The Senate was unable to pass a Biden-backed campaign finance bill that would require political groups to disclose major donors.
Washington DC – Republicans in the US Senate blocked a Invoices for the purpose to combat “dark money” in US elections by requiring political organizations to disclose major donors.
The so-called Disclosure Act, passed by President Joe Biden earlier this week, failed to gain the support of any Republicans in a procedural vote on Thursday.
With just 49 lawmakers voting in favor in the 100-member Senate, the bill was unclear the 60-vote threshold needed to bring it to a final vote.
“We all want transparent and fair elections. But these goals are not served by restricting Americans’ First Amendment rights – which is what the DISCLOSE Act would do,” Republican Senator Bill Hagerty wrote on Twitter. “Because this legislation promotes cultural intimidation and destruction, instead of free speech, I voted against it.”
Democrats have argued that the bill is needed to increase transparency in the government election process against the backdrop of increased spending by political groups of various ideological leanings.
The bill’s lead sponsor, Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, on Thursday criticized special interest groups seeking to influence US politics with “unlimited amounts of money” while hiding hide their identities.
“Is that group of people the ones we want to control our country? I don’t think so,” Whitehouse said in a speech on the Senate floor. “What about ordinary voters, what about ordinary people – farmers, doctors and business owners, nurses?”
Under US law, political action committees – commonly known as PACs – and individuals can only make limited fund contributions directly to political candidates.
But in a 2010 decision, Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment guarantees of free speech protections of the United States Constitution give entities the power to spend unlimited amounts of money opposing or supporting candidates members indirectly.
In addition, some political advocacy groups are not required to disclose their sponsors. Others conceal funding through shell organizations that make it difficult, if not impossible, to trace the money back to the original donors.
“Our current campaign finance system allows special interests to remain anonymous in the shadows spending unlimited amounts of money to influence our elections, making Americans skeptical of the whether their elected representatives are actually working for them,” the White House said in a statement ahead of the vote on Thursday.
“Under our current system, it’s too easy for foreign money to influence our elections.”
JUDGEMENT: Senate Republicans Just Filtered #DISCLOSE Acting against the tide of interest spending that is especially anonymous in our elections — meaning they don’t want the American people to see who’s trying to tamper with our elections and gain power control over our government.
– Senate Judiciary Committee (@JudiciaryDems) September 22, 2022
Biden also made statements in support of the bill on Tuesday, saying dark money “erodes public trust” in the government.
Biden admits that boundless political spending is a major bipartisan issue, but he said Democrats in Congress “support more openness and accountability,” while Republicans reject calls for reform. campaign finance way.
“Dark money has become all too common in our politics. I believe sunlight is the best disinfectant,” says Biden.