December 12, 2018

Wyden, Tester Lead Charge to Overturn Administration’s Controversial Dark Money Rule

Bipartisan Senate Vote Sheds More Light on Dark Money

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) led the charge today to repeal a controversial new rule allowing dark money groups to hide the identities of their donors.

After the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced in July that they would no longer require certain tax-exempt organizations to report the names of their major donors to the IRS, Wyden and Tester introduced a Resolution of Disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to overturn the controversial decision and bring more transparency and accountability to our democracy. That resolution passed the Senate 50-49.

“Today the Senate voted on a bipartisan basis to throw out Trump’s dark money rule and bring transparency back to our elections,” Wyden said. “This is a huge first step in America’s fight against anonymous political insiders looking to tighten their grip on Washington. I urge Paul Ryan to act swiftly on this issue of great importance and lead the House in reversing course on the Trump administration’s reckless decision.” 

“These dark money forces are a threat to our democracy and they must be reined in,” Tester said.  “Today’s action sheds more light on the wealthy few who are trying to buy our elections and drown out the voices of regular folks.  We must wrestle our country back and continue to bring transparency and accountability back to political campaigns.”

More than 30 other Senators signed on to Wyden and Tester’s resolution, forcing today’s vote on the Senate Floor.

Under the Congressional Review Act, members of Congress must introduce a disapproval resolution within 60 calendar days from when the final rule was issued. After 20 calendar days, the resolution can be discharged from Finance Committee without a Committee vote. At that point, a motion to proceed to the resolution may be made on the Senate floor, so long as it is supported, in writing, by at least 30 Senators.

You can read the Senators' Congressional Review Act Resolution here.

A copy of Wyden’s prepared floor remarks today on this topic is available here. Video of those remarks is available here.