An amendment added by Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) passed the U.S. House of Representatives as part of a campaign finance and government accountability reform bill. The bill is aimed at reducing the role of big money in politics, ensuring fair elections, and strengthening ethics standards. It would make election day a holiday for federal workers, create a public financing system for congressional campaigns, bar voter roll purges, and restore voting rights for ex-prisoners.
Slotkin says her amendment closes loopholes that allow foreign entities to buy digital and TV campaign ads and is intended to restore integrity to U.S. elections.
"I just see zero reason why any foreign country or individual needs to be trying to curry favor and exert influence over our elections," Slotkin said. "We know that Michigan was targeted specifically by social media ads that were paid for by Russia."
The amendment would place limits foreign governments, nationals, and corporations buying certain types of ads. Those include:
- Ads that promote, support, attack, or oppose a candidate
- Ads that mention a candidate by name within 60 days of a general election or within 30 days of a primary election
- Ads that discuss issues of public importance during an election year and for the purpose of influencing an election
The bill stands little chance of passing the Republican-controlled Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says it's dead on arrival in the chamber.
Slotkin says that she hopes McConnell will change his mind and take up the bill for a vote. However, if it doesn't pass, she wants to move forward with her amendment separately, which she says has strong bipartisan support.