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Anti-corruption bill could cut into dues for some groups

Politically active associations likely to be affected by proposed expansion of ‘foreign national’ definition for campaign purposes

March 1, 2019
By Walt Williams

A proposed “anti-corruption” bill championed by House Democrats could muddy the waters on the legality of foreign companies making dues payments to U.S.-based trade associations, according to a legal analysis of the legislation prepared for the National Association of Business Political Action Committees.

H.R. 1—titled the “For the People Act”—would make several changes to curb what its supporters claim is the corrosive influence of money on politics. One provision would be to expand the legal definition of “foreign nationals” to include corporations with low levels of foreign ownership or with directors or executives who are foreign nationals. U.S. law already prohibits foreigners and foreign-owned entities from spending on political campaigns.