Political Ad Transparency Will Advance After House GOP Drops Effort to Block FCC Rule

by Gavin Baker, 6/20/2012

This morning, Republican members of the House Appropriations Committee reversed their position and allowed a crucial new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) transparency rule to stand. The FCC rule, adopted in April, requires television broadcasters to disclose who is buying political advertisements. These disclosures will be posted in a public online database.

Committee Republicans had earlier sought to block the rule by including a policy provision known as a "rider" to prevent the FCC from enforcing the rule. However, Republicans dropped the idea after public outcry, including efforts from OMB Watch supporters like you. Today, the committee unanimously approved an amendment to remove the prohibition and directed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to analyze the impact of the FCC rule.

With support from both parties, the rule looks safe in the House. The companion bill in the Senate never included a rider to block the rule – in fact, the Senate committee report praises the FCC rule.

Thank you for standing up for transparency in our political debates. For democracy to function effectively, we need checks on the ability of big money to influence our elections, and this starts with full transparency. Today, your voice made a difference, and we took an important step in the direction of accountability and openness.

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