Senate Votes to Overturn Trump-Era Policy Limiting Political Nonprofit Donor Disclosures
The U.S. Senate narrowly passed a resolution Wednesday overturning a Trump administration policy that limited the transparency of financial donations to political nonprofits.
These “dark money” groups, as they’re known by critics, will now once again be required to disclose donor names and addresses to the Internal Revenue Service.
The overturned policy was first enacted by the Treasury Department in July. While the information reported to the IRS was not made public, some—like the Koch-backed group Americans for Prosperity—argued the disclosure was unnecessary.
The new policy permitted nonprofits to keep donor information private, no longer requiring disclosure to the IRS and giving further privacy to wealthy donors who could influence campaigns via political nonprofits.
“The Trump administration’s dark money rule makes it easier for foreigners and special interests to corrupt and interfere in our elections,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) told the Senate, Politico reports.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), however, contested the resolution prior to the vote.
“In a climate that is increasingly hostile to certain kinds of political expression and open debate, the last thing Washington needs to do is to chill the exercise of free speech and add to the sense of intimidation,” he said, according to Politico.
The resolution, introduced by Wyden and Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), passed by a vote of 50 to 49, returning donor disclosure requirements to the status quo.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) joined all the Democrats to pass the bill.