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senate Bill S. Joint Res. 64

Should a Trump Admin Rule Be Repealed to Let the IRS Require That Non-Profits Disclose Their Donors?

Argument in favor

The Trump administration’s rule change allows mega-donors and dark money to influence American politics from the shadows. This resolution repeals the rule to require disclosure and prevent the Trump administration from trying to change the rules again.

burrkitty's Opinion
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12/12/2018
Transparency transparency transparency! We need to know who is buying our government.
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Aaron's Opinion
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12/12/2018
Transparency is the cornerstone of a Democracy. By hiding dark money and mega donors we allow the minority’s to silence the majority through pure spending power.
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Chickie's Opinion
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12/12/2018
Keeping Americans in the loop, or better known as transparency, is vital to a non-corrupt government. Several safe guards that were in place to provide information to the public have been, since this administration has taken office, repealed. Underhandedness, corruption, and anonymity is not what our Forefathers wanted when they established the first government. It’s time for transparency.
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Argument opposed

Making a donation to a non-profit is a form of free, protected speech. Requiring non-profits to disclose their donor lists would have a chilling effect on Americans’ political engagement, as donors could fear retaliation or intimidation by those who disagree with them.

Brian's Opinion
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12/12/2018
It depends on the type of non-profit. Arts organizations, cultural institutions, and charities should not be forced to disclose their donors. However, these lobbying and industry groups that exist solely to influence politics should be forced to disclose their donors so we see where the money comes from.
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KyleCorley's Opinion
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12/12/2018
Making a donation to a non-profit is a a form of free speech and should be free from ridicule as well as protected under the first amendment. People who donate do so on the our free will, and should not face influence from either party. They have their own minds and opinions, and do what is best in their minds for themselves as well as the country.
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George's Opinion
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12/12/2018
I subscribe to the free speak argument as a reason that this proposed legislation should not be enacted. Moreover, I do not appreciate that there is a compelling public interest for the publication of who donates to non-profits. Thank you.
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joint resolution Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate Passed December 12th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 50 Yea / 49 Nay
      senate Committees
      Committee on Finance
    IntroducedSeptember 24th, 2018

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What is Senate Bill S. Joint Res. 64?

This resolution would repeal the Treasury Dept.’s “Returns by Exempt Organizations and Returns by Certain Non-Exempt Organizations” rule, which exempted non-profit organizations that aren’t under 501(c)3 from having to disclose their donor records to the IRS. The rule was finalized on July 30, 2018. Congress has the authority to overturn it within 60 legislative days with simple majority votes in both chambers along with the president’s signature under the Congressional Review Act, and if this resolution were enacted the Treasury Department would be prohibited from issuing a similar rule without congressional approval.

Impact

Donors and non-profits; and the Treasury Department.

Cost of Senate Bill S. Joint Res. 64

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced this bill to overturn the Trump administration’s non-profit donor disclosure rule:

“We must crack down on the dark money flooding our political system, that's why we are taking an aggressive approach and introducing this legislation to protect our democracy and hold special interests accountable with transparency. We cannot allow special interests to hide in the darkness.”

Original cosponsor Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) added:

“This measure reverses course on an undemocratic Trump agenda to empower shadowy groups that seek to buy our elections. It couldn't come at a more important time. Over the next few weeks political ads will be flooding the airwaves. Because of the Trump administration's new dark money rule, tax authorities won't know whether those ads are being paid for by foreign governments or individuals. Opposition against my resolution with Senator Tester is an endorsement of the Trump administration's plan to further cripple campaign finance transparency.”

The Republican Policy Committee’s analysis of this resolution included the following argument in opposition:

“The Supreme Court held in 1958 that the Constitution protects the anonymity of members of political groups when disclosure would effectively curtail their political activity. This arose in the context of civil rights, when the state of Alabama sought lists of NAACP agents and supporters. Recognizing that disclosures had been used to repressive ends in the past, the court disallowed Alabama’s disclosure demands. Opponents of the CRA point to leaks of taxpayer information from the IRS as a likely consequence of continuing 501(c) donor disclosure requirements. Given IRS’s recent history relating to 501(c) oversight, this kind of disclosure and the subsequent retaliation by political opponents would have a chilling effect on political speech, the bill’s opponents say.”

This legislation has the support of 37 cosponsors in the Senate, all of whom are Democrats.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / LighFieldStudios)

Official Title

A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Department of the Treasury relating to "Returns by Exempt Organizations and Returns by Certain Non-Exempt Organizations".

    Transparency transparency transparency! We need to know who is buying our government.
    Like (187)
    Follow
    Share
    It depends on the type of non-profit. Arts organizations, cultural institutions, and charities should not be forced to disclose their donors. However, these lobbying and industry groups that exist solely to influence politics should be forced to disclose their donors so we see where the money comes from.
    Like (100)
    Follow
    Share
    Transparency is the cornerstone of a Democracy. By hiding dark money and mega donors we allow the minority’s to silence the majority through pure spending power.
    Like (108)
    Follow
    Share
    Keeping Americans in the loop, or better known as transparency, is vital to a non-corrupt government. Several safe guards that were in place to provide information to the public have been, since this administration has taken office, repealed. Underhandedness, corruption, and anonymity is not what our Forefathers wanted when they established the first government. It’s time for transparency.
    Like (83)
    Follow
    Share
    Please vote for this timely idea to reveal who is sponsoring what since transparence Is never a problem with good intentions and honesty, but is always a problem for hate groups, fake news, and trolls. The more that can be revealed the better.
    Like (50)
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    Get money out of politics. No one should be able to buy political favor or favors. Legislators should have to declare every single dollar they get from any Source other than their legislative pay. including money's made in the stock Market or other Investments.
    Like (47)
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    Any large amount of money should be disclosed. These “donors” are buying politicians and using them to control the country (or get cabinet positions) against the wishes of the American people.
    Like (41)
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    All the money flowing into our political system is destroying our democracy. This is not free speech, this is just a way to buy politicians. Let’s see who their donors are!
    Like (38)
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    Transparency is key to Upholding the Constitution and the Citizen’s protections and rights. We need to redefine what is a non-profit and also what is considered a charitable organization.. Many, have all become corrupt and many more are started with corrupt intent.
    Like (32)
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    Transparency is Transparency for all, Republican or Democrat. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. 12*12*18......
    Like (28)
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    Making a donation to a non-profit is a a form of free speech and should be free from ridicule as well as protected under the first amendment. People who donate do so on the our free will, and should not face influence from either party. They have their own minds and opinions, and do what is best in their minds for themselves as well as the country.
    Like (17)
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    I want to know where the money trail is going
    Like (16)
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    The Trump administration is trying to allow dark money to influence non profit organizations as it does everything else. Vote yes to keep transparency and let the public know who is buying political favors.
    Like (12)
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    I subscribe to the free speak argument as a reason that this proposed legislation should not be enacted. Moreover, I do not appreciate that there is a compelling public interest for the publication of who donates to non-profits. Thank you.
    Like (9)
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    Anonymous donors are literally buying votes from our elected officials. It’s corruption at the highest levels and need to be stopped. Get anonymous money out of politics before it is too late. It may already be!!
    Like (8)
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    Disclosure of campaign donations a huge goal. No one should be allowed to donate huge undocumented amounts to any political campaign. There need to be rules that limit donations to a special amount and these donations need to be documented so that the rules can be enforced. PLEASE change the Trump rule that overturned this long standing regulation.
    Like (7)
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    Sunshine: always the best disinfectant, especially for democracy.
    Like (7)
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    No it is right to know who is supporting these nonprofits. They are tax exempt and should have to report where their money comes from. It should be made public.
    Like (7)
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    Money in politics corrodes and errodes our system giving disproportionate influence to those with the financial means. These contributions are investments in change and it is only right to know who the investors are. If we can't currently curb the influence of money in our political system, we should at least take steps to mitigate it or bow to our wealthy overlords.
    Like (6)
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    I think our politics has changed dramatically since the Supreme Court decision of 1958. We are facing a world owned by a small group of the wealthy. It now appears even our government is not out of the bounds of being for sale. All democracies should have a level of transparency that gives its citizens assurance that its government is not being bought and sold to the highest bidder or that outside foreign influence is driving decisions on policy. When elected to public office, representatives are expected to conduct themselves in a way that represents its constituency. Policy should reflect our values as a nation. As an American, I expect to know where my representative is getting their money. The time of hiding behind laws passed for the purpose of obfuscating the truth needs to come to an end.
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