Congresswoman Scanlon Introduces Inaugural Fund Integrity Act

December 27, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-7) introduced her first piece of legislation, the Inaugural Fund Integrity Act (IFIA), which will establish limits on donations to inaugural committees, and require donations and disbursements to be disclosed.

“The lack of oversight of inaugural committees has created serious questions about possible quid pro quo deals with the current administration,” said Congresswoman Scanlon. “We need to restore faith in our democratic institutions and write into law the ethical standards which the people have the right to expect. While our President refuses to do his job - pushing our government into a shutdown - we need to continue to do what the American people elected us to do. I believe the Inaugural Fund Integrity Act is a critical component in our path forward to a government that works for the people.”

The Inaugural Fund Integrity Act (IFIA) will correct several loopholes in the current Inaugural Committee structure, which allows for abuse of funds. The IFIA will:

  1. Prohibit donations to inaugural funds from foreign nationals or corporations. It also bans so called “straw” donors, in which donations are directed through shell entities to hide their true origin. IFIA further places a $50,000 cap on any donation to an inaugural committee.
  2. Banning Personal Use of Inaugural Funds. Under IFIA, inaugural funds can only be used for their legitimate government purpose:  to plan and celebrate an inauguration.
  3. Requires disclosure of all donations and disbursements.  IFIA forces an inaugural committee to file a report with the Federal Elections Committee disclosing information about all donations received and disbursements made.

“The Trump Inaugural committee is now under criminal investigation for millions of dollars in mysterious and unexplained expenditures as well as possibly illegal donations from foreign sources,” said Lisa Gilbert, Vice President of Legislative Affairs at Public Citizen, a public interest advocacy group. “The absence of adequate regulation and disclosure of the financing of inaugural committees makes very clear the necessity for Congresswoman Scanlon’s Inaugural Fund Integrity Act.”

Congresswoman Scanlon continued, “We must rebalance the scales of power in favor of the people. The shutdown of a quarter of our federal government is a perfect example of what happens when the voice of the people goes ignored. Restoring our democratic institutions will get our government working again and prevent future harmful shutdowns like this one.”