Campaign Legal Center Urges Senate Finance Committee to Reject Amendment to Force IRS to Delay “Dark Money” Rulemaking


Today, the Campaign Legal Center strongly urged the Senate Finance Committee to vote against an effort to block the IRS from completing a rulemaking related to the regulation of the political and candidate-related activities of 501(c)(4) organizations.  Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) are expected to offer an amendment today to the tax extenders bill that would suspend the IRS rulemaking for one year.  

“This rulemaking has been pending for nearly two years in response to the growing problem abuse of the privileged tax status for blatantly political purposes by ‘dark money’ groups,” said Meredith McGehee, Policy Director of the Campaign Legal Center.  “Nonprofits deserve clear rules regarding what is and is not appropriate activity for a social welfare group, and the IRS needs the funds to proceed with this important and overdue new rule.”

“The existing IRS regulations are outdated and contrary to the governing statute that states that such groups must engage ‘exclusively’ in ‘social welfare’ activities,” said McGehee.  “These regulations are allowing huge amounts of money from secret donors to be spent to influence the outcome of elections in the U.S. They are enabling the circumvention of laws passed to ensure transparency by nonprofits engaged in significant campaign activity and to prevent the abuse of an important tax exemption.”

“The Portman-Roberts amendment would be a blow to our democracy and further undermine the nation’s disclosure laws.  It should be defeated.”