Dec. 22, 2017

40 Senators Call for a Clean Budget, Oppose Secret Money Rider

As Disclosure Champion Confirmed, Public Citizen Applauds Senators Standing Up for Transparency

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Public Citizen applauded 40 U.S. Senators who today called for a clean budget with no poison pill riders in a letter (PDF) sent to the chamber’s leadership. In the letter, the senators sound the alarm about a particularly odious rider that would stop the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from requiring publicly traded companies to disclose their political spending to shareholders.

“It is time we had a clean budget with no poison pills meant to sneak policies through without time for input from the American people,” said Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs for Public Citizen. “We applaud the senators who are sticking up for American investors by calling for a budget that does not stop the SEC from requiring companies to disclose details about their political spending.”

Late Thursday, the Senate confirmed Professor Robert Jackson, Jr. to be a Democratic commissioner at the SEC, giving the agency a full slate of commissioners for the first time since 2015. Jackson co-authored the rulemaking petition on the SEC’s corporate political spending disclosure proposal.

“With the confirmation of Professor Jackson, an outspoken champion of disclosure, it is time for Congress to stop tying the agency’s hands on this issue,” said Rachel Curley, democracy associate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “The SEC received more than 1.2 million comments on this rulemaking, a clear sign that both investors and regular Americans see the need for greater disclosure of corporate political spending.”

Republican lawmakers have snuck hundreds of poison pill policy riders into must-pass appropriations legislation in order to pass these unpopular and controversial measures without any public debate. The corporate and ideological riders included in this year’s draft appropriations bills threaten to roll back public protections, put workers at risk, restrict women’s rights, endanger our environment and undermine our democracy.

Read the letter (PDF).

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