PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Coalition Letter in Opposition to H.R. 1, the (disingenuously titled) “For the People Act of 2019”

By at 6 March, 2019, 3:54 pm

SBE Council joined over 200 business organizations in opposition to H.R. 1, disingenuously titled the “For the People Act of 2019.” The legislation is clearly designed to push certain voices – i.e., the business community – out of the political process altogether.  A letter signed by the business community was sent to every Member of the U.S. House on March 6, 2019.

As noted in the letter:

Over the past several Congresses, various iterations of the legislation known as the DISCLOSE Act have been introduced. The profound constitutional problems of that legislation are well documented and include: (1) that it sought to chill associational and speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment by threatening donor disclosure for groups engaged in advocacy; (2) that it provided for unequal treatment of speakers, severely burdening the business community while leaving unions largely unaffected; and (3) that it sought to deter speech through the imposition of unnecessarily burdensome disclaimers and reporting requirements. Remarkably, H.R. 1 takes the worst ideas and impulses of the DISCLOSE Act and expands upon them in ways that have incredibly harmful – and unconstitutional – consequences.

The full letter, which covers some of the specific areas of H.R. 1 that are fundamentally incompatible with free speech and robust debate, and therefore the principles enshrined in our Constitution, can be read here.

 

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