July 21, 2017

Duckworth Helps Reintroduce Legislation to Increase Transparency in America’s Campaign Finance System


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and 41 other Senators to reintroduce legislation to create a more transparent federal campaign finance system by ensuring both businesses and organizations spending money in elections disclose their individual donors to the public. The Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections Act of 2017 (DISCLOSE Act) would also require any company spending money in an election to reveal its true owner, allowing both election officials and voters to know which individuals are affiliated with large donations.

"Secret money creates an opportunity that enables foreign governments to interfere with our democracy and it has no place in our electoral system," said Duckworth. "We can't afford to allow foreign adversaries like Russia to influence our elections by hiding behind domestic companies, and this bill will finally put a stop to such meddling while giving the American people the transparency they need and deserve."

Federal law currently prohibits foreign nationals and foreign corporations from engaging in any election spending. Yet, domestic companies owned by foreign entities are not subject to the same restrictions. The DISCLOSE Act of 2017 would resolve this issue by prohibiting domestic corporations with significant foreign ownership from spending money in U.S. elections.

Joining U.S. Senators Duckworth and Whitehouse to introduce the DISCLOSE Act were U.S. Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Thomas Carper (D-DE), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Robert Casey Jr. (D-PA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), Al Franken (D-MN), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Christopher Murphy (D-CT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Angus King Jr. (I-ME), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Edward Markey (D-MA), Corey Booker (D-NJ), Gary Peters (D-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV).

A summary of the new DISCLOSE Act is available here.