Congresswoman Lujan Grisham Delivers Floor Speech Opposing Dark Money in Politics

Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01), a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, spoke on the House floor today in opposition to H.R. 3865, legislation that would unnecessarily delay IRS-proposed regulations of partisan political activity by 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations, a move that would allow dark money organizations to continue pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into political campaigns while keeping their donors secret.

Rep. Lujan Grisham is the lead sponsor of the 501(c)(4) Reform Act, legislation that would prohibit tax-exempt social welfare organizations from engaging in political campaign activity. On Tuesday, Rep. Lujan Grisham proposed the 501(c)(4) Reform Act as an amendment to H.R. 3865, but the House Rules Committee refused to allow a floor vote on Rep. Lujan Grisham’s amendment. H.R. 3865 passed the House by a vote of 243-176.

Below is a transcript of Congresswoman Lujan Grisham’s remarks and a link to the video:

Click HERE to watch the video.

“Mr. Speaker: Federal law states that social welfare groups must exclusively promote social welfare.  Social welfare includes activities like early childhood education, environmental protection or veteran’s assistance—not partisan political campaign activity.

“There’s an important book on the House floor, and it’s a dictionary.

“We have that book here because this is a law-making institution and the precise definition of words is incredibly important.

“Last time I looked up the word ‘exclusively’, it meant ‘excluding everything else, solely, or only.’

“However, the IRS must have found an alternative definition for ‘exclusively’ when it issued a regulation allowing social welfare groups to only primarily promote social welfare.

“This contradiction between federal law and IRS regulation has allowed these groups to spend over a quarter billion dollars on political campaign activity—not their social welfare mission—while keeping their donors secret.

“I urge my colleagues to vote against the bill and let the IRS move forward with its proposed regulation to correct this.

“Exclusively should mean exclusively.

“I yield back.”