Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: CAP’s Will Roberts Praises Introduction of Bill To Keep Foreign Money Out of U.S. Elections
Press Statement

STATEMENT: CAP’s Will Roberts Praises Introduction of Bill To Keep Foreign Money Out of U.S. Elections

Washington, D.C. — Today, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) and 19 co-sponsors introduced the Get Foreign Money Out of U.S. Elections Act. This legislation would protect the nation’s democracy by prohibiting U.S. corporations from spending money to influence the outcomes of elections and ballot measures if those corporations are partly owned by foreign entities. The bill would close a loophole opened by the Supreme Court’s misguided 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. It would ban political contributions from corporations when a single foreign investor owns at least 1 percent of the company or when 5 percent or more of the company is owned by multiple foreign investors.

The Center for American Progress, along with the nonprofit Free Speech For People, has been a leader in developing this policy at the federal, state, and local levels to help ensure that corporate CEOs who are accountable to their foreign investors are not influencing U.S. elections. With more than one-third of stock in American-based multinational companies now owned by foreign entities, it more important than ever to ensure that guardrails exist to protect U.S. self-government and stop foreign influence in our elections.

In response, Will Roberts, managing director for Democracy and Government Reform, issued the following statement:

The Center for American Progress strongly endorses this legislation to prohibit political spending by foreign-influenced U.S. corporations. CAP has long advocated for this popular, common-sense policy and applauds the leadership of Rep. Raskin and the co-sponsors of this bill. This measure would take a giant step toward assuring Americans that foreign entities are not influencing our elections—either directly or indirectly—through under-the-radar routes such as ownership in U.S. corporations. The future of our democracy must be decided by American voters, not foreign entities or multinational corporations that spend hundreds of millions of dollars each election cycle diminishing the voices of everyday people.

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For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at shananel@americanprogress.org.