Democrats introduce bill to end political spending by foreign companies
House Democrats reintroduced a bill On Tuesday, that would prevent foreign companies from spending company funds to influence the U.S. election.
The bill would extend the federal ban on political donations from foreign nationals to multinational corporations that are at least partially owned by foreign nationals. Following the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court ruling allowing corporations to spend unlimited sums to influence elections, some U.S. subsidiaries of foreign firms made large donations to super PACs.
“Six days after the Supreme Court invented the right to free speech for businesses in Citizens United, president obamaBarack Hussein ObamaBuild Back Better Bill Would Further Reduce US Workforce Participation Senate Vote on Vaccine Mandate Shows Congress’ Regulatory Weakness When President’s Impatience Outcomes on freedom PLUS warned that the Court had just opened “the floodgates” so that foreign interests can freely channel money to the US elections through corporations, “said the representative. Jamie raskinJamin (Jamie) Ben Raskin Jan. Group 6 faces new test as first witness pleads that Fifth House progressives urge Garland to intervene in case of former environmentalist lawyer Steven Donziger Trump allies rely on his claims for executive privilege MORE (D-Md.), The bill’s main sponsor, said in a statement. “He was right.”
The bill is backed by watch groups who say loopholes in the campaign finance law make the United States vulnerable to foreign influence. This summer, the Office of the Inspector General of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) warned that the agency is not doing enough to crack down on foreign money in US politics.
“Americans deserve to know who is trying to influence our voices and votes, and foreign entities should have no role in determining the US election,” Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn said in a statement.
The FEC has rarely punished foreign companies for pumping money into U.S. elections, with its commissioners often arguing that Congress should update the law first. In 2019, the agency fined a Jeb Bush-affiliated super PAC for soliciting donations from a company owned by Chinese executives in the 2016 election.
The bill’s provisions would apply to multinational companies backed by large foreign investment, including tech giants such as Meta and Amazon. Seattle lawmakers passed a similar bill after Amazon spent an unprecedented $ 1.5 million to influence Seattle city council elections in 2019.
“The American people understand that foreign influence, in any form, has no place in our elections,” Ron Fein, legal director of the advocacy group Free Speech For People, said in a statement. “Covering up such influence through corporate spending seriously undermines our democracy. “
Raskin has already introduced the Get Foreign Money Out of US Elections law at the previous two congresses. The Democrats’ sweeping electoral reform bill, which passed in the House but remains stuck in the Senate, would also attempt to clamp down on foreign spending in the U.S. election.