Press releases

MADISONVILLE, La. – Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, applauded the Senate’s passing of the Foreign Extortion Prevention Act (FEPA) of 2023 as part of the FY24 National Defense Authorization Act.  

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) sponsored the bill, and Sens. Tom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) are original cosponsors, along with Kennedy.

“Our bipartisan bill would help protect Americans from bad actors in other countries who demand bribes as the price of doing business abroad. The Senate passed this long-overdue solution quickly, and the House should do the same so that American businesses can compete on a level, ethical playing field,” said Kennedy. 

This bill would protect U.S. firms from corrupt foreign officials because such officials often demand bribes as a prerequisite for doing business in their countries. The FEPA would make such demands illegal, which would ensure that U.S. companies remain competitive in international contexts. 

Under the FEPA Act, penalties for soliciting bribes would include a fine of up to $250,000 or three times the value of the bribe (whichever is greater) and a prison sentence of up to 15 years.  

The FEPA would: 

  • Commission the Department of Justice (DOJ) to prosecute foreign officials who request or receive a bribe from a U.S. individual or corporation, or from any person while in U.S. territory.
  • Require that the DOJ issue an annual report that summarizes major enforcement actions, analyzes the effectiveness of efforts to shield U.S. businesses from bribery demands and addresses foreign governments’ efforts to prosecute people who solicit bribes from Americans.