Campaign Finance Reform & Elections

The Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision has let unrestricted corporate spending creep into our electoral system. During the 2016 election cycle, a total of $6.4 billion was spent on campaigns. I oppose the flawed Citizens United ruling because it gives an unfair financial advantage to large corporations during our elections.

In Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that required some jurisdictions to receive federal preclearance before enacting changes to voting laws.

Since these rulings, dirty maps, dirty money and voter suppression has flooded our election system. I am devoted to working toward an election system that is open and fair for all Americans. This system must be by Americans and for Americans, free of interference from foreign adversaries who would seek to influence our elections for their own gain.

What I am Doing for You

I cosponsored and voted for H.R. 4617, the Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy (SHIELD) Act, which passed in the House.This bill would strengthen existing laws to protect U.S. elections against foreign interference. Specifically, it would create a duty to report illicit offers of campaign assistance from foreign governments and their agents, improve transparency of online political advertisements, close loopholes that allow foreign nationals and foreign governments to spend in U.S. elections, restrict exchanges of campaign information between candidates and foreign governments and their agents, and prohibit deceptive practices regarding voting procedures.

I’m an original cosponsor of and voted for H.R. 1, the For the People Act, which passed in the House. This bill makes it easier, not harder, to vote by implementing automatic voter registration, requiring early voting and vote by mail, committing Congress to reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act, and ensures the integrity of our elections by modernizing and strengthening our voting systems and ending partisan redistricting. The bill curbs big money’s influence by requiring all political organizations to disclose large donors, updating political advertisement laws for the digital age, establishing a public matching system for citizen-owned elections, and revamping the Federal Election Commission to ensure there’s a cop on the campaign finance beat. And H.R. 1 takes real action to “drain the swamp” by extending conflict-of-interest laws to the President and Vice President and requiring the release of their tax returns, closing loopholes that let former members of Congress avoid cooling-off periods for lobbying, breaking the revolving door between industry and the federal government, and establishing a code of conduct for the Supreme Court.

I pushed for fairness and transparency by introducing H.R. 2424, the Duty to Report Act, which would require federal candidates, their families, and their campaigns to inform the FBI of any efforts by a foreign power to provide dirt on the candidate's opponent. For years, America has helped protect against terrorist attacks by telling Americans, “If you see something, say something.” The same should go for protecting our elections against foreign interference.

I also introduced H.R. 2853, the Corporate Duty to Report Act, which would make it a crime for a corporation to knowingly receive funds for an independent expenditure or electioneering communication from a foreign national without reporting this to the FBI. It also would be a civil violation for a corporation which knowingly receives money to run a political communication to fail to ask whether the communication counts as an independent expenditure or electioneering and, if it is, whether the person making the disbursement is a foreign national.

More on Campaign Finance Reform & Elections

March 4, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON DC - Yesterday, Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15) joined House Democrats in passing H.R. 1, the For the People Act, a sweeping anti-corruption package to clean up Washington, protect and expand voting rights, restore integrity to government and put the needs and priorities of the American people ahead of special interests. Included in H.R. 1 are three Swalwell amendments adopted by the House that bolster election security, and improve students’ access to the polls.

February 23, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15) reintroduced four bills Tuesday to ensure that future Presidents of the United States cannot perpetrate some of the same corrupt acts that President Donald Trump committed.

The bills would require candidates, campaigns, and companies to report foreign interference in U.S. elections; enhance protections for whistleblowers who come forward to expose official wrongdoing; and make it a criminal offense for the President, Vice President, or their families to enrich themselves from foreign sources.

October 27, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-5), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, joined by Congressmembers Bill Pascrell Jr. (NJ-9), Eric Swalwell (CA-15), and 33 other House members, sent a letter to U.S.