Congress legalizes bribery

bribeThe strongest of all warriors are these two–Time and Patience –Leo Tolstoy

H.J. Res. 41–The Legal Bribery Bill

On February 1, the House considered H.J. Res. 41, Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of a Securities and Exchange Commission rule relating to “Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers” or, the more aptly titled, Make Corporate Bribery Legal Again Act. This legislation seeks to invalidate the rule that requires companies involved in oil, gas or mineral extraction who are registered in the United States to report any payment they make to a foreign government of $100,000 or more.  The reason for the rule is to make public how much money companies are paying to foreign governments.   H.J. Res. 41 invalidates the disclosure requirement.

Rep. Reed voted in favor; only four Republicans (Fitzpatrick-PA, Jones-NC, Royce-CA, Smith-NJ) were opposed.

Many corporations make bribes—and pay fines for breaking the law.

ProPublica reported in 2011:

Many large companies have been investigated for bribery of foreign officials, including Hewlett-Packard and Motorola. The United States has recently stepped up its enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, including a preliminary investigation this year into whether News Corp. may have violated the act. A recent survey of business executives found that only 30 percent were “very confident” that their existing policies would prevent bribery.

Koch Industries has used bribes to secure contracts as documented in the ProPublica article.

This action by Congress isn’t in the public interest, but rather invites large companies which support political campaigns to pay bribes. Shame on Tom Reed for supporting it. Those attending his meetings on Feb. 18 might ask him to explain his vote.

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* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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2 Responses to Congress legalizes bribery

  1. Deb Meeker says:

    How fast the pendulum swings toward massive public deception when Republicans are in charge. Doing away with regulations of all kinds creates the “free market” version of Kingdom versus Serfdom.


  2. whungerford says:

    H.J.Res 41 at least targets a specific regulation that Republicans don’t like for whatever reason. Tom Reed’s talk and Trump’s two for one proposal make no distinction between important regulations and unnecessary ones–they assume all regulations are harmful. It is possible that Trump’s proposal might be benign, but don’t count on it to boost the economy. GWB rewrote as many regulations as he could at the end of his term; the economy didn’t rebound, quite the opposite.


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