First Time Legislation to End Anonymous Companies Passes Either Chamber of Congress
Measure Received Support from White House Prior to Vote
Statement by Gary Kalman, Executive Director of the FACT Coalition
WASHINGTON, D.C. — With a bipartisan vote of 249 to 173, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill Tuesday night to update federal anti-money laundering laws and end the incorporation of anonymous companies in the U.S. After more than a decade of debate in Washington, Tuesday’s vote in favor of the Corporate Transparency Act of 2019 (H.R.2513) represents the first time that legislation to end anonymous companies has made it through either Chamber of Congress. Prior to the vote, the White House issued a positive statement on the measure noting that “this legislation represents important progress in strengthening national security, supporting law enforcement, and clarifying regulatory requirements.” The debate now moves to the Senate, where similar bipartisan legislation is co-sponsored by nearly one-third of the key Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. The Chair and Ranking Member of the Banking Committee have also indicated that the issue is a priority for them.
Gary Kalman, the executive director of the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition, issued the following statement:
“After more than a decade of debate to bring anti-money laundering protections into the modern era, Congress just took an enormous step forward. Make no mistake, this is an historic vote.
“Anonymous companies are widely recognized as the single most dangerous and significant gap in our anti-money laundering framework. Virtually every national security expert who has looked at the issue has called for the reform in this legislation. Police and prosecutors have also been outspoken in calling for reform.
“While the criminal and corrupt have developed sophisticated networks in recent years, our laws have not kept pace with building new tools to counter the emergent threats. The bill will end the abuse of anonymous companies and update our anti-money laundering protections. It is the single most important change Congress could make to better protect our financial system from abuse. Treasury’s pilot efforts in collecting ownership information have already demonstrated the incredible impact of this reform. It’s time we had a comprehensive program in place.
“We applaud Representatives Maloney, King, Cleaver, Luetkemeyer, Malinowski, and Waters for their leadership in moving these reforms forward. We are thrilled to have strong bipartisan support and look forward to working with the Senate to see these reforms passed into law.”
Notes to Editors:
- Click here to read a press release from Rep. Maloney, the lead sponsor of the legislation.
- Click here to read a press release from the House Financial Services Committee.
- Click here for the full roll call voting, indicating how each member voted.
- Click here to read the full Statement of Administration Policy on H.R.2513 from the White House.
- Click here for a relatively up-to-date list of individuals and organizations endorsing beneficial ownership transparency.