Despite laws barring foreigners from influencing American elections, a recent study found that foreign influence and corruption continues to undermine our elections.
In response, this week, I joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers to introduce the Fighting Foreign Influence Act, legislation to crack down on foreign influence seeking to corrupt elections, government officials and think tanks.
The legislation is a package of several common-sense provisions from both sides of the aisle including the Stop Foreign Donations Affecting Our Elections Act, standalone legislation I introduced last year. Here’s a quick summary:
- Title I, the Think Tank and Non-Profit Foreign Influence Disclosure Act, would require tax-exempt organizations, including think tanks, to publicly disclose any high-dollar gifts from foreign governments or foreign political parties. It then directs the Treasury Department to publish the total amount of such contributions from each foreign government and each foreign political party.
- Title II, the Congressional and Executive Foreign Lobbying Ban Act, would impose a lifetime ban on former senior U.S. military officers, presidents, vice presidents, other senior executive branch officials, and members of Congress from ever lobbying for a foreign principal.
- Title III, the Stop Foreign Donations Affecting Our Elections Act, would require political campaigns to verify that anyone making an online contribution has a valid US address (using credit cards’ three-digit CVV code) or are otherwise legally eligible to make a campaign contribution. This title would also prohibit foreign agents from fundraising for political campaigns.
Click here to read the full text of the legislation.