Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after introducing H.R. 1341, the Stop Foreign Donations Affecting Our Elections Act, a bill that closes certain loopholes in order to prevent the campaign donations of foreign nationals from influencing American elections, a practice which has been banned since 1966:
“In recent years, our federal election laws have garnered much debate from across the ideological spectrum. One part of the campaign finance issue that has become commonplace in the 21st century is the receipt of campaign contributions paid by credit cards online. Current disclosure requirements for online donations make it easy for bad actors to violate federal contribution limits, or worse, for foreign money to influence U.S. elections. As technology advances, we must continue to stay ahead of the curve in thwarting those who wish to inappropriately influence our political processes. Full disclosure of online contributions will ensure that the American people know the sources of campaign money and will greatly assist with maintaining a system of free and fair elections.”
The full text of the Stop Foreign Donations Affecting Our Elections Act can be found HERE.
The bipartisan Stop Foreign Donations Affecting Our Elections Act would prohibit foreign nationals from cheating the system and would amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to require the disclosure of the credit verification value (CVV) and billing address for all online contributions. Foreign campaign donations to U.S. elections have been banned under federal law since 1966.
A six-month investigation conducted by the Government Accountability Institute found the current online donation system to be extremely vulnerable to bad actors attempting to violate federal contribution limits. During the 2012 campaign cycle, hundreds of millions of dollars flowed to presidential candidates from undisclosed donations. The report also found that “of the 446 House and Senate members who have an online donation page, 47.3% do not require the three or four digit credit card security number (officially called the Card Verification Value, or the CVV) for internet contributions.”
Among other things, the report recommended Congress adopt the three main provisions found in Congressman Gosar’s bill stating: “To correct this, several low-cost, easy-to-implement reforms should be put in place:
- Immediately require campaigns to use industry-standard anti-fraud security technologies including, but not limited to, the Card Verification Value (CVV) and a rigorous Address Verification System (AVS).
- Immediately require all campaigns to retain and disclose identifying information on all online campaign contributions, including those falling under the $200 nondisclosure threshold currently allowed under federal law.
- The Federal Election Commission (FEC) should enforce existing law concerning the solicitation and acceptance of foreign contributions to U.S. federal campaigns.
H.R. 1341 has 25 bipartisan cosponsors including Representatives Mark Amodei, Brian Babin, Don Bacon, Lou Barletta, Dave Brat, Mo Brooks, Julia Brownley, Kenneth Buck, Michael Capuano, Barbara Comstock, Jim Cooper, Peter DeFazio, Jeff Duncan, John Duncan, Louie Gohmert, Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, Walter Jones, Doug LaMalfa, Doug Lamborn, Dan Newhouse, Stevan Pearce, Peter Roskam, Kyrsten Sinema, Randy Weber, Ted Yoho.