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house Bill H.R. 1053

Should Corporations Disclose Their Political Contributions to Shareholders?

Argument in favor

Corporations have an outsize influence when it comes to political spending, and many don’t disclose their political expenditures to their shareholders. This bill protects shareholders by ensuring they’re aware of how politically active companies they’ve invested in are.

KansasTamale's Opinion
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04/13/2019
Yes. All political contributions must be made PUBLIC. THIS IS A NECESSITY FOR A DEMOCRACY.
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J. scott's Opinion
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04/14/2019
Yes all political donations from any and all sources should be disclosed — absolutely no exceptions for any reason period.
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John's Opinion
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04/13/2019
Corporations as well as individuals who contribute large amounts to political agencies should report who and how much they’ve given. Citizens in a free democracy should know who is influencing our elected officials.
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Argument opposed

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) already requires that companies file reports with it when they spend their own money advocating for the election or defeat of a candidate — if shareholders want to see companies’ political spending they can view those reports.

operaman's Opinion
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04/14/2019
That Government Camel is still trying to poke its nose under the Corporate tent. Damn noisy camel.... I mean Democrats. All expenditures are reported to the SEC filings. But the little guy stockholder can request detail annual reports.
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JTJ's Opinion
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04/14/2019
I research my investments just fine without government intrusion.
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John's Opinion
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04/14/2019
If you want to know who a corporation gives money to, you can see it already. This is just duplicity that is not needed and is wasting time. Please vote nay.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Financial Services
    IntroducedFebruary 7th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 1053?

This bill would direct the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue regulations to require public corporations to disclose political expenditures. Under current law such disclosures to shareholders are voluntary, although corporations must abide by Federal Elections Commission reporting rules.

Impact

Public corporations; political campaigns; and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1053

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to help shareholders know where companies they're investing in are spending their money:

“Shareholders deserve to know exactly where their money is going when they choose to invest in a company. For years, Congressional Republicans have blocked the SEC from shining a light on the political contributions that shareholder funds are supporting. That must change. The voices of Central Coast residents and small businesses shouldn’t be drowned out by billions of dollars in secret political advertising backed by corporations that place making a profit above the public interest.”

Last Congress, Rep. Carbajal introduced this bill to require publicly-traded corporations to disclose their political expenditures to shareholders:

“The Citizens United decision unfortunately opened the door for large corporations, even foreign-controlled ones, to spend unlimited amounts of money on influencing American elections… Unfortunately, Congress has recently prevented the SEC from requiring political disclosures for corporations and that must change. The public has a right to know how powerful, multinational corporations are spending money to influence our political process.”
CREDO Action supports this bill. In its petition, CREDO writes: 
"It is no accident that the years since the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision brought Republican waves, state legislative takeovers and Donald Trump. The Supreme Court empowered corporations to pour cash into elections, with disastrous results. Citizens United boosted Republican vote share by 3 to 4 points in states where a ban on corporate spending was previously in effect, according to one study. Corporations use their deep pockets to rig the system, blocking efforts to respond to climate change, lower drug prices and combat inequality. [This] bill would fight back by forcing corporations to disclose their political spending... Ever since Citizens United, secret corporate money has been flooding our elections, hijacking our democracy, and undermining our nation. Giant corporations – including big oil, big pharma and defense contractors – can get away with spending nearly unlimited amounts without voters, customers, or shareholders ever knowing. We need to fight back – and the first step is demanding that corporations come clean about their political spending."

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) is the only cosponsor of this bill in the 116th Congress. This bill had three bipartisan cosponsors, including two Democrats and one Republican, in the 115th Congress and didn't receive a committee vote.

Of NoteIn recent spending bills, Congress has included language to prevent the SEC from implementing new reporting requirements regarding the disclosure of political contributions. This bill would overturn this restriction.

Currently, in the absence of legislation or SEC rule making on this issue, there's been a new stockholder trend compelling corporations to be more transparent about their political spending. According to the 2018 CPA-Zicklin Index, this has led to 294 out of the S&P 500's companies implementing some form of disclosure of their spending on political campaigns and lobbying activities.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: Juanmonino / iStock)

AKA

Corporate Political Disclosure Act of 2019

Official Title

To amend the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to direct the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue regulations to require public corporations to disclose political expenditures, and for other purposes.

    Yes. All political contributions must be made PUBLIC. THIS IS A NECESSITY FOR A DEMOCRACY.
    Like (107)
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    That Government Camel is still trying to poke its nose under the Corporate tent. Damn noisy camel.... I mean Democrats. All expenditures are reported to the SEC filings. But the little guy stockholder can request detail annual reports.
    Like (24)
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    Yes all political donations from any and all sources should be disclosed — absolutely no exceptions for any reason period.
    Like (50)
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    Corporations as well as individuals who contribute large amounts to political agencies should report who and how much they’ve given. Citizens in a free democracy should know who is influencing our elected officials.
    Like (44)
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    All corporations need to disclose their contributions. Transparency in government
    Like (35)
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    And the chance of that happening? Btw-anyone reading this able to file their taxes on a postcard as promised?
    Like (34)
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    YES! Transparency IS the name of the game!! Americans are totally fed up with all the dark monies & mysterious contributions of corporations, used to undermine democracy, & promote all benefits of the nation to the 1%.
    Like (32)
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    Shareholders have a right to know how their money is being spent. If my money was being pumped into the RNC then I would want to move my money somewhere else.
    Like (29)
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    The share holders have a right to know where their money is being donated.
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    This is the problem...why are corporations supporting politicians??? I know it’s legal ... but look where this has brought us. To a maniac running our country as if it were his own!
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    Corporations have bought and sold politicians since Citizens United decision flooded the system with dark money. Transparency is vital to a functional republic.
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    Corporations as well as individuals who contribute large amounts to political agencies should report who and how much they’ve given. Citizens in a free democracy should know who is influencing our elected officials.
    Like (18)
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    Absolutely corporate must disclose political contributions
    Like (17)
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    Unless they have repealed Citizens United, Corporations are people and therefore I believe I’m entitled to know who’s donating over a certain amount. As a stockholder I am part owner of the corporation and therefore I should be given a say in any political contributions made with my investment. Ideally it would be none.
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    Yes. Unfortunately, corruption has become the norm. Some donors will intentionally breakdown their contributions to stay below the amount that requires their disclosure.
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    Get the money out of politics !
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    How about corporations stop making political contributions?! More transparency is good, but we need to get the money out of politics!
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    “Carbaja(D)” House Bill H.R. 1053 AKA Corporate Political Disclosure Act This House Bill H.R.1053 AKA “Corporate Political Disclosure Act” which would protect shareholders by ensuring they’re aware of how politically active companies they’ve invested in are. Corporations have an outsize influence when it comes to political spending, and many don’t disclose their political expenditures to their shareholders. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻HR-1053👍🏻👍🏻. 4*13*19.....
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    There must be transparency in government to prevent corruption.
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    Yes and to the public so if some of the public doesn’t like their bias we can do business elsewhere. Certainly don’t want to support a business that does not represent my and others best interest.
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