Text: H.R.2670 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)

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Introduced in House (07/11/2013)


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[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 2670 Introduced in House (IH)]

113th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 2670

     To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to require 
corporations and labor organizations to disclose to their shareholders 
 or members the amounts disbursed for certain political activity, and 
                          for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             July 11, 2013

 Mr. Cartwright (for himself, Mr. Grayson, Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania, 
   Mr. Fattah, Mr. Sires, Mr. Enyart, Mr. Yarmuth, Mr. O'Rourke, Ms. 
 Loretta Sanchez of California, Mr. Andrews, Mr. Clyburn, Mr. Vargas, 
  Mr. Ellison, Mr. DeFazio, Mr. Cohen, Mr. Cicilline, Mr. Engel, Mr. 
Grijalva, Mr. Tonko, Mr. Gene Green of Texas, and Ms. Linda T. Sanchez 
of California) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
Committee on Ways and Means, and in addition to the Committee on House 
   Administration, for a period to be subsequently determined by the 
  Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall 
           within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
     To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to require 
corporations and labor organizations to disclose to their shareholders 
 or members the amounts disbursed for certain political activity, and 
                          for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Openness in Political Expenditures 
Now Act'' or the ``OPEN Act''.

SEC. 2. DISCLOSURE BY CORPORATIONS AND LABOR ORGANIZATIONS TO 
              SHAREHOLDERS AND MEMBERS OF DISBURSEMENTS FOR POLITICAL 
              ACTIVITY.

    (a) Disclosure Required.--Title III of the Federal Election 
Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431 et seq.) is amended by adding at the 
end the following new section:

``SEC. 325. DISCLOSURES BY CORPORATIONS AND LABOR ORGANIZATIONS TO 
              SHAREHOLDERS AND MEMBERS OF INFORMATION ON DISBURSEMENTS 
              FOR CERTAIN POLITICAL ACTIVITY.

    ``(a) Including Information in Regular Periodic Reports.--
            ``(1) In general.--A corporation which submits regular, 
        periodic reports to its shareholders and a labor organization 
        which submits regular, periodic reports to its members shall 
        include in each such report, in a clear and conspicuous manner, 
        the information described in paragraph (2) with respect to the 
        disbursements made by the corporation or labor organization for 
        covered political activity during the period covered by the 
        report, but only if the amount of the disbursement made for 
        such activity during the period covered by the report equals or 
        exceeds the applicable threshold for the activity described in 
        paragraph (3).
            ``(2) Information described.--The information described in 
        this paragraph is, for each disbursement for covered political 
        activity--
                    ``(A) the date of the disbursement;
                    ``(B) the amount of the disbursement;
                    ``(C) in the case of a disbursement consisting of 
                an independent expenditure or an electioneering 
                communication, or in the case of a covered political 
                activity described in subsection (c)(3), the name of 
                the candidate identified in the independent expenditure 
                or electioneering communication involved, the 
                Commission ID assigned to the candidate, and the office 
                sought by the candidate; and
                    ``(D) in the case of a covered political activity 
                described in subsection (c)(4), the identification of 
                the association or organization to whom the 
                disbursement was made, and the Commission ID (if any) 
                assigned to the association or organization.
            ``(3) Applicable threshold for disclosure.--For purposes of 
        paragraph (1), the `applicable threshold' with respect to a 
        disbursement for covered political activity during a period 
        covered by a report is as follows:
                    ``(A) In the case of covered political activity 
                consisting of an independent expenditure, $250.
                    ``(B) In the case of covered political activity 
                consisting of an electioneering communication or a 
                communication described in subsection (c)(3), $10,000.
                    ``(C) In the case of covered political activity 
                consisting of a payment described in subsection (c)(4), 
                the amount of the limitation on contributions which is 
                in effect under section 315(a)(1)(C) as of the last day 
                of the period.
    ``(b) Submission of Statement to Commission.--
            ``(1) Submission of statement.--If a corporation or labor 
        organization includes information in a report pursuant to this 
        section, at the time the corporation or labor organization 
        submits the report to its shareholders or members, the 
        corporation or labor organization shall file a statement with 
        the Commission consisting of the information included in the 
        report pursuant to this section.
            ``(2) Hyperlink to information.--
                    ``(A) Requiring posting of hyperlink.--If a 
                corporation or labor organization maintains an Internet 
                site, the corporation or labor organization shall post 
                on such Internet site a hyperlink from its homepage to 
                the location on the Internet site of the Commission 
                which contains the statement filed by the corporation 
                or labor organization under paragraph (1).
                    ``(B) Deadline; duration of posting.--The 
                corporation or labor organization shall post the 
                hyperlink described in subparagraph (A) not later than 
                24 hours after the Commission posts the statement filed 
                by the corporation or labor organization under 
                paragraph (1) on the Internet site of the Commission, 
                and shall ensure that the hyperlink remains on the 
                Internet site of the corporation or labor organization 
                until the expiration of the 1-year period which begins 
                on the date of the election with respect to which the 
                disbursements included in the statement are made.
    ``(c) Covered Political Activity Defined.--In this section, the 
term `covered political activity' means each of the following:
            ``(1) An independent expenditure (as defined in section 
        301(17)).
            ``(2) An electioneering communication (as defined in 
        section 304(f)(3)).
            ``(3) A communication which would be treated as an 
        electioneering communication under section 304(f)(3) if the 
        communication had been a broadcast, cable, or satellite 
        communication.
            ``(4) The payment of dues or other amounts to a trade 
        association or to a section 501(c)(4) organization.
    ``(d) Other Definitions.--In this section, the following 
definitions apply:
            ``(1) The term `corporation' means any corporation which is 
        subject to section 316(a).
            ``(2) The term `labor organization' has the meaning given 
        such term in section 316.
            ``(3) The term `section 501(c)(4) organization' means any 
        organization described in paragraph (4) of section 501(c) of 
        the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from tax under 
        section 501(a) of such Code.''.
    (b) Effective Date.--The amendment made by subsection (a) shall 
apply with respect to reports described in section 325(a)(1) of the 
Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (as added by subsection (a)) 
which are filed after the expiration of the 90-day period which begins 
on the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 3. LIMITATION ON ENGAGING IN COVERED POLITICAL ACTIVITIES BY 
              SOCIAL WELFARE ORGANIZATIONS.

    (a) In General.--Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 
1986 is amended by adding at the end the following:
                    ``(C)(i) Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to an 
                entity for a taxable year if the total expenditures of 
                such entity for the taxable year for covered political 
                activity exceed the lesser of--
                            ``(I) 10 percent of the total expenditures 
                        of such entity for the taxable year, or
                            ``(II) $10,000,000.
                    ``(ii) Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to an 
                entity for a taxable year unless its governing 
                instrument includes provisions the effects of which are 
                to prohibit the expenditures of the entity for a 
                covered political activity from exceeding the threshold 
                specified in clause (i).
                    ``(iii) For purposes of this subparagraph, the term 
                `covered political activity' means--
                            ``(I) any activity described in paragraphs 
                        (1) through (3) of section 325(c) of the 
                        Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971; and
                            ``(II) any payment by the entity to any 
                        other entity described in this paragraph or to 
                        an organization described in paragraph (6) 
                        which the payor entity knows, or has reason to 
                        know, will be used directly or indirectly by 
                        the payee entity or organization for any 
                        activity referred to in subclause (I).
                    ``(iv) Clause (i) shall not apply for a taxable 
                year for which the 10 percent threshold specified in 
                clause (i)(I) is exceeded by not more than a de minimis 
                amount if the Secretary determines that the reason for 
                exceeding the threshold was not willful and is due to 
                reasonable cause.
                    ``(v) The Secretary shall prescribe such 
                regulations as may be necessary or appropriate to 
                prevent the avoidance of clause (i), including 
                regulations relating to a direct or indirect transfer 
                of all or part of the assets of an entity to an entity 
                controlled (directly or indirectly) by the same person 
                or persons who control the transferor entity.''.
    (b) Effective Date.--The amendment made by subsection (a) shall 
apply to taxable years beginning after the date of the enactment of 
this Act.

SEC. 4. SEVERABILITY.

    If any provision of this Act or amendment made by this Act, or the 
application of a provision or amendment to any person or circumstance, 
is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of this Act and 
amendments made by this Act, and the application of the provisions and 
amendment to any person or circumstance, shall not be affected by the 
holding.
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