House Takes Key Step Toward Shoring Up Democracy by Approving Election Security Funding  

Legislation Also Frees SEC, IRS and Executive Branch to Require Rules Increasing Political Spending Transparency

June 26, 2019

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives took a significant step today toward bolstering our democracy by approving legislation that provides money for states to secure their election systems and eliminates policies that block several agencies from enhancing disclosure of political spending.

The Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill (H.R. 3351), which funds various federal financial agencies:

  • Grants $600 million to states and localities for election security, putting a priority on the systems most vulnerable to hacks or errors; and
  • Eliminates provisions stifling the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the IRS and the executive branch from requiring disclosure of corporate political activity and clarifying rules for political engagement by nonprofits such as churches. The provisions have been attached as riders to previous funding bills.

“Public Citizen applauds this valuable new spending on election security. Hackers prove daily that any internet-based system can be breached. As a democracy, we can’t govern credibly if we can’t insure the integrity of the ballot box,” said Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs for Public Citizen. “Lawmakers were right to get rid of the toxic policies that pro-corporate politicians have attached as riders in the past.”