Tags: disclose | act | campaign | finance | bill | senate | vote

United GOP Thwarting Obama's Campaign Finance Bill

Tuesday, 27 Jul 2010 01:02 PM

A united Republican Party is spoiling President Barack Obama's attempts to impose new campaign finance rules designed to circumvent a Supreme Court ruling.

The Senate has scheduled an afternoon cloture vote on the bill, known as the Disclose Act. Democrats need 60 yes votes to proceed with the bill before it could even be put before the Senate for a final vote. But that's not likely to happen.

GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine has announced that she'll oppose the Disclose Act, which would reveal the sources of election campaign advertising. But Collins opposes the proposal because she says the bill is tougher on corporations and other large donors than it is on labor unions.

"The bill would provide a clear and unfair advantage to unions, while either shutting other organizations out of the election process or subjecting them to onerous reporting requirements that would not apply to unions," Collins aide Kevin Kelley told CNN.com.

And on Tuesday, another Maine senator dashed the Democrats' hopes: Sen. Olympia Snowe announced that she also would vote no.

"I'm going to vote against it, because it's premature," she said. "We've had no hearing process and ability to build consensus."

Adding to the Democrats' woes is the fact that Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent Democrat from Connecticut, will be attending a funeral and won't be at the Capitol for the vote. Without those votes, Obama and his Democratic allies will be at least three votes shy of the 60 needed to move the bill forward.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also has blasted the bill for the special treatment that unions would receive.

"The Disclose Act is a perfect example of Washington politics at its absolute worst, and at a time when the country can afford it least. Legislation that silences incumbent politicians’ critics and exempts their political friends should never be considered in America," chamber President and CEO Thomas Donohue told FoxNews.com.

GOP Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also says the bill would favor Democrats and restrict free speech.

The measure “seeks to protect unpopular Democrat politicians by silencing their critics and exempting their campaign supporters from an all-out attack on the First Amendment,” the Kentucky Republican said.

The House has passed a similar bill, with only two Republicans supporting it. The Senate version is being sponsored by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. The Disclose Act was drawn up in response to the Supreme Court's ruling in January that lifted the longtime cap on campaign finance spending.

The lawsuit that led to the high court's ruling was filed by Citizens United, which is outraged about the Disclose Act.

"Citizens who are members of other grassroots groups will be muzzled by this legislation for no reason other than that they belong to a group without the financial and lobbying muscle to exempt itself from this bill," said Citizens United leader David Bossie.

"This bill is nothing more than incumbent protection in its worst and most cynical form. The American people will not be fooled so easily."

Obama chided Republicans for their opposition to the bill on Monday. "You'd think that reducing corporate, and even foreign influence over our elections would not be a partisan issue," he said.

"But of course, this is Washington in 2010, and the Republican leadership in the Senate is once again using every tactic and every maneuver they can to prevent the Disclose Act from even coming for an up or down vote.

"We can't afford these political games . . . This is an issue that goes to whether or not we're going to have a government that works for ordinary Americans; a government by and for the people."




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A united Republican Party is spoiling President Barack Obama's attempts to impose new campaign finance rules designed to circumvent a Supreme Court ruling. The Senate has scheduled an afternoon cloture vote on the bill, known as the Disclose Act. Democrats need 60 yes...
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2010-02-27
 

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