Congressman Jason Crow (CO-06), Co-Chair of the End Corruption Caucus, re-introduced the End Dark Money Act on Jan. 9, to crack down on dark money organizations trying to influence our elections. The bill, Crow’s first legislative action of the 118th Congress, is designed to stem the flood of dark money by closing a loophole that allows mega-donors to hide their political contributions through so-called “social welfare” organizations.
“Coloradans deserve to know who is trying to influence their vote. Instead, we have a system that allows mega-donors to hide their identities. This is a critical threat to our democracy and yet it’s going unchecked,” said Rep. Jason Crow. “This bill strikes at the root of the problem by preventing mega-donors from using non-profits as vehicles for political contributions. By increasing transparency and accountability in our elections, we are returning power back to voters and restoring Americans’ faith in our democracy.”
Special interests and dark money groups have leveraged their connections in Congress to stand in the way of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) stopping the abuse of social welfare organizations by mega-donors who use 501(c)s to hide their political contributions. In the Fiscal Year 2023 spending bill, the House voted on an amendment to strike the rider, only to see it re-added by the Senate in the 11th hour.
The End Dark Money Act, which was included in H.R. 1 and passed the House in the 117th Congress, would repeal the rider from current law and allow the IRS to issue guidelines to ensure non-profits adhere to their social welfare mission or be required to register as a PAC, disclose their donors, and risk losing their tax-exempt status.
The End Dark Money Act is supported by End Citizens United / Let America Vote Action Fund and Public Citizen.
“For too long, mega-donors and big money special interests, operating under the guise of ‘social welfare,’ have abused this glaring loophole for their own gain. It’s a scheme that’s designed to keep the American people in the dark about who’s trying to buy influence in our elections. Representative Crow’s End Dark Money Act would put an end to this shady tactic. We thank him for his leadership and we look forward to working with him in support of the bill,” said Tiffany Muller, president, End Citizens United / Let America Vote Action Fund.
“Bad rules at the IRS have allowed bad actors to abuse the system for too long,” said Emily Peterson-Cassin, coordinator of the Bright Lines Project at Public Citizen. “Representative Crow’s bill finally allows the IRS to make better rules that drive political spending into the light, where it belongs.”
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