Senators seek tougher law for lobbyists for foreign govts

In this July 20, 2017 file photo, the U.S. Capitol is seen through glass panels, one of which is webbed with cracks, from below the Capitol Visitors Center, in Washington. A group of Democratic senators is introducing legislation to crack down on lobbyists who fail to disclose their work on behalf of foreign governments. The legislation being introduced Monday would ensure the Justice Department has the authority to impose civil financial penalties on lobbyists who fail to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of Democratic senators is introducing legislation to crack down on lobbyists who fail to disclose their work on behalf of foreign governments.

The legislation being introduced Monday would ensure the Justice Department has the authority to impose civil financial penalties on lobbyists who fail to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

The bill is being introduced by Illinois senators Tammy Duckworth and Richard Durbin and Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.

The foreign agents statute has received attention this year because several associates of President Donald Trump have belatedly disclosed their lobbying work. That includes campaign chairman Paul Manafort and fired national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The Justice Department rarely prosecutes people for failing to register, with officials saying they prefer to seek voluntary compliance.