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Senate votes to overturn IRS guidance limiting donor disclosure

Rogue Valley

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Senate votes to overturn IRS guidance limiting donor disclosure[/img]



12/12/18
The Senate on Wednesday approved a Democratic resolution that would overturn IRS guidance reducing the amount of donor information that certain tax-exempt groups have to provide to the agency. The measure, sponsored by Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), was approved by 50-49 vote. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) joined with Democrats in supporting the resolution, and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) didn’t vote. The measure now moves to the House, but a GOP aide said House Republicans aren't planning to hold a vote on it this year. Even if the House approves it, President Trump would likely veto the resolution. Tester and Wyden offered the resolution under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), which allows lawmakers to to disapprove of recent guidance from federal agencies. Senators can make a motion to proceed to a CRA resolution if the measure has written support from at least 30 senators. The IRS and Treasury Department in July released guidance that ended a requirement for certain tax-exempt groups to provide the IRS with the names and addresses of major donors on an annual basis. Groups that no longer have to provide the information include social-welfare organizations such as Americans for Prosperity, the National Rifle Association and the American Civil Liberties Union, as well as labor unions and business groups.

Democrats have been strongly opposed to the guidance and are concerned it could lead to an influx in “dark money” donations by foreign governments in U.S. politics. “The rule change the Trump administration pushed through this summer is not about sunlight, it’s all about darkness. It’s about secrecy,” Wyden said Wednesday. “It’s about giving the well-connected even more of a say in how American government works.” Tester said that the Trump administration’s policy “created another safe haven for this country’s wealthiest donors to hide in the shadows while they pull the levers of power in our democracy.”

The American public deserves far more sunlight regarding political donors and politicians. Who is secretly purchasing our politicians, and why are donors and many politicians afraid of transparency?

Related: [url="https://www.politico.com/story/2018/12/12/senate-democrats-overturn-trump-donor-disclosure-1057535"]Senate votes to overturn Trump donor disclosure rule
 

Beaudreaux

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Political donations are a protected form of Free Speech and I feel there should be no limit on how much a US Citizen can donate to the candidate or group supporting the political position that any particular citizen supports, however, there should be openness about whom is exercising their First Amendment Right and speaking with their donation by disclosing the names and affiliations of those that donate to political groups and political candidates.
 

Beaudreaux

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While were at it, let's do away with secret ballots, too.

That's a false equivalency. If donating money to political positions held by groups or candidates is a protected form of public speech, then the speech should be in the open.
 

Sampson Simpson

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Everybody needs to pressure their reps, both republicans and democrats, to get finance reform done. SCOTUS screwed up royalty allowing companies to privately fund PACs, influence politics, and even astroturf (claiming to be advocacy groups while its really companies funding messages that benefit the company and people thinking they are from legit grass roots organizations.

you think politics is corrupt now, its even worse when we doni't know what shady people are buying out politicians.
 

apdst

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That's a false equivalency. If donating money to political positions held by groups or candidates is a protected form of public speech, then the speech should be in the open.

Unless the publication of those identities leads to intimidation and smear campaigns. Much the same way public ballots would lead to the same result.

Smears and intimidation of people and private businesses because of their political position is un-American. It's the antithesis of freedom and liberty.
 

Rogue Valley

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Everybody needs to pressure their reps, both republicans and democrats, to get finance reform done. SCOTUS screwed up royalty allowing companies to privately fund PACs, influence politics, and even astroturf (claiming to be advocacy groups while its really companies funding messages that benefit the company and people thinking they are from legit grass roots organizations.

you think politics is corrupt now, its even worse when we doni't know what shady people are buying out politicians.

There was a reason the Trump White House stopped publishing its visitor logs in 2017, and it had nothing to do with national security.

Sadly, Citizens United began the legalized downfall of this great nation.
 

Sampson Simpson

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Political donations are a protected form of Free Speech and I feel there should be no limit on how much a US Citizen can donate to the candidate or group supporting the political position that any particular citizen supports, however, there should be openness about whom is exercising their First Amendment Right and speaking with their donation by disclosing the names and affiliations of those that donate to political groups and political candidates.

that was SCOTUS's bull**** decision, which is terrible. Money is not speech, such a horrible ruling. But if money is speech, it should be legal to bribe people.
 
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