March 15, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In conjunction with Sunshine Week, a national initiative meant to emphasize the importance of an open government, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) today reintroduced legislation to increase transparency in campaign contributions and help inform voters about who is funding the candidates on their ballot. The Real Time Transparency Act would require that all political contributions of $1,000 or more be filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) within 48 hours.
“Campaigns should be a battle of ideas on how to best serve the needs of the American people – not a shadow fight among wealthy donors and special interest groups who have their fingers on the purse strings,” Senator King said. “The amount of money in politics is a threat to the fabric of our democracy, and the American people deserve to know – in real-time – who is funding political activity. This bill helps confront the money that is flooding unchecked into our political system and will help Americans looking to make a more informed decision at the ballot box.”
Under current law, a contribution of $1,000 or more to a U.S. Senate campaign must be filed with the Secretary of Senate on a quarterly basis, and all other political action committee or campaign contributions of $1,000 or more must be filed with the FEC on a quarterly basis. Currently, only contributions made within 20 days preceding the election must be disclosed within 48-hours.
More specifically, the bill would amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to:
Senator King is introducing the bill during Sunshine Week, a national initiative lead by the American Society of News Editors with the aim of promoting the importance of open and transparent government and access to information. U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke is also reintroducing companion legislation in the House of Representatives.