Dec. 12, 2018

Senate Votes to Restore Disclosure Requirement Key to Stopping Illegal Foreign Political Influence

Statements From Public Citizen Experts

Note: Today, the U.S. Senate passed a Congressional Review Act resolution restoring the U.S. Treasury Department’s Schedule B requirements that nonprofits, trade associations and labor unions disclose the names and addresses of major donors to the IRS.

“Public Citizen opposes using the Congressional Review Act to overturn health, safety and consumer protections, and strongly opposes using it to overturn agency guidance. However, Public Citizen wholeheartedly agrees with the goal of restoring Treasury’s Schedule B disclosure requirements for organizations that participate in our elections. Without the Schedule B requirements, nonprofit groups could take illegal foreign contributions and use them to swing elections with almost no chance of getting caught. There is much still to do to protect our elections from pernicious and illegal foreign influence, but maintaining these requirements is essential.”

- Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs

“It’s reassuring that Treasury has drawn a rebuke from the Senate, which deserves praise for standing up for the enforcement of our campaign finance laws. Treasury’s decision to eliminate the Schedule B requirements is part of the Trump administration’s ongoing efforts to reassure wealthy donors that our campaign finance laws won’t be enforced – and comes in the wake of continued efforts to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which would allow megadonors to receive a tax deduction for their election spending. The next Congress already has committed to making the restoration of our democracy one of its top priorities, so Public Citizen is hopeful that there is a light at the end of the dark money tunnel.”

- Emily Peterson-Cassin, Bright Lines Project coordinator