The Follow the Money Act of 2013

Sponsored by Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

Press Release | Background | Bill TextWATCH: Senators Wyden & Murkowski Introduce the Follow the Money Act

The $6.3 billion spent in the 2012 election cycle was the most ever. By some accounts, more than 30 percent of the outside spending which was funded in secret by undisclosed donors. Nearly two/thirds of 2012 voters, including majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independent voters, said that big donors and secret money undermined democracy in this past election. The need for information and transparency was made clear in the last election cycle with the massive amounts of outside spending, much of which funded through shell organizations with untraceable contributors. 

To provide this transparency in campaign spending, Senators Ron Wyden and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have introduced the "Follow the Money Act of 2013"- the first bipartisian campaign finance reform legislation in the Senate in over a decade.

The Follow the Money Act of 2013 creates a simple and universal system of disclosure for independent spending in federal campaigns regardless of the spender or business model. It lets voters "follow the money," building on the idea that disclosure and transparency are essential to our election process. It would allow the public to "follow the money" by closing loopholes in existing federal election campaign law that often leave independent spending exempt from public disclosure. 

Key changes:

Real-time disclosure- Allows voters know where the money is coming from and what it’s being spent on, especially in the closing days of elections.

Identify funders of any political activity- Requires any entity, regardless of tax status, to identity the funders of any political activity they engage in.

Builds on Stand By Your Ad provisions- Builds on the 2002 Stand By Your Ad provisions that Senator Wyden authored with Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) by requiring leaders of corporations, unions and other organizations to identify when they are behind independent political ads.

Joint FEC-IRS Enforcement- Creates a joint regulatory and enforcement regime that spans both tax and election law.