date for upcoming rules on political activity by social welfare groups—groups that are on many people's minds because of their potential to influence elections.

The notice of a second proposed rulemaking with a date of June 2015 appeared May 21 on the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs' regulatory page, immediately sparking predictions that the most widely debated rules the agency has ever proposed might be on the way.

“In a situation where we are very starved of information and we are all trying to read the tea leaves, this is just a clue that they are working on it and they may be close,” Emily Peterson-Cassin, an official with Public Citizen's Congress Watch, told Bloomberg BNA May 22. “What's interesting is how soon they think it is. I don't know why they would say June unless they think they are pretty close.”