Today, House Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee opened the door to foreign money being illegally spent in federal elections through nonprofit groups.
On a party line vote, the Committee voted to report a bill introduced by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) that would eliminate the existing requirement for 501(c) nonprofit groups to disclose to the IRS the contributions they receive. This information is not available to the public, but it is available to the IRS.
Currently, the fact that nonprofit groups have to report their donors, including foreign donors, to the IRS serves as a check against any nonprofit taking the risk of illegally spending these funds in federal elections. By eliminating this reporting requirement, as the Roskam bill does, there would be no way for anyone to know whether foreign money was being illegally spent through a nonprofit in a federal election and there would be no way to hold violators accountable for their illegal activities.
The president of a Koch brothers company, the Koch Companies Public Sector, sent a letter today to members of the Committee urging them to pass the legislation.
House Republicans since 2011 have successfully prevented disclosure legislation from passing the House to close the gaping disclosure loopholes that occurred post-Citizens United. These loopholes have resulted in more than $500 million in secret contributions being spent in federal elections. The Koch brothers also have opposed closing the loopholes.
The Roskam bill should never pass the House and never be enacted into law.
Click here to see a letter reform groups sent on April 27 opposing the Roskam bill.