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U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Deb Fischer (R-NE), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) today introduced the Preventing Adversary Influence, Disinformation and Obscured Foreign Financing Act (PAID OFF Act), which would help close Foreign Agents Registration Act registration loopholes that allow unregistered agents of foreign adversaries to lobby in the United States:

“To stop back-alley attempts by our enemies to influence American policymaking, it’s critical we close the loopholes allowing the worst offenders to spend millions of dollars on disinformation campaigns in the U.S.,” said Sen. Cornyn. “This legislation would prevent adversaries like China and Russia from ‘ghost-lobbying’ by requiring foreign agents to register and disclose political activity to the Department of Justice.”

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“Corrupt foreign adversaries like Vladimir Putin exploit every weakness available to undermine the core American values of transparency and the rule of law,” said Sen. Whitehouse. “Our bill would shore up America’s defenses by closing a glaring loophole in our foreign agent reporting system.  I’m pleased to join this important bipartisan effort.”

“For too long, exemptions in U.S. law have allowed many persons in the United States who are paid to actively promote the interests of Communist China and other strategic adversaries to avoid registering as foreign agents,” said Sen. Hagerty. “I’m pleased to co-sponsor the Preventing Adversary Influence, Disinformation, and Obscured Foreign Financing Act to end these exemptions. As nations like Communist China seek to exert new forms of foreign interference and malign influence in our democracy, laws governing the registration of foreign agents must keep pace with this evolving threat to U.S. national security.”

“I’m pleased to join this strong, bipartisan bill against foreign adversaries meddling in our legislative process,” said Sen. Fischer. “China, Russia, and other adversaries tirelessly seek to undermine our national interests and influence U.S. policy in their favor. Our legislation will stop individuals working for foreign powers from skirting disclosure laws that identifies them as such.”

“Federal law should not provide protection for entities who are willing to do business with our enemies,” said Sen. Rubio. “If a lobbyist or consultant wants to work with our adversaries to subvert American interests, we deserve to know about it. Our bill would ensure U.S. law no longer provides cover for these corrupt cronies.”

Author: Press Release

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