Senate Could Make Historic Anti-Corruption Reform Law within Days
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An historic anti-corruption measure ending anonymous companies in the United States could be within days of enactment after the U.S. House of Representatives voted 322 to 87 on Monday to override a presidential veto of the annual defense spending bill. The U.S. Senate — which previously passed the legislation by a vote of 84-13 — could enact this measure into law with a two-thirds majority vote when it meets to consider overriding the president’s veto this week.
The Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition, which led the organizing effort on the landmark transparency reform, praised lawmakers for advancing the Corporate Transparency Act, which was included in the National Defense Authorization Act.
Ian Gary, executive director of the FACT Coalition, issued the following statement:
“After more than a decade-long campaign to end the formation of anonymous shell companies that are abused by the criminal and the corrupt, the United States is on the verge of enacting historic reforms to protect Americans and our financial system from abuse. We applaud House lawmakers for twice advancing this critical, bipartisan anti-corruption reform by veto-proof margins. We ask senators to similarly support these critical transparency reforms when they come up for a final vote this week.
“For years, experts have routinely ranked anonymous shell companies — where the true, ‘beneficial’ owners are unknown — as the biggest weakness in our anti-money laundering safeguards. Virtually every national security expert, law enforcement official, and human rights advocate that has looked at the issue has called for an end to anonymous companies. It’s the single most important step we could take to better protect our financial system from abuse.”
Notes to Editors:
- Click here for a FACT Sheet on the Corporate Transparency Act.
- Click here to read the conference committee text of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.
- Click here to read the explanatory report for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.
- Click here to watch a video of a press conference the FACT Coalition hosted with Sen. Sherrod Brown, the National District Attorneys Association, Transparency International, and Global Financial Integrity on Thursday, December 10th.
- Click here to watch a video of a press conference with Rep. Maloney and the FACT Coalition on Monday, December 7th. Rep. Maloney issued a press release after the press conference here.
- Ending anonymous companies has the support of a powerful alliance of ideologically-diverse constituencies, including the national security community, police and prosecutors, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, banks and credit unions, CEOs, the real estate sector, large businesses, small business owners, faith groups, anti-human trafficking groups, human rights organizations, global development NGOs, anti-corruption advocates, labor unions, and conservative and liberal think tanks. It’s one of the few areas where the outgoing Trump Administration agrees with the incoming Biden Administration. Click here for information on the support for ending anonymous companies, crossing industries and the ideological spectrum.
- The United States is currently the easiest place in the world to incorporate an anonymous company to launder money and evade law enforcement, according to academics at UT-Austin and Brigham Young University. In all 50 states, it requires less information to form a company than to obtain a library card. An increasing number of countries — including all 27 members of the European Union, the United Kingdom, the UK’s 14 overseas territories, and the UK’s 3 crown dependencies already require the disclosure of the true owners of companies.
Senior Policy Advisor, The FACT Coalition
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