FEC Commissioners Spar over Rep. Swalwell’s Request for Advisory Opinion on Using Campaign Funds for Childcare

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On May 26, 2022, counsel for Swalwell petitioned the FEC to see if the 5-term Democratic lawmaker could use campaign funds to pay for overnight childcare as both he and his wife both work full time, he travels often, and the couple have three children still in diapers.

Thursday’s public hearing grew intense at its end when Trump-appointed Commissioner Trey Trainor took a moment to disparage Swalwell for his travels.

“To be real honest with you,” Trainor said, “I’m actually going to pass judgment on it. I think it’s abhorrent that Congressman Swalwell would have such a young child and want to leave them in the care of someone else, for a weeklong trip overseas and using donor contributions to pay for that. I think it’s inappropriate we even had to address this question.

Following the hearing, FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub, a Democrat appointed by President George W. Bush, took to Twitter to address Trainor’s rhetoric and treatment of Swalwell at the hearing. She likened his treatment to the TV show “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

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