What is a political action committee?
A political action committee (PAC) refers to a committee organized by like-minded people for the purpose of raising and spending money in support of preferred congressional candidates. Money raised must come from members’ voluntary contributions rather than from an association’s treasury. PACs may receive up to $5,000 annually from any one individual. PAC money spent can include contributing $5,000 to a candidate committee per election (primary, general, run-off, or special); contributing $15,000 annually to national party committees; and contributing $5,000 annually to any other PAC.
How is ASHA-PAC funded?
ASHA-PAC is funded through voluntary individual contributions from ASHA members and staff. Federal law prohibits ASHA from directly contributing to federal candidate campaigns, so we need voluntary donations (separate from ASHA dues) to build ASHA-PAC. Unfortunately, ASHA-PAC cannot accept corporate contributions.
Why does ASHA need a PAC?
ASHA-PAC was started in 1986 in response to a need for ASHA to become more politically active within the health care and education communities. ASHA-PAC is our only avenue to help elect and reelect lawmakers to Congress who support the professions of audiology and speech-language pathology. This allows us to support candidates who support us!
How does ASHA-PAC help me as a professional?
Public policies and regulations can affect your profession and the way you serve your patients, clients, and students. Through ASHA-PAC, ASHA’s advocacy team is able to educate, build, and strengthen relationships with key decision makers who stand with ASHA. By investing in ASHA-PAC, you’re joining your colleagues in creating a national voice for the professions.
How many ASHA members give to ASHA-PAC?
On average, about 3.5% of ASHA’s membership contributes to ASHA-PAC.
What is a good amount to give to ASHA-PAC?
The average donation is $30, but any amount helps support ASHA’s advocacy work.
Are contributions to ASHA-PAC tax deductible?
No. Political contributions are not tax deductible on your federal income taxes.
How does ASHA-PAC compare to other professional associations?
In the 2020 election cycle, ASHA-PAC raised $480,733. But with more than 228,000 members, ASHA has the potential to create significant change. If every ASHA member donated $10 to the PAC, we would be one of the largest nonphysician PACs in the country!
Is giving to ASHA-PAC considered “advocating for the professions”?
Yes. ASHA-PAC works on behalf of both audiologists and speech-language pathologists. Therefore, by contributing to ASHA-PAC, you are advocating for your profession and for people with communication disorders.
Who does ASHA-PAC support?
Funds from ASHA-PAC are used to help elect and retain members of Congress for federal office who support the professions of audiology and speech-language pathology and who help advance ASHA’s legislative priorities on Capitol Hill. ASHA-PAC works to support candidates of the U.S. Congress who currently serve on committees with jurisdiction over health care and education issues, hold positions of leadership in the House of Representatives or Senate, and/or have previously supported issues identified in ASHA’s public policy agenda.
What is the process for deciding which candidates to support?
Each year, the ASHA-PAC Board of Directors (member volunteers) approve operational guidelines that direct overall PAC spending to candidates for Congress. Then, ASHA’s Federal Advocacy team identifies specific candidates who have supported ASHA’s legislative priorities and who are in a position to further advance our issues. Finally, the ASHA-PAC Board approves the final list of recommended candidates. All candidates must meet the standards listed in ASHA-PAC’s Candidate Contribution Criteria and usually serve on key committees or leadership teams within the House of Representatives or Senate.
Can ASHA members influence who ASHA-PAC supports?
ASHA-PAC welcomes member input on candidates who those members feel are champions for the professions and who those members think we should consider supporting. Email email@example.com.
Does ASHA-PAC endorse presidential candidates?
No. ASHA-PAC does not endorse presidential candidates.