The Senate passed legislation Wednesday to reverse recent Treasury Department guidance that limits donor disclosure requirements for nonprofit organizations.
The resolution from Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) was approved by the Senate in a 50-49 vote, with Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) joining every Democrat in support. The measure required only a simply majority to pass under the Congressional Review Act.
Over the summer, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the IRS no longer needs to collect the names and addresses of donors to all types of tax-exempt organizations. Previously, names and addresses of donors of $5,000 or more have been listed on Schedule B of the Form 990. Senate Democrats argued that being able to see who gives money to certain nonprofits – particularly those engaged in political activities – helps taxpayers understand who is trying to influence elections.
“The Trump administration’s dark money rule made it easier for foreigners and special interests to corrupt and interfere in our elections,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee.
Prior to the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said the resolution was “an attempt by some of our Democratic colleagues to undo a pro-privacy reform…In a climate that is increasingly hostile to certain kinds of political expression and open debate, the last thing Washington needs to do is to chill the exercise of free speech and add to the sense of intimidation.”
The resolution is unlikely to be taken up by the Republican-controlled House before the end of the year.