Guidelines for Disbursement of Funds

Updated Guidelines as of January 1, 2022

The American College of Physicians Services Political Action Committee, or ACP Services PAC, is a voluntary, unincorporated association operating as a separate segregated fund of ACP Services, Inc. Established in 2004, ACP Services PAC is dedicated to protecting the interests of internists and their patients by backing candidates for federal office who understand and support the concerns of the internal medicine community. ACP Services PAC disbursement decisions will be guided by the general principle that financial support will only be offered to those candidates who have demonstrated an interest in the legislative goals and priorities of internists. Funding requests must be approved by a majority of the Board of Directors.

The ACP Services PAC has adopted the following policies as guidelines for its  decisions on candidate disbursements.

Disbursements to Candidates

As required by law, a PAC that has not qualified for multicandidate status may contribute up to $2,000 per candidate per election. This includes special, run-off, primary, and general elections. Once a PAC qualifies as a multicandidate committee, it may contribute up to $5,000 per candidate per election. A PAC qualifies as a multicandidate committee once it has raised contributions from at least 51 persons; been registered for at least 6 months; and made contributions to at least five federal candidates.

Disbursements to Incumbents

Sitting members of Congress are considered incumbents when seeking reelection to the same office. In general, ACP Services PAC will support internist-friendly incumbents who have a demonstrated record of support for issues of concern to internists and their patients. The PAC Board will evaluate incumbents’ voting records and positions to determine their compatibility with the organization’s mission and goals.

The level of contributions to the PAC by ACP Services members will determine the extent of candidate support. Consideration will be given to friendly incumbents whose voting records are consistent with positions favored by internal medicine, as follows:

  • Members of the three congressional committees with jurisdiction over Medicare—in the House, the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees, with particular emphasis on members of the health subcommittees. In the Senate, preference will be given to members of the Senate Finance and Health, Education, Labor & Pensions committees. Committee and subcommittee chairs and ranking members of these committees and subcommittees will receive priority over other members of the committees/subcommittees.
  • Incumbents who have sponsored/cosponsored bills and/or held hearings on issues supported by the internal medicine community but who may not sit on one of the health committees will also be considered.
  • When appropriate, members of other committees dealing with health-related concerns, such as the House Appropriations, Budget, Education and the Workforce, and Judiciary Committees will also be considered. In the Senate, these committees include Appropriations; Budget; and Judiciary.
  • Members of the House and Senate leadership who understand and support the concerns of internists and their patients will also be eligible for contributions from the ACP Services PAC.
  • Other incumbent candidates for Congress may be considered by the ACP Services PAC, particularly if there is an established relationship between local internists and the candidate and if the incumbent has the potential for being appointed to a key health committee or leadership position.
  • In addition, the voting records of physicians serving in Congress and of relatives of physicians in Congress will be evaluated and contributions considered for those who have a track record of support for issues supported by internists.

Out-of-Cycle Contributions

An out-of-cycle contribution is a contribution to a U.S. Senator during the first four years of his/her term. ACP Services PAC will not confine its contributions solely to the last two years of a Senator's  term. Rather, the funds will be distributed over the course of the 6-year cycle in a way that may increase incrementally with the highest contributions typically being made in the later years of the cycle.

Debt Retirement

Debt retirement is a contribution to a candidate that has campaign debt after the general election. ACP Services PAC will carefully consider whether to make debt retirement contributions on a case-by-case basis and only after other priorities have been met for candidate selection.

Open Seat Races

Open seat races are primary and general election races in which the incumbent is not seeking reelection. ACP Services PAC will consider contributions to candidates seeking election to open seats.

Challenger Races

A challenger race is defined as an election in which a candidate is challenging a sitting incumbent for federal office. To be considered for contributions from ACP Services PAC, all challengers must be recommended by ACP Services PAC members in the district (House race) or state (Senate), and be viable candidates.

Party Committees and Leadership PACs

ACP Services PAC may contribute to the party committees (e.g., RNC, NRSC, NRCC, DNC, DSCC, and DSCC). However, disbursements to these committees will be evaluated based on available funds after consideration is given to candidates on key health committees and other priorities have been met.

ACP Services PAC primarily allocates money to be disbursed to the reelection campaigns of members of Congress.  Disbursements to Leadership PACs controlled by the member of Congress (who will use the contribution to help other members of his/her party get elected/reelected) will be carefully evaluated on a case-by-case basis, depending on available funds and after consideration is given to candidates on key health committees and other priorities have been met.

State Office Candidates

ACP Services PAC does not contribute to candidates running for office on the state level, nor does it make disbursements in support of or in opposition to state level ballot initiatives such as referenda and constitutional amendments.

Candidate Support

In determining which candidates to support, the ACP Services PAC Board will follow the guidelines identified above and solicit input from PAC members. PAC members will be given the PAC’s disbursement guidelines at the beginning of an election cycle and asked for their recommendations for candidate support based on these guidelines. Their recommendations will be incorporated into the PAC Board’s evaluation of candidate support but are not binding on the Board.

Attendance at Fundraisers

Attendance at candidate fundraisers will be determined based on where the fundraiser is held. ACP Services lobbyists will typically attend Washington, DC, based events. Members of the PAC Board and other PAC members will be encouraged to attend events in their districts/states for candidates supported by the PAC. Lobbyists and PAC members who attend fundraisers on behalf of ACP Services PAC are asked to provide a description of the event and the issues that were discussed with the candidate.