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house Bill H.R. 1382

Should Inaugural Committees Be Subject to More Regulations?

Argument in favor

There is currently very little oversight over how inaugural committees solicit, receive, and spend money. This bill would ensure that inaugural committees don’t become a way for corporations and other donors to buy influence with an incoming administration by donating to their inaugural committees.

Lesia's Opinion
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03/21/2019
I do believe this administration has done a great job of showing us the loopholes in our laws.
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Kodiwodi's Opinion
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03/21/2019
This is already part of HR1. It is imperative that HR1 pass. That’s all that needs to be said.
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Tinee's Opinion
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03/21/2019
Political campaigns should not be funded by untraceable donors. If someone doesn't want people to know they are supporting a elected official, then that someone should not be donating to that official's campaign.
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Argument opposed

The FEC already prohibits inaugural committees from receiving money from foreign nations and straw donors, and also requires inaugural committees to report all donations over $200 within 90 days of receipt. These safeguards are sufficient to ensure that inaugural committees don’t become influence-peddling operations.

SneakyPete's Opinion
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03/21/2019
👎🏻 House Bill H.R. 1382 AKA the Inaugural Fund Integrity Act (IFIA) 👎🏻 I’d be in opposition to Rep. Scanlon’s House Bill H.R. 1382 AKA the “Inaugural Fund Integrity Act (IFIA)” which would close several loopholes in the Inaugural Committee structure which allow for abuse of funds. * This bill would prohibit donations to inaugural funds from foreign nations or corporations, as well as from so-called “straw” donors, where donations are directed through shell entities to hide their true origins. * It’d also place a $50,000 cap on any donation to an inaugural committee and prohibit personal uses of inaugural funds, so that inaugural funds can only be used for their legitimate government purpose of planning and celebrating an inauguration. * Finally, this bill would require inaugural committees to file a report with the Federal Elections Committee (FEC) disclosing information about all donations received and disbursements made by the committee. The FEC already prohibits inaugural committees from receiving money from foreign nations and straw donors, and also requires inaugural committees to report all donations over $200 within 90 days of receipt. These safeguards are sufficient to ensure that inaugural committees don’t become influence-peddling operations. SneakyPete.......... 👎🏻H.R. 1382👎🏻. 3*21*19..........
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Tooluser1's Opinion
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03/21/2019
Confiscation and bans are all government has to offer. And you wonder why so many people advocate for LESS of it.
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John's Opinion
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03/21/2019
Sounds like there is already laws in place that do this
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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 Administration
    IntroducedFebruary 26th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 1382?

This bill — the Inaugural Fund Integrity Act (IFIA) — would close several loopholes in the Inaugural Committee structure which allow for abuse of funds. This bill would prohibit donations to inaugural funds from foreign nations or corporations, as well as from so-called “straw” donors, where donations are directed through shell entities to hide their true origins. It’d also place a $50,000 cap on any donation to an inaugural committee and prohibit personal uses of inaugural funds, so that inaugural funds can only be used for their legitimate government purpose of planning and celebrating an inauguration. Finally, this bill would require inaugural committees to file a report with the Federal Elections Committee (FEC) disclosing information about all donations received and disbursements made by the committee.

This bill has been adopted into H.R. 1, the For the People Act.

Impact

Presidential inaugural committees; donors to inaugural committees; foreign countries; straw donors; presidents-elect; and the FEC.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1382

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to establish limits on donations to inaugural committees and require those donations and disbursements to be disclosed:

“The lack of oversight of inaugural committees has raised the specter of quid pro quo deals currently being investigated with this administration. In an effort to restore faith in our democratic institutions, we need to write the ethical norms circumvented by this administration into law. I believe the Inaugural Fund Integrity Act is a critical component in our path towards a government that works for the people.”

Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD), the lead author of H.R. 1 and Chair of the Democracy Reform Task Force, is an original cosponsor of this bill and praised it as an important step toward reforming the presidential inauguration process:

“Congresswoman Scanlon has been a vital partner in developing H.R. 1, the For the People Act – a once-in-a-generation opportunity to clean up Washington and return to government of, by and for the people. Her leadership on reform issues – especially when it comes to increasing the transparency of Presidential Inaugural fundraising and cracking down on foreign influence peddling – is a key reason why we’ve been able to present the American people with such a robust and sweeping set of reforms to end the dominance of big money in politics, ensure clean and fair elections and make sure that public servants put the public’s interests ahead of special interests.”

When Rep. Scanlon introduced this bill in the 115th Congress in December 2018, Public Citizen’s Vice President of Legislative Affairs, Lisa Gilbert, expressed her organization’s support for this bill:

“The Trump Inaugural committee is now under criminal investigation for millions of dollars in mysterious and unexplained expenditures as well as possibly illegal donations from foreign sources. The absence of adequate regulation and disclosure of the financing of inaugural committees makes very clear the necessity for Congresswoman Scanlon’s Inaugural Fund Integrity Act.”

Norman Eisen, who served as Chief Ethics Counsel for President Barack Obama, notes that ethics problems around inaugurations aren’t unique to the Trump administration:

“[T]his is not just a Trump problem, this is the problem of big money in politics. Both parties raise big money around the Inauguration― and around everything else as well. The system has run amok.”

This bill has three Democratic cosponsors in the 116th Congress. In the 115th Congress, it didn’t have any cosponsors and didn’t receive a committee vote.


Of NoteInaugural committees are created by presidents-elect to run the inaugural ceremony and the parties and other activities connected to the inauguration. The FEC has little oversight over inaugural committees — at present, inaugural committees are only required to report all donations over $200 no later than 90 days after the inauguration.

President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee, which raised a record-shattering $107 million (for comparison, President Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration raised $53.2 million), has been at the center of controversy and is under investigation by Robert Mueller and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York due to its connections to foreign governments and straw donors. In February 2019, news outlets reported that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York was looking into a range of potential crimes committed by the inaugural committee, including conspiracy against the United States, false statements, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, inaugural committee disclosure violations, and violations of laws prohibiting contributions by foreign nations and straw donors.

OpenSecrets reports that 91 percent  of the Trump inaugural committee’s cash came from only 250 people or organizations, including 47 of which gave in excess of $1 million. According to OpenSecrets, over half of the companies that donated to the Trump inaugural fund later benefited from the Trump administration in some way, including by receiving government contracts or favorable treatment from the administration.

Trump’s inaugural committee has denied any wrongdoing, writing in a statement that it was “in full compliance with all applicable laws”:

“The (committee) is not aware of any pending investigations and has not been contacted by any prosecutors. We simply have no evidence the investigation exists. The (committee's) finances were fully audited internally and independently and are fully accounted. Moreover, the inauguration's accounting was provided both to the Federal Election Commission and the IRS in compliance with all laws and regulations. These were funds raised from private individuals and were then spent in accordance with the law and the expectations of the donors. The names of donors were provided to the FEC and have been public for nearly two years and those donors were vetted in accordance with the law and no improprieties have been found regarding the vetting of those donors."


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / carterdayne)

AKA

Inaugural Fund Integrity Act

Official Title

To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to prohibit certain donations to Inaugural Committees, to establish limitations on donations to Inaugural Committees, to require certain reporting by Inaugural Committees, and for other purposes.

    I do believe this administration has done a great job of showing us the loopholes in our laws.
    Like (79)
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    👎🏻 House Bill H.R. 1382 AKA the Inaugural Fund Integrity Act (IFIA) 👎🏻 I’d be in opposition to Rep. Scanlon’s House Bill H.R. 1382 AKA the “Inaugural Fund Integrity Act (IFIA)” which would close several loopholes in the Inaugural Committee structure which allow for abuse of funds. * This bill would prohibit donations to inaugural funds from foreign nations or corporations, as well as from so-called “straw” donors, where donations are directed through shell entities to hide their true origins. * It’d also place a $50,000 cap on any donation to an inaugural committee and prohibit personal uses of inaugural funds, so that inaugural funds can only be used for their legitimate government purpose of planning and celebrating an inauguration. * Finally, this bill would require inaugural committees to file a report with the Federal Elections Committee (FEC) disclosing information about all donations received and disbursements made by the committee. The FEC already prohibits inaugural committees from receiving money from foreign nations and straw donors, and also requires inaugural committees to report all donations over $200 within 90 days of receipt. These safeguards are sufficient to ensure that inaugural committees don’t become influence-peddling operations. SneakyPete.......... 👎🏻H.R. 1382👎🏻. 3*21*19..........
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    This is already part of HR1. It is imperative that HR1 pass. That’s all that needs to be said.
    Like (40)
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    Political campaigns should not be funded by untraceable donors. If someone doesn't want people to know they are supporting a elected official, then that someone should not be donating to that official's campaign.
    Like (31)
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    The Idiot has taught us a lot of lessons. Now we know the weaknesses in our Democracy! Things we need to shore up to make sure we never have one LIKE HIM AGAIN! Right on, Joseph!
    Like (21)
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    All organizations that receive monies from any source, whether gifted or by purchasing something should be required by law to account for the accrual and disbursements of those monies. If this is not already reflected in the laws governing the operation of political parties, it should be!
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    After the trump administration, I’d say yes! For an inauguration that featured no celebrities, had only a couple of balls, the idea that it cost over twice as much as Obama’s is ridiculous. How much of a kickback did melania’s friend give trump of her $25 million fee? What did she do for that money? Where is the rest of the money? We have gotten no answers on that.
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    Confiscation and bans are all government has to offer. And you wonder why so many people advocate for LESS of it.
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    We have already seen how a criminal candidate uses these funds. Let’s not let it happen again.
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    Republicans love to complain about “big government” and the imposition of more regulations. But if they stopped being so friggin corrupt, such laws wouldn’t be necessary!
    Like (9)
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    Unfortunately, not all incoming presidents have integrity and American pride; everything can be bought.
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    Just more whining from the sore losers.
    Like (7)
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    More oversight needed
    Like (7)
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    It’s sad but there are Unscrupulously people that just don’t play by the rules. So, we have to have more rules, more rules because people don’t have the integrity to just be an upstanding human being. It’s just sad.
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    This president is making us all aware of the loopholes that have allowed him to trounce on our democracy. We need to fix the issues so no one else of questionable moral clarity or ethics can subvert the rule of law
    Like (6)
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    Isn’t it obvious? We are not crowning a monarch. We are inaugurating the people’s elected servant who is paid by the people.
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    After the DCCC chsnged the rules to make it difficult to challenge an incumbent, this non elected corporate bought off body has way too much power over our Democracy.
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    Clearly after more then 200 years ....here comes a criminal in the White House who upsets all boundaries of decency...so yes...apparently Yes, we do. Next time the president needs to be elected with One Person..ONE VOTE not the Electoral College and the problem of an ugly single minded lying, unhinged leader won’t happen again.
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    Let's get the spending and corporate$ under control.
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    We need to regulate how much money and where it comes from for these extravagant waste of money.
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