Lawmakers in the United States say they have taken a significant step closer to enacting a major anti-money laundering reform that would make it more difficult to move dirty money through U.S. firms. Late last week, Democrats in the House and Senate announced that they had included provisions targeting anonymous shell companies into a must-pass national defense spending bill. The move is significant because, unlike many pieces of legislation that languish in Congress, the omnibus bill is often approved on a bipartisan basis to continue funding national defense.
“It is past time to put an end to the secrecy that allows drug cartels, human traffickers, arms dealers, terrorists and kleptocrats to exploit the United States’ banking system in order to carry out anti-American activities,” Mark Warner, a Democratic senator from Virginia and advocate for the reforms, said in a statement. “I know that the current holes in our financial system pose a serious threat to national security.”