Media Quote Jason Abel on Potential Changes to FARA Enforcement

November 7, 2017

Steptoe of counsel Jason Abel was featured in articles in Bloomberg Government and The National Law Journal discussing potential changes to the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). New legislation introduced in the Senate would eliminate the longstanding exemption from FARA for those who register under the federal Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA).

Mr. Abel, who previously, as chief counsel to Sen. Chuck Schumer, helped the senator craft the Closing Foreign Lobbying Loophole Act of 2008, tells Bloomberg Government that the impact of the proposed bill on the Washington lobbying community “would be huge” if passed, and could require many lobbyists for foreign companies and US subsidiaries of foreign parent companies to register as foreign agents.

Mr. Abel tells The National Law Journal:  “I think this week’s events are a game-changer with respect to attention paid on FARA. In my mind, there will be a renewed emphasis on exactly what is FARA, what activities does the law cover and what type of diligence do representatives need to do before engaging in those activities. One popular misconception of FARA is that it only covers lobbying, and if you take one look at the law, you realize it’s much broader.”

The full articles can be read at Bloomberg Government and The National Law Journal (subscription required).