2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bill’s Campaign Finance Changes - State and Federal Communications

December 23, 2015  •  

2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bill’s Campaign Finance Changes

Capitol at DuskAmong the riders in the federal 2016 Omnibus Appropriations bill passed into law on December 18, 2015, were two provisions affecting campaign finance. Congress explicitly prohibited the Internal Revenue Service from making new rules concerning the political speech or activity of 501(c)(4) organizations. The legislation also prohibits the Securities and Exchange Commission from issuing regulations requiring corporations to disclose their political activity to their shareholders.

The Senate’s version of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2016, Senate Bill 1910, contained language altering the law regarding coordination between candidates and political parties. However, opposition from both parties prevented this rider making it in the final passed bill. The final bill also did not include a rider from House Resolution 2995, the House’s version of the bill, which would have barred the use of funds to recommend or require any entity submitting an offer for a federal contract to disclose specified political contributions as a condition of submitting the offer.

Photo of the United States Capitol by Martin Falbisoner on Wikimedia Commons.

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