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 RiceDemocrat offers measure to prevent lawmakers from sleeping in their offices Hillicon Valley: Pelosi blasts Facebook for not taking down doctored video | Democrats push election security after Mueller warning | Critics dismiss FCC report on broadband access | Uber to ban passengers with low ratings Lawmakers raise security concerns about China building NYC subway cars MORE (D-N.Y.), Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherOvernight Defense: House votes to block Trump arms sales to Saudis, setting up likely veto | US officially kicks Turkey out of F-35 program | Pentagon sending 2,100 more troops to border House votes to block Trump's Saudi arms sale Lawmakers introduce bill to block U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei MORE (R-Wis.), and Derek KilmerDerek Christian KilmerHouse Democrats delete tweets attacking each other, pledge to unify Berkeley professor warns deepfake technology being 'weaponized' against women Centrist Democrats warn Trump against forcing vote on new NAFTA 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.'"

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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 HunterOvernight Defense: House votes to block Trump arms sales to Saudis, setting up likely veto | US officially kicks Turkey out of F-35 program | Pentagon sending 2,100 more troops to border Marine Corps tells Duncan Hunter to stop using official emblem, slogan for campaign Duncan Hunter, Democratic opponent seek money advantage ahead of 2020 rematch 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.