Prior posts here, here and here in 2019 highlighted a bill introduced in the House of Representatives titled the Foreign Extortion Prevention Act which sought to capture the so-called “demand side” of bribery by foreign officials given that the FCPA’s current anti-bribery provisions only capture the so-called “supply side” of bribery.
The bill sought to prohibit such conduct – not through amending the FCPA – but through amending 18 USC 201 (the domestic bribery statute) and the prior post highlighted how this potential statutory placement was odd and could lead to several areas of incongruous between liability for the “bribe” payor (what the FCPA captures) and the “bribe” demander (what the Foreign Extortion Prevention Act sought to capture).
Recently, Representative Shelia Jackson Lee (D-TX), along with a bipartisan group of co-sponsors, reintroduced the bill (H.R. 4737). Once again, the bill seeks to capture the “demand side” of bribery through amending 18 USC 201 – and not the FCPA – and therefore presents the same issues as hinted at above.
Consistent with this post from 2019, I continue to believe that if Congress seeks to explicitly capture the “demand side” of bribery (the DOJ already uses the money laundering laws against alleged “bribe taking” foreign officials when there is jurisdiction), this goal is best accomplished through amending the FCPA and set forth here are FCPA amendments I previously drafted (and shared with certain legislative aides) to accomplish this task.