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 RiceBooker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements New York Rep. Maloney endorses Gillibrand for president Hispanic Dems ask for multi-agency meeting on family separations MORE (D-N.Y.), Mike GallagherMichael (Mike) John GallagherHouse fails to override Trump veto on border wall The 25 Republicans who defied Trump on emergency declaration Graham to push for US to recognize Golan Heights as part of Israel MORE (R-Wis.), and Derek KilmerDerek Christian KilmerHouse leaders need to modernize Congress for the sake of America Lawmakers contemplate a tough political sell: Raising their pay Bipartisan think tank to honor lawmakers who offer 'a positive tenor' 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 HunterChallenger outraises embattled California rep ahead of 2020 rematch Republican's campaign accused of racism for referring to Palestinian opponent as a 'national security threat' McCarthy holds courtesy meeting with ex-Rep. Grimm 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.