On the heels of the unanimous Senate passage of two Grassley-Peters bills to crack down on undisclosed foreign lobbying efforts, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) are again leading the fight to expose foreign influence in U.S. policy.
The bipartisan senators, along with Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), today introduced the Retroactive Foreign Agents Registration Act (RFARA). RFARA will ensure those acting as unregistered foreign agents will be unable to exploit judicial misreadings of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) to sidestep disclosure requirements related to their work for foreign interests. Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
“If an individual works to influence policy on behalf of foreign interests, there should be no loophole that allows them to avoid disclosing their efforts,” Grassley said. “Foreign agents who fail to register during their service must come clean and wash the grease off their hands even after they’ve left the job. Our bill makes an important update to FARA to realign its original intent by ensuring all foreign agents show their work to the American people.”
“By closing this loophole, this bipartisan bill will increase transparency around foreign lobbying, prevent our adversaries from influencing U.S. policy in secret, and ensure the federal government is working in the best interest of taxpayers in Michigan and across the nation,” Peters said.
“Congress needs to restore FARA to its original, critical function after the D.C. District Court’s absurd ruling last October defanged the statute. At a time when the PRC and other adversaries are using foreign agents to mount influence campaigns and wantonly perpetrate transnational repression in our country, as an absolute baseline, we need to enforce FARA’s intended transparency standards in order to counter the CCP’s malign designs,” Gallagher said.