“Republicans Keep Corporate Lobbying Secret By Adding Riders To Spending Bills”


In the waning years of the Obama presidency, Democratic lawmakers and good-government groups seemed optimistic that the administration would enact rules forcing companies to disclose more of their political spending. Despite Obama’s stated support for increased transparency in political spending, though, the rules were never implemented — and now Republicans are quietly continuing their practice of slipping language into spending bills to try to statutorily block such rules from being enacted in the future.

As annual legislation to fund the government’s financial regulators comes before Congress this week, GOP legislators have buried a provision in the bill that would bar the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from considering a rule that would require companies to tell shareholders whether and how they are spending company money on politics. A separate provision would block federal officials from requiring government contractors to more fully disclose their political spending.


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