(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today the House of Representatives, by a vote of 234-192, passed H.R. 1, the For the People Act of 2019, a comprehensive democracy reform package designed to restore our democracy, strengthen voting rights, and restore ethics and integrity in government. H.R. 1 included Congressman Jamie Raskin’s (MD-08) “Shareholders United” amendment to prevent corporate expenditures for campaign purposes unless the corporation has established and activated a process for determining the political will of the shareholders. Raskin’s amendment, which is identical to a bill (H.R. 936) he introduced earlier this year passed the House on Thursday night.
Two of Raskin’s bills were also incorporated into H.R. 1: the Get Foreign Money Out of U.S. Elections Act (H.R. 746), which would help close a campaign finance loophole that allows foreign-owned, foreign-controlled, and foreign-influenced corporations to funnel unlimited cash into U.S. elections; and the Executive Branch Comprehensive Ethics Enforcement Act (H.R. 745), which strengthens the Office of Government Ethics, the independent agency responsible for preventing and resolving conflicts of interest within the Executive Branch.
“I’m thrilled about passage of H.R. 1,” Raskin said. “We’ve just passed the strongest political reform bill in many decades. It includes legislation I’ve been pushing to help close the foreign money loophole and to empower the Office of Government Ethics to enforce the federal ethics laws and regulations it is tasked with overseeing. Significantly, it also includes the ‘Shareholders United’ amendment we added yesterday to confront the untold hundreds of millions of dollars that CEOs spend on political campaigns without telling their shareholders about it,” Raskin continued. “Under this change, corporations could not spend the shareholders’ money in politics without first telling them about it and getting approval. This legislation will make certain that corporations only become donors to political campaigns if a majority of shareholders want them to. Thanks to Public Citizen, People for the American Way (PFAW), End Citizens United (ECU), Common Cause and the Brennan Center for Justice for their strong support of this amendment.”
“Public Citizen has long supported shareholders - the true owners of the wealth of corporations - having a say in how their money is spent in politics," said Lisa Gilbert, Public Citizen's Vice President of Legislative Affairs. "We applaud Congressman Raskin on this groundbreaking new legislation.”