Schneider Introduces Bill to Require Real-Time Transparency of Political Donations

January 14, 2019
Press Release
Political campaigns and committees would be required to report all donations of $1,000 or more within 48 hours

Today, Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) introduced new legislation to increase transparency of campaign finances by requiring real-time disclosure within 48 hours of donations to candidates and committees that total $1,000 or more. Under current law, most donations are only disclosed to the public via quarterly filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

“Sunlight is often the best disinfectant, and the American people have a right to know who is donating to political candidates and when it happens,” said Schneider. “Electronic filing makes real-time disclosure of political donations easy and illuminating, but our current system of quarterly disclosures is behind the times. I urge my colleagues to join me updating these requirements to the 21st Century and bringing needed transparency to money in our elections.”

Specifically, the Real-Time Transparency Act would amend the Federal Elections Campaign Act of 1971 to require a political campaign to:

  • Submit to the FEC the identification of the contributor, date of receipt and amount of contributions received of $1,000 or more;
  • Submit to the FEC any additional contributions of $1,000 or more from the same contributor during a calendar year; and
  • Submit this information within 48 hours of receiving such contributions.

The legislation is supported by the non-partisan government watchdog Common Cause:

“With hundreds of millions of dollars in secret money spent in recent elections, Americans deserve to know who is trying to influence their voices and their votes,” said Aaron Scherb, director of legislative affairs for Common Cause. “We commend Congressman Schneider for introducing the Real-Time Transparency Act, a common sense bill that would immediately shine a light on political spending.”

The full text of H.R. 429, the Real-Time Transparency Act is available online.

 

Background:

Government reform has been a top priority for Schneider in the first month of the 116th Congress.

He previously introduced H.R. 209, the Ethics in Public Service Act to reverse changes made by the Trump Administration in their Ethics Pledge that now allow former appointees to communicate with the agency where they worked, and that permit former lobbyists to join an executive agency that they lobbied within the previous two years.

This idea was incorporated in to H.R. 1, The For The People Act, the major government reform package of the new Democratic majority.