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house Bill H.R. 4177

Does More Need to be Done to Stop Illegal Foreign Political Donations in U.S. Elections?

Argument in favor

Even though it’s already illegal, more needs to be done to ensure that foreign governments and individuals don’t improperly influence U.S. elections by making political contributions.

Jason's Opinion
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11/04/2016
How's that Citizens United case looking now?
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Ashman1994's Opinion
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11/04/2016
Real step: Overturn Citizens United, require 100% campaign contribution disclosure, and abolish Super PACs.
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Leo's Opinion
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01/28/2017
Political contributions should be completely transparent and domestic.
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Argument opposed

It is already illegal for foreigners to make contributions to U.S. political candidates or organizations, and it’s not clear that they’re improperly doing so by using credit cards.

TuckerWantsLiberty's Opinion
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11/05/2016
The real way to solve the issue of money in politics (and the only sustainable long run solution) is to make government so small that it doesn't have enough power to be worth buying. Until you do that, there will always be bought politicians.
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Marines1994's Opinion
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11/04/2016
So make a law enforcing another law? How about enforce the current law? Mind blowing!
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Peter's Opinion
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11/05/2016
It strangely reads less like a law to stop foreign contributions (already illegal) and more like a law to make receiving online contributions more difficult, which is how small-donor/grassroots/anti-establishment campaigns receive most of their money. So no--a great idea, but seems too risky in being over-enforced for all the wrong reasons. The real answer: actually enforce the current law and overturn Citizens United.
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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
    IntroducedDecember 3rd, 2015

What is House Bill H.R. 4177?

This bill would seek to enhance protections aimed at preventing foreign donations from being made to candidates or political committees and influencing U.S. elections.

It would prohibit political committees from accepting any campaign contributions over the internet by credit card unless the card’s verification value is disclosed. The card’s billing address would also have to be located in the U.S., unless a citizen living overseas provides the committee with the U.S. mailing address they use for voter registration.

The following requirements would also be imposed on contributions made by credit card over the internet:

  • The person receiving the contribution would have to forward it to the political committee’s treasurer within 10 days along with the contributor’s name and address and the date it was received;

  • The treasurer would keep a log of that information along with the amount of the contribution.

Impact

People making political contributions using a credit card over the internet; foreign governments or individuals that attempt to illegally donate to U.S. political candidates or committees; and the Federal Elections Commission.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4177

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) introduced this bill to close loopholes and prevent the campaign contributions of foreign nationals from influencing U.S. elections:

“Current disclosure requirements for online donations make it relatively easy for foreign money to influence U.S. elections, despite being banned since 1966… By increasing disclosure requirements for online donations, we can greatly hinder the ability for people that aren’t U.S. citizens to unlawfully funnel money to politicians through campaign contributions, and in turn make the process more open to the American people.”

This legislation has the support of 82 bipartisan cosponsors in the House, including 51 Republicans and 31 Democrats.


Of Note: The ban on political contributions by foreign nationals has been in place since 1966, when amendments were made to the Foreign Agents Registration Act to negate foreign interventions into U.S. elections.

President Obama’s reelection campaign was accused by the Government Accountability Institute (a conservative watchdog group) of soliciting foreign donations, though those allegations were never proven.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Phillip Taylor PT)

AKA

Stop Foreign Donations Affecting Our Elections Act

Official Title

To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to prohibit the acceptance by political committees of online contributions from certain unverified sources, and for other purposes.

    How's that Citizens United case looking now?
    Like (28)
    Follow
    Share
    The real way to solve the issue of money in politics (and the only sustainable long run solution) is to make government so small that it doesn't have enough power to be worth buying. Until you do that, there will always be bought politicians.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    Real step: Overturn Citizens United, require 100% campaign contribution disclosure, and abolish Super PACs.
    Like (19)
    Follow
    Share
    Political contributions should be completely transparent and domestic.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    That would of course require enforcing a law. That concept seems to be lost on the current administration. They blather away, finally draft a bill, bather some more. Then get both houses to sign off . Then they take it to the white house rose garden where the Barrackopuss and his minions gather around and take bows while he signs it with,a whole bunch of pens, which he then hands out the the bills sponsors with great fanfare . Following all of that nonsense , the lemmings return to their dens and forget all about the law except at the time of the next election where they all add it to their resumes , claiming to have "led" the fight" It would be nice if the DOJ or the FBI was empowered to enforce laws, but we have all recently seen how well that doesn't work. The only folks that make out in the deal, is the company that makes the pens.
    Like (8)
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    Super pac is general, suck, those that take money from outside the us should be in prison
    Like (7)
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    No one be it a person or business from outside the U.S. should ever be allowed to give mo ey or a t
    Like (6)
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    So make a law enforcing another law? How about enforce the current law? Mind blowing!
    Like (6)
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    Duh. No foreign money.
    Like (5)
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    I am of the same opinion as Countable member Gary, who said: "That would of course require enforcing a law. That concept seems to be lost on the current administration. They blather away, finally draft a bill, bather some more. Then get both houses to sign off . Then they take it to the white house rose garden where the Barrackopuss and his minions gather around and take bows while he signs it with,a whole bunch of pens, which he then hands out the the bills sponsors with great fanfare . Following all of that nonsense , the lemmings return to their dens and forget all about the law except at the time of the next election where they all add it to their resumes , claiming to have "led" the fight" It would be nice if the DOJ or the FBI was empowered to enforce laws, but we have all recently seen how well that doesn't work. The only folks that make out in the deal, is the company that makes the pens." Is such cynicism justified? I think so! I think the record speaks for itself!
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    Along with repealing citizens united, this should most definitely be enforced. Being able to vote on this even though it's already illegal just shows that it's not being effectively enforced. This threatens our democracy!
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    Let's start by sending Hillary to prison!!!
    Like (4)
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    Prosecute, prosecute, prosecute!
    Like (4)
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    Why pass a new law? This law is on the books! The Federal Election Commission needs to explain why they aren't enforcing it. And solve the problem.
    Like (4)
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    Of course. Why are we asking no this question of poor public? Ask Soros and the GlenCore people and you can get a different answer.
    Like (3)
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    Foreign entities and foreign billionaires are trying to do what they have not been able to do through military might--pillage and destroy the United States Republic. It is lunacy to allow foreign interests to buy off our politicians and to buy property and businesses in the United States.
    Like (3)
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    It strangely reads less like a law to stop foreign contributions (already illegal) and more like a law to make receiving online contributions more difficult, which is how small-donor/grassroots/anti-establishment campaigns receive most of their money. So no--a great idea, but seems too risky in being over-enforced for all the wrong reasons. The real answer: actually enforce the current law and overturn Citizens United.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    I believe Mrs. Clinton has proven that Foreign "investors" do and indeed profit from an inside representative. By the way, is this "spreading the wealth around?" There maybe only 50 individuals who "milk" the Clinton Initiative/Global Finds. OK, OK! Play-for-Pay.
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    Put your money where your mouth is. Our politicians should aim to please the people first. I understand that America has its back scratchings with other nations and those relationships should be maintained. However, build that up during the on the job training for the incoming president.
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    I really can not understand anyone who would vote NAY on this bill. Of course we do not want foreign entities to influence our elections.
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