Sarbanes Joins All Senate Democrats and 145 House Democrats in Introducing the DISCLOSE Act

Bill Would Increase Transparency and Guard Against Foreign Interference by Requiring Disclosure of Secret Political Money


Jun 27, 2018
Contact: Daniel Jacobs
(202) 225-4016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Democracy Reform Task Force Chair Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today joined all Senate Democrats and 145 House Democrats in introducing the DISCLOSE Act, a bill to shine a light on the unlimited secret political spending in American elections. 

The legislation would require organizations that spend money in federal elections to disclose their donors and would help guard against foreign interference in our democracy. The bill comes as outside special interests gear up to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to influence the 2018 midterm elections, and as experts warn of increased secret foreign spending in American politics.

The DISCLOSE Act is also a key plank of “A Better Deal for Our Democracy” – the Democratic plan to end the corruption in Washington and return to government of, by and for the people.

“The unprecedented deluge of secret money in our elections has put a dark stain on American politics,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “The DISCLOSE Act is an important step toward increasing transparency in our democracy and exposing the corrosive agenda of wealthy special interests.”

The DISCLOSE Act takes a number of steps to ensure disclosure of secret money, including:

  • Requiring organizations spending money in elections – including super PACs and certain nonprofit groups – to disclose donors who have given $10,000 or more during an election cycle;
  • Preventing political operatives from using layers of shell corporations and front groups to hide donor identities;
  • Requiring corporations, unions and other organizations to identify those behind political ads – including disclosing an organization’s top five funders at the end of television ads;
  • Guarding against foreign spending in American elections by prohibiting domestic corporations with significant foreign control, ownership, or direction from spending money in U.S. elections; and
  • Cracking down on shell corporations by requiring companies that spend money in elections to disclose their true owners.