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Spanberger Helps Introduce Legislation to Protect U.S. Elections from Foreign Influence

Bill Would Close a Loophole that Allows Foreign Corporations to Participate in U.S. Political Spending

Washington, January 31, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today announced that she helped introduce legislation that would prevent foreign-owned corporations from funneling money into U.S. elections.

While current law bars individual foreign nationals from personally contributing to federal campaigns, foreign political spending can still legally occur through American-registered corporations that are subsidiaries, foreign-owned, or foreign-controlled and influenced. Spanberger is an original cosponsor of the ­Get Foreign Money Out of U.S. Elections Act, which would crack down on this campaign finance loophole.

“As a former CIA officer, I have tremendous concerns about the efforts and ability of foreign governments and entities to attempt to influence our elections and our citizens. The notion of our electorate potentially being influenced by unlimited foreign cash should be a terrifying prospect for all Americans, and Congress must take concrete steps to prevent foreign influence in our democratic process,” said Spanberger. “I’m proud to help introduce this bill, which would close the loophole that permits under-the-radar foreign political spending in U.S. elections. By pushing back against the threat of foreign financial influence, we can bring greater transparency to our campaign finance system, strengthen the integrity of our elections, and help restore trust in our system of government.”

The Spanberger-backed legislation would push back on the foreign spending loophole that was created following the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. FEC decision. The bill would apply the ban on contributions by foreign actors to domestic corporations, limited liability corporations, and partnerships that are foreign-controlled, foreign-influenced, and foreign-owned.

The Get Foreign Money Out of U.S. Elections Act is led by U.S. Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD-8).

Background

Earlier this week, Spanberger was selected to serve as a member of two key subcommittees on the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee—the Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment Subcommittee and the Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation Subcommittee.

A former case officer with the Central Intelligence Agency and a former federal agent, Spanberger represents Virginia’s 7th Congressional District, which contains all or portions of Amelia, Chesterfield, Culpeper, Goochland, Henrico, Louisa, Nottoway, Orange, Powhatan, and Spotsylvania counties in Central Virginia.

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