Foreign Influence Transparency Act Introduced in Senate

FARA, lobbying

On March 21, Senators Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton and Rep. Joe Wilson introduced a bill to limit exemptions for registration under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

Senate Bill 2583, the Foreign Influence Transparency Act, amends FARA to limit the exemption from the registration requirements for persons engaging in activities in furtherance of bona fide religious, scholastic, academic, or scientific pursuits or the fine arts to activities which do not promote the political agenda of a foreign government.

The bill limits the existing registration exemptions by qualifying they apply “only if the activities do not promote the political agenda of a government of a foreign country.” The legislation also amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 by requiring the disclosures of foreign gifts and contracts over $50,000 made to universities.

“The goal of this legislation is to increase transparency between foreign governments, universities, and communities,” said Wilson in his press release.