Pascrell introduces foreign political spending legislation

Reacting to last week’s 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned restrictions on political spending by corporations and unions, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) has introduced legislation to restrict foreign corporations from spending on elections in the United States.

Pascrell said the decision creates a loophole in which non-Americans can influence domestic elections by “laundering it through corporations they control.”

The bill would amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, which bans foreign nationals from donating to campaigns and making other political expendituers , to include spending by domestic corporations that are owned or controlled by foreign principals, both fully and partly.  It would also ban companies that owe debt or other obligations to those out of the country from spending on American politics ads.

“We can take no chances when it comes to keeping foreign influence from tainting the sanctity of our election process,” said Pascrell in a written statement. “In today’s economy, how can we truly define an American corporation?  The fact is many of the largest corporations have gone global.  We simply can’t take for granted that a brand-name, even a time-honored American household name, represents what’s best for American interests.  Let’s be smart and work toward making sure American elections are decided by Americans.”

Pascrell introduces foreign political spending legislation