Rep. Banks: Require Congressional Witnesses to Disclose Foreign Ties

Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., has introduced a rule to require experts who deliver testimony before Congress to disclose any financial connections that their employers have with foreign entities.

The “Truth in Testimony Rule,” released Tuesday, is aimed at universities and think tanks and focuses on money received from China.

The Washington Post notes that the rule, which currently has 43 Republican co-sponsors, would compel all congressional witnesses to disclose any foreign funding that amounts to more than $5,000 whether or not the person testifying is doing so on behalf of their employer or themselves. 

It would also remove a loophole that forces think-tank members to disclose foreign funding if and only if they are defining themselves as a “fiduciary of any organization or entity with an interest in the subject matter of the hearing.”

“Congress works best when all the cards are face up on the table,” Banks said in a statement, according to the Post.

“The Truth in Testimony rule has a long conservative tradition going back to [House Speaker Newt Gingrich], and it’s past time we expose malign foreign influence and take the masks off individuals who testify before Congress while taking money from foreign countries,” he added. “I urge my colleagues to pass this rule as soon as possible.”

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