WASHINGTON – With support from U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the Senate unanimously passed a McCaskill-backed bipartisan bill that would require lobbyists to disclose if they have ever been convicted of bribery, extortion, embezzlement, illegal kickbacks, tax evasion, or money laundering in their lobbying disclosure and registration forms.
“Missourians have a right to know if the lobbyists representing special interests in Washington have criminal pasts,” said McCaskill, the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “I’m proud to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle on this commonsense proposal to crack down on corruption.”
The Justice Against Corruption on K Street (JACK) Act is named for Jack Abramoff, who wasn’t required to mention his prison sentence for public bribery and other crimes when he re-registered as a lobbyist last year. The bill now awaits a vote in the House of Representatives before heading to President Trump’s desk.
From her days as a Missouri State Auditor, McCaskill has long fought to make sure government works for Missourians. The non-partisan organization GovTrack has ranked her as the top Senator for government transparency. Earlier this month, she released a report documenting inadequate funding for independent government watchdogs tasked with uncovering waste, fraud, and abuse. In June, two of her bills to cut down on government waste passed the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Senate’s chief oversight committee, where McCaskill serves as the top-ranking Democrat.
Earlier this year, McCaskill tried to force passage of her bipartisan bill requiring the federal government to make public the details, costs, and performance metrics of every federal program above $1 million over the objection of New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer. Two of her bipartisan bills that would strengthen government accountability passed the Senate in March. Last year, the Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan McCaskill-backed bill that reauthorizes and expands the authority of the Office of Special Counsel, which is in charge of whistleblower protections.