Congressional Transparency Caucus Briefing: Shining a Light on Foreign Lobbying

The Congressional Transparency Caucus will host a briefing on foreign lobbying on July 25th at 2pm in Rayburn 2456. RSVP here.

Rep. Mike Quigley will be giving opening remarks. Panelists will include:

  • Daniel Schuman, policy director, Demand Progress Action
  • Tom Susman, Director of Government Affairs, the American Bar Association
  • Lydia Dennett, Investigator, Project on Government Oversight (POGO)

Here is the announcement from Rep. Mike Quigley, caucus co-chair, in his “Dear Colleague” letter.

Transparency Caucus Briefing: Shining a Light on Foreign Lobbying

Dear Colleague,

Please join me at the next Transparency Caucus briefing titled “Shining a Light on Foreign Lobbying.”

Revelations of foreign meddling in the 2016 presidential election have renewed interest in the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The Act, which too many lobbyists take lightly due to historic underenforcement by the Justice Department, played a significant role in the recent indictment of Paul Manafort Jr, who served as Chairman on the Trump Presidential campaign while also working for a Ukrainian political party. Passed in 1938, it requires persons acting as agents of foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity to make periodic disclosure of their relationships and financial transactions with foreign principals. FARA, in its current state, however, is susceptible to dangerous loopholes and its lax enforcement undermines other legislation intended to increase transparency in federal lobbying practices, such as the Lobbying Disclosure Act.

Now more than ever, we must be able to identify foreign influence and hold foreign actors seeking to lobby the United States government as accountable as any other lobbyist. In June, the Justice Department released years of advisory opinions which have provided some clarity, but also highlighted the need for reform. In the interest of promulgating transparency and safeguarding our democracy, Congress must take on the task of reforming this vital legislation and ensuring its full enforcement.

Join us as the Transparency Caucus welcomes a panel of expert speakers to discuss the challenges we face in monitoring foreign influence in our country, and work to bring greater transparency to the federal government.

Opening Remarks by:

  • Congressman Mike Quigley

Panelists:

  • Daniel Schuman, Demand Progress
  • Tom Susman, American Bar Association (ABA)
  • Lydia Dennett, Project on Government Oversight (POGO)


Congressional Transparency Caucus Briefing: Shining a Light on Foreign Lobbying was originally published in Demand Progress on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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