Bipartisan lawmakers unveil bill to tighten some campaign rules

A group of bipartisan lawmakers introduced legislation on Friday aimed at curbing the abuse of campaign funds and tightening rules on how super PACs coordinate with campaigns. 

The Political Accountability and Transparency Act — spearheaded by Reps. Kathleen RiceKathleen Maura RiceDem lawmakers to open probe into ‘complex web of relationships’ between NRA, Russia McCarthy, allies retaliate against Freedom Caucus leader How Pelosi is punishing some critics while rewarding others MORE (D-N.Y.), Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherBipartisan House group introduces bills to stall Syria, South Korea troop withdrawals House passes bill expressing support for NATO Lobbying World MORE (R-Wis.), and Derek KilmerDerek Christian KilmerWhere hope for Congress lies Dem rep says Coast Guard food pantry ran out amid shutdown The Hill's Morning Report - Shutdown drama shifts to Senate MORE (D-Wash.) — would, among other things, require that groups disclose top donors to political advertisements and place restrictions on members using campaign funds for personal use.

The bill contains language intended to prevent members from abusing campaign funds for “five-star dinners, high-end vacations, and country club memberships, all under the guise of 'fundraising expenses.'"


The legislation submitted by the co-chairs of the Congressional Reformers Caucus would amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.

The bill’s authors say they hope the measure will help increase transparency and accountability in political spending.

“Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” Kilmer said in a statement. “Americans deserve to know who is paying for the political ads they see regardless of how those ads are purchased. The Political Accountability and Transparency Act slams shut campaign finance loopholes and shines a light on the murky world of dark money.”

Meanwhile, Rice said outside money has played a “shadowy role in our politics,” adding loopholes need to be closed to help restore trust in politics.

The bill comes in the wake of the House Ethics Committee launching an investigation into Rep. Duncan HunterDuncan Duane HunterThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race House Dems release 2020 GOP 'retirements to watch' for House Dems unveil initial GOP targets in 2020 MORE (R-Calif.), who has been accused of using campaign funds for golf outings, video games and utility bills earlier this year. He has denied the allegations.