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May 26, 2010

Summary of Amendments Submitted to the Rules Committee for
H.R. 5175 - Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act

(summaries derived from information provided by sponsors)

Listed in Alphabetical Order

May 26, 2010 3:50PM


Ackerman (NY)


Would require covered organizations to report required disclosures to shareholders, members or donors in a "clear and conspicuous manner."

Bachmann (MN)


Withdrawn Would prohibit any contribution, expenditure, or disbursement of funds for electioneering communications from organizations which have been indicted for violating Federal or State election laws, or which have had executive officers, dues paying members, or other persons acting under direction from that organization indicted for violating Federal or State election laws.

Bilbray (CA)


Would ban pre-paid credit cards from being used to donate to a political party or campaign.

Bilbray (CA)


Would lower the level of campaign contribution identification from an aggregate $200 to $25 if the contribution is made via credit card. The $200 level would remain intact for all other forms of contributions.

Brady, Robert (PA)


Withdrawn Would state that a communication that mentions a federal candidate which is made by a state or local candidate will not be treated as an electioneering communication so as the communication does not promote, attack, support, or oppose a candidate.

Brady, Robert (PA)


2nd Revision Would strike section 2 (the findings), clarify the coordination language (including clarifying the availability of the exception for communications appearing in the media), and permit domestic corporations to engage in certain campaign activities which corporations are generally permitted to engage in under current law (so long as the foreign parent does not fund or control the activities) and would modify the contract threshold for applying restrictions on campaign activity to Federal contractors.

With respect to the disclosure requirements of title II of the bill: The amendment would exempt from the definition of "covered organization" a class of organizations which are covered under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code and certain large and longstanding organizations covered under section 501(c)(4) of the code. The amendment would clarify the conditions under which an organization would be required to meet the disclosure requirements because it is acting as a conduit for another organization which engages in campaign-related activity. It would also clarify language relating to transfers between covered organizations and limit the situations under which certain transfers among and between affiliate organizations would trigger the disclosure requirements.

The amendment would clarify the rules for determining which organizations must appear in disclaimer statements (the so-called "stand by your ad" requirements) and apply these requirements to political committees which accept contributions which exceed the usual limits under law (the so-called "Speech Now" committees). The amendment would apply the standard inflation indexing rules under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to the various amounts established in the bill. Finally, the amendment would ensure that the disclosure requirements may be waived to protect individuals against threats, harassment, and reprisals, and clarify which persons have standing to file actions to challenge the constitutionality of the bill.

Capuano (MA)


Would require shareholders to authorize, on an annual basis, a political activities budget for their corporation. The board of directors must vote to authorize each expenditure over $50,000 within the overall budget approved by shareholders (and/or each expenditure which aggregates $50,000 or greater). Board member votes and details of the corporation’s expenditures will be disclosed online and to shareholders and the SEC on a quarterly basis.

Chaffetz (UT)


Would eliminate the monetary thresholds for reporting requirements to the Federal Election Commission.

Cole (OK)


Would terminate taxpayer financing of presidential campaigns.

Edwards, Donna (MD)


Revised Would require 501 (c)4 entities to disclose if it receives more than 15 percent in contributions from corporations or from donors that contribute more than $100,000.

Flake, Jeff (AZ)


Revised Would add a requirement to disclose earmark activity to the requirement to disclose the amount of any independent expenditures and/or electioneering communications.

Flake, Jeff (AZ)


Withdrawn Would add a requirement to disclose earmark activity to the requirement to disclose campaign contributions (including independent expenditures and electioneering contributions).

Giffords (AZ)


Would require Members of Congress to submit an additional filing with the Federal Election Campaign each quarter whereby Members would report information relevant to all of their Congressional earmark requests in that election cycle. For each organization for which an earmark was requested, the Member would report any campaign contributions received during that quarter from the organization’s President, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and lobbyist.

Grayson (FL)


Withdrawn Would amend title I of the Act by adding a restriction of certain political spending by those receiving grants from the federal government.

Grayson (FL)


Would amend section 101 by adding, after the subsection (b), a new (c) which ‘regulates certain political spending’ of corporations receiving funding through the Federal Reserve System.

Grayson (FL)


Would amend title I of the DISCLOSE Act by adding a new section 106 at the end. This new section would ban expenditures and disbursements for electioneering communications by corporations employing or retaining registered lobbyists.

Harper (MS)


Would provide that the Act shall become effective on January 1, 2011.

Harper (MS)


Would provide that recipients of government grants may not make political contributions or expenditures in the same way that TARP recipients may not under the bill.

Heller (NV)


Would require that ballots used in federal elections be generally printed only in English.

Holt (NJ)


Would include voting system vendors in the definition of government contractors for the purpose of banning campaign expenditures by government contractors.

Kaptur (OH)


Expressing the sense of Congress that the Supreme Court misinterpreted the First Amendment to the Constitution in the case of Buckley v. Valeo.

Kaptur (OH)


Would amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to prohibit contributions and expenditures in federal elections by multicandidate political committees or separate segregated funds sponsored by foreign-controlled corporations and associations (at least 50% owned by a non-U.S. citizen or foreign national). It would set forth ownership and operating fund reporting requirements. It would prohibit a foreign national from participating in the decision-making process of any person's election-related activities (such as those of a corporation, labor organization, or political committee). It would establish within the Federal Election Commission a clearinghouse of existing public information regarding the political activities of foreign principals and agents of foreign principals. It would amend the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, as amended, to: (1) revise foreign agents' supplemental reporting requirements; and (2) provide civil penalties for specified reporting violations.

King, Steve (IA)


Would eliminate all limitations on federal election campaign contributions.

Kucinich (OH)


Would clarify that the bill would prohibit those with leases on the Outer Continental Shelf from making campaign-related expenditures.

Kucinich (OH)


Would expand the independent expenditures and electioneering prohibition on TARP recipients to include banks that have received financial support from the Federal Reserve. Would also add a certification to the existing list of required certifications that the corporation does not receive financial assistance from the Federal Reserve.

Lipinski (IL), Kaptur (OH)


Revised Would prohibit corporations subject to certain Federal criminal or civil sanctions from engaging in campaign-related activity for a period of time. The court or Federal agency imposing the sanction shall have the discretion to determine whether to impose, and length of such a prohibition, and should such a penalty not be imposed, the court or Federal agency must file a report with the FEC stating the reasons why.

Lungren (CA)


Would replace sections 103 and 104 with a repeal of limitations on the amount political party committees may spend in coordination with candidates.

Lungren (CA)


Would provide that the labor unions must certify no dues were received form foreign nationals prior to making political expenditures.

Lungren (CA)/Gingrey (GA)


Would provide that the prohibition on expenditures by government contractors shall also apply to labor unions representing employees of those contractors.

Lungren (CA)/Gingrey (GA)


Would provide that the prohibition on expenditures by government contractors shall also apply to labor unions having representational contracts with the government.

McCarthy, Kevin (CA)


Would provide that the contribution amount above which donor disclosure is required shall be the same as the itemization level for political committees.

Murphy, Patrick (PA)


Would ensure that citizens know if special interests outside their district or state are trying to impact an election by enhancing advertisement disclaimers to include the city and state of the ad funder’s residence or principle office.

Pascrell (NJ), Perriello (VA), Grayson (FL)


Would prohibit political expenditures by corporations with significant foreign government ownership and corporations that have a majority of shares owned by foreign nationals.

Price, David (NC)


Would require “Stand by Your Ad” disclaimer for paid Internet advertisements.

Shuler (NC)


Withdrawn Would exempt 501(c)(4) organizations who pay for election activities and/or independent expenditures with contributions from individuals from treatment as a covered organization under the DISCLOSE Act.

Smith, Lamar (TX)


Would replace current Sec. 401 of the bill, relating to judicial review, with the text of the judicial review provision that was contained in the original McCain-Feingold campaign finance law (P.L. 107-155).

Tsongas (MA)


Would change the $7 million threshold that exempts government contractors from the new campaign regulations in Section 101 so that it applies to the total value of contracts held be a contractor at a given time rather than the value of a single contract held by that contractor.