Unsurprisingly, Senate Will Not Debate the DISCLOSE Act
by Amanda Adams*
Jul 27, 2010
With a vote of 57-41, the Senate voted against proceeding to debate the DISCLOSE Act, S. 3628. The bill will likely not be addressed again before the August recess.
No one was expecting the Democrats to gain the needed votes, and perhaps, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) brought it up to make a point. As White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said yesterday, "Now we get to see who in the Senate thinks there's too much corporate influence and too much special-interest money that dominate our elections and who doesn't."
The bill was definitely not perfect, but regardless, disclosure rules are certainly needed after Citizens United. As Professor Rick Hasen notes; "Enhanced disclosure is especially needed now that the FEC has voted to allow corporations, labor unions and other entities to make unlimited contributions to independent expenditure committees. We have never had the situation before on the federal level where people, and now presumably corporations and labor unions, could make large - indeed unlimited - contributions to fund independent expenditures."
A New York Times editorial warns; "The starter's gun went off last week in the squalid new race for unlimited campaign cash." For more information on the developments at the Federal Election Commission (FEC), read this article from the latest Watcher.
According to the Washington Post, "Supporters vowed to try again after the August recess, arguing that changes are possible to attract GOP support. But Tuesday's vote effectively quashes any chance of enacting new disclosure requirements for the 2010 elections, which are likely to include hundreds of millions of dollars in expenditures by outside groups and corporations."back to Blog