Incoming Dem lawmakers urge rejection of campaign finance ‘riders’


A group of incoming Democratic lawmakers is urging Congress to reject provisions that would “prevent critical political spending transparency.”

In a letter sent Tuesday to current House and Senate members, nine representative-elects said they did not want two riders that were part of last year’s spending package to be included in appropriations legislation for fiscal 2017.

One of the provisions the incoming lawmakers want rejected would prevent the Securities and Exchange Commission from finalizing rules that would require publicly traded companies to make disclosures about their political spending. The other would prevent the IRS from issuing guidance on the scope of permitted political activities for 501(c)(4) “social welfare” organizations.

The incoming lawmakers, who lent their support to the SEC and IRS rulemaking, said that the public supports increasing political spending transparency and believes that outside groups spend too much money on politics.

“Unaccountable, secret money in elections has not only undermined people’s faith in our democracy, it has prevented our nation’s highest legislative body from fully addressing some of the most critical issues facing the country,” the incoming lawmakers wrote.

“The American people have a right to know who is working to influence our elections, and in our campaign platforms we pledged to do our part to increase transparency and level the democratic playing field.”

The letter was signed by incoming Democratic Reps. Anthony Brown (Md.), Salud Carbajal (Calif.), Charlie Crist (Fla.), Ruben Kihuen (Nev.), Stephanie Murphy (Fla.), Tom O’Halleran (Ariz.), Jamie Raskin (Md.), Brad Schneider (Ill.) and Carol Shea-Porter (N.H.).

The letter comes as lawmakers are working to pass a short-term spending bill this month, allowing them to negotiate appropriations legislation with a Republican administration next spring once President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in.

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