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The Senate last week unanimously passed two pieces of legislation spearheaded by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) to prevent foreign governments from quietly influencing U.S. policy. These bipartisan bills would close loopholes that foreign governments, including adversaries in the Chinese Communist Party and the Kremlin, could exploit to conceal their efforts to lobby the U.S. government. 


“The public ought to know if someone is using their lobbying disclosure to exempt themselves from registering as a foreign agent,” Grassley said. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and the American people deserve to know who is carrying water for a foreign power. I’m glad to see this bipartisan legislation move forward and hope to see it pass quickly in the House.”  


“By providing more transparency about foreign lobbying practices, these bipartisan bills will help stop attempts by foreign adversaries to influence our political process and ensure that the federal government is working in the best interests of Michiganders and Americans,” Peters said


The Disclosing Foreign Influence in Lobbying Act closes a loophole in the Lobbying Disclosure Act enabling foreign adversaries – including the Chinese Communist Party – to conceal their lobbying efforts. Think tanks and law enforcement agencies have identified instances in which foreign adversaries exploited this loophole by using organizations and businesses to push their interests before the U.S. government. The bill explicitly requires lobbying organizations to disclose when foreign governments and political parties participate in their lobbying efforts, regardless of any financial contribution to the lobbying effort.


The Lobbying Disclosure Improvement Act would require lobbyists who represent foreign persons or organizations to indicate whether they are taking advantage of an exemption under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) when they register under the Lobbying Disclosure Act. This would help narrow the pool of registrants the Department of Justice must examine for potential violations without imposing new burdens on registrants.

Author: Press Release


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