Statement on Committee Passage of H.R. 4790: the Shareholder Protection Act

July 29, 2010

“Today the House Committee on Financial Services advanced my legislation, H.R. 4790: the Shareholder Protection Act. It requires a shareholder vote on a corporation’s proposed political budget, giving shareholders the opportunity to weigh in on the use of these funds. January’s Supreme Court decision on Citizens United v. FEC established that corporations cannot be prohibited from spending general treasury funds on political campaigns because it would violate their free speech rights. My legislation gives shareholders the ability to exercise their free speech rights by voting to approve or reject these expenditures. The Supreme Court decision effectively increases the influence of money in politics and diminishes the voice of the voter. We should be working to limit outside influence on elections, not giving corporations a louder voice. My legislation is a simple and direct way to ensure that corporate political expenditures reflect the will of the shareholders, since the money in question belongs to the shareholders. I look forward to its consideration on the floor of the House”.

Contact: Alison M. Mills 617-621-6208