Press Releases

Murphy and Others Lead Bipartisan Effort to Prohibit Foreign Contributions to U.S. Ballot Initiatives

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Washington, November 4, 2021 | comments

WASHINGTON—U.S. Representatives Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., Dean Phillips, D-Minn., and Jared Golden, D-Maine, today introduced bipartisan legislation to prohibit foreign money from influencing U.S. elections. The effort comes following a recent FEC ruling that would allow foreign donors could support U.S. ballot initiatives and referendums.

“Florida has a rich history of using ballot initiatives to amend our state’s constitution, and this important democratic process should be conducted free of any and all interference from foreign nationals,” said Murphy. “I’m proud to co-lead this bipartisan bill to prohibit financial contributions and donations made by foreign nationals to influence the outcome of state and local ballot initiatives.”

“This FEC decision is shortsighted and dangerous. Opening the door for the Chinese Communist Party to influence our democratic process threatens both our elections and our national security. Congress must immediately pass this important legislation to protect our democracy from malign foreign interference or we will come to regret it,” said Gallagher.

“Allowing foreign contributions to ballot initiatives and referenda poses a direct threat to our nation’s democratic process,” said Fitzpatrick. “Our bipartisan legislation will put a stop to this illicit practice and ensure that state and local elections are free from foreign influence and decided solely by American voters.” 

“In no way, shape, or form should foreign nationals be allowed to pour money into influencing our nation’s elections,” said Herrera Beutler. “After the FEC’s determination this week green lighting foreign contributions in ballot initiatives and referendums, it’s time for Congress to act quickly to end those exceptions. That’s why I’m helping lead this bipartisan legislation to prevent foreign influence in our elections, and ensure the only voices in our elections are those of American citizens.”

“Restoring faith in our democracy means ensuring that the American electorate—not foreign nationals—are empowered to affect change in this country,” said Phillips. “It is absurd that foreign interference in our elections would even be in question, let alone affirmed by members of the Federal Election Commission. As our democracy faces threats from the inside and out, Congress must act urgently to close this dangerous loophole.”

“This is simple. American elections — from dogcatcher to ballot questions to the presidency — should be decided by Americans, not foreign citizens or foreign corporations. We’ve made it illegal for political candidates to accept foreign campaign contributions and we shouldn't let foreign money pour into ballot question campaigns either. I'm proud to help lead this bipartisan effort to get foreign money out of our elections,” said Golden.

Text of the legislation can be found HERE.

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U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy represents Florida’s Seventh Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she serves on the influential House Ways and Means Committee. The district includes all of Seminole County and much of northern Orange County, including downtown Orlando, Maitland, Winter Park, and the University of Central Florida. Previously, Murphy was a businesswoman and college instructor who also served as a national security specialist in the Office of the Secretary of Defense where she received numerous awards, including the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service. Murphy lives in Winter Park with her husband and two children.

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