Pence, $1.3 Million in Debt From 2024 Campaign, Eligible to Receive Tax-Payer Funds: FEC

Former Vice President Mike Pence’s campaign committee was approved for a $100,000 payment from the U.S. Treasury.
Pence, $1.3 Million in Debt From 2024 Campaign, Eligible to Receive Tax-Payer Funds: FEC
Presidential candidate and former vice president Mike Pence enters the debate area of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., on Sept. 27, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
Austin Alonzo

The Federal Election Committee ruled that former Vice President Mike Pence is eligible to receive matching taxpayer funds to pay his debts related to his ill-fated run for the White House.

On May 16, during an FEC open meeting, the commission requested that Mr. Pence and his principal campaign committee, Mike Pence For President, receive an initial payment of $100,000 from the United States Treasury. Mr. Pence, who served under President Donald Trump, dropped his bid for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in October 2023.

According to the FEC, Mike Pence For President still owes more than $1.3 million in debts. The committee is indebted to numerous consultants for services rendered during his brief run.

It is not clear how much money, in total, Mr. Pence may receive through the federal program.

An FEC official told The Epoch Times after a candidate’s date of ineligibility—Mr. Pence was assigned a date of Oct. 28, 2023—a candidate may only receive matching payments to the extent that the candidate’s committee has net outstanding campaign obligations.

Therefore, according to the official, the campaign’s obligations for qualified campaign expenses, including winding down costs, are balanced against the total of the campaign’s cash on hand, the value of capital assets, and amounts owed to the campaign.

According to the FEC, Mike Pence, For President, had about $584,000 in cash on hand at the end of March.

Mr. Pence, the governor of Indiana from 2014 to 2017 and a former member of the House, saw his political star fall after President Trump criticized him for certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election against his wishes.

According to a release from the FEC, Mr. Pence’s campaign fell within the requirements to receive public matching funds. It raised at least $100,000 by collecting $5,000 in 20 different states and agreed to spending limits set by the FEC.

The spending limits call for limiting spending on all primary elections to $10 million, plus a cost-of-living adjustment, and then restricting overall campaign spending in each state to either $200,000 or to a “specified amount based on the number of voting-age individuals in the state.”

The Commission also calls for documentation and auditing of campaign expenditures.

According to the FEC, Mike Pence For President spent more than $4.7 million during his four-month campaign. By comparison, the principal campaign committee for Donald Trump, now the presumptive Republican nominee, spent more than $68.7 million between January 2023 and March 2024, according to the FEC.

Few major candidates choose to pursue partial public funding for their campaign. According to data shared by the FEC, only Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Democratic Party candidate Martin O‘Malley participated in 2016. Mr. O’Malley is the current commissioner of the Social Security Administration.

According to the FEC, Mr. Pence is the only presidential candidate to ask for and receive federal funds in the 2024 cycle.

“The presidential public funding program is financed through the $3 check-off that appears on individual income tax returns,” a release from the FEC said. “The program has two elements: matching payments to participating candidates during the primary campaign and grants available to nominees to pay for the general election campaign.”

A letter signed by the FEC’s Chairman Sean Cooksey, a Republican, addressed to Mr. Pence said the money given by the Treasury must only be used for “the limited purpose of defraying net outstanding campaign obligations, plus estimated necessary winding down costs.”

In February, Mr. Pence announced he was starting a policy and advocacy initiative called the American Solutions Project through a 501(c)(4) non-profit he founded, Advancing American Freedom Inc. The project said it wanted to spend $20 million in 2024.

Representatives of Mr. Pence did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Epoch Times.

Austin Alonzo covers U.S. political and national news for The Epoch Times. He has covered local, business and agricultural news in Kansas City, Missouri, since 2012. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri. You can reach Austin via email at [email protected]