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Campaign Finance Riders Hidden in the Omnibus Must Be Removed

Feb. 9, 2018

Campaign Finance Riders Hidden in the Omnibus Must Be Removed

Statement of Lisa Gilbert, Vice President of Legislative Affairs, Public Citizen

Now that Congress has stopped the irresponsible practice of funding the government in short spurts, it must focus on appropriating funds. Yet hundreds of poison pill policy riders have been proposed for inclusion in the final appropriations package, and they must be removed. This sneaky tactic of inserting unpopular provisions into must-pass spending bills is undemocratic, and these policies are nothing but handouts to big corporations and special interests.

Several of these poison pills would undermine our democracy and tip the scales even further in favor of wealthy special interests. The anti-democracy poison pills would:

  • Block enforcement of the Johnson Amendment, allowing tax-deductible secret money to flow through churches and charities into our politics;
  • Stop the IRS from creating clear definitions for nonprofit engagement in politics;
  • Prohibit federal contractors from being required to disclose their political spending;
  • Stop the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from requiring companies to disclose their political spending; and
  • Loosen campaign finance coordination limits, which would allow candidates to spend significantly more.

These poisonous riders have literally nothing to do with funding the government. Lawmakers are sneaking these dangerous riders into must-pass spending bills because they couldn’t get through on their own, but like snakes on a plane, they put all of us in danger. Americans deserve a clean budget deal free from riders that further rig our campaign finance system for big money donors.