Just-passed House bill would protect American democracy from foreign corruptive influence
TI-US calls on U.S. Senate to quickly approve the “For The People Act”
A statement from the U.S. office of Transparency International
March 4, 2021
Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the “For The People Act,” a comprehensive pro-democracy bill supported by one of the largest civil society coalitions in recent U.S. history. Among many other reforms, the Act would strengthen and meaningfully enforce the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires U.S. citizens to disclose lobbying done on behalf of foreign governments; require “dark money” nonprofit organizations to publicly disclose their foreign funders; and prevent corporations with significant foreign ownership or control from influencing U.S. elections.
Scott Greytak, Director of Advocacy for Transparency International’s U.S. Office (TI-US), issued the following statement on the bill’s passage:
The U.S.’s outdated campaign finance and lobbying laws have left our government vulnerable to attempts by kleptocrats, dictators, and other corrupt regimes to undermine our political institutions. Such foreign corruptive influence reached a global audience when a Kremlin-backed hacking of U.S. election infrastructure, and accompanying misinformation campaign, sowed doubt in the integrity of the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. In addition, foreign adversaries and other foreign interests have secretly funded well-connected Washington lobbyists to advance their agendas, and have secretly contributed to “dark money” organizations that can spend unlimited amounts of money on American elections.
Without concrete new safeguards to protect our democracy against foreign corruptive influence, America’s adversaries will continue to sow doubt, divisiveness, and discord in our country. The For The People Act is an opportunity for the United States to fortify its government against those who would do us harm, and to demonstrate strong leadership on an issue with global resonance. The Senate should move quickly to approve the bill.
- Read the text of the “For the People Act”;
- Read TI-US’s letter to Congress in support of the “For The People Act”;
- Read TI-US’s new policy plan, Combating Global Corruption: A Bipartisan Plan, 21 Commitments for 2021.
Scott Greytak, Advocacy Director, Transparency International U.S. Office
Telephone: +1 614-668-0258