House of Representatives Passes Crow-Backed FIRE Act
Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy (SHIELD) Act, which included the Foreign Influence Reporting in Elections (FIRE) Act which was co-led by Rep. Jason Crow (CO-06). The FIRE Act would require PACs and campaigns for candidates running for local, state, or federal office to report any offer of campaign donations or meddling from a foreign national to law enforcement. Specifically the bill would:
- Require all campaign officials to report, within one week, any contacts with foreign nationals attempting to make campaign donations or otherwise coordinate with the campaign through the proffer of information or services.
- Require campaigns to implement a compliance system to monitor reportable foreign contacts with campaign representatives and to train all onboarding employees and other associates on their legal obligations.
- Require the candidate to certify that this compliance system is in place. The campaign would also be responsible for reporting applicable foreign contacts to the FEC, which would notify the FBI, and for preserving relevant records.
“Frankly, you would not think a law like this would have to exist on the books. But unfortunately, in 2016, we saw numerous examples of foreign actors seeking to influence our elections and prop up their candidate of choice and now it is time to make this law,” said Crow. “The fact of the matter is, this is a direct threat to our democracy and threatens the integrity of our elections. Election security is national security and we need to make sure we treat it as such.”
In addition to Crow’s FIRE Act, the larger SHIELD Act takes critical steps to protect our elections and our democracy by:
- Helps prevent foreign interference in future elections by improving transparency of online political advertisements.
- Closes loopholes that allow foreign nationals and foreign governments to spend in U.S. elections.
- Restricts exchange of campaign information between candidates and foreign governments and their agents.
- Prohibits deceptive practices about voting procedures.
Dedicated to transparency and accountability, Crow is one of the few members of Congress to release his daily congressional meetings. He is a co-sponsor of H.R. 1 and in October 2018 led a letter to Congress calling for an anti-corruption and reform bill to address outside influence in our elections to be a top priority for the 116th Congress.