Skip to main content

DISCLOSE Act Fails in Senate

DISCLOSE Act, a bill that would have boosted disclosure requirements on TV and
radio ads, did not get a vote in the Senate after a procedural vote to invoke
cloture (end debate) on the bill failed to get the necessary 60 votes.

The move
essentially bars the bill from being voted on or passed before the next federal
election. The House had passed its version of the bill last month.

(Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections) was
essentially a reaction to the Supreme Court's decision that a ban on direct
corporate or union funding of electioneering ads (vote for or against this
candidate) was an unconstitutional regulation of political speech.

The bill
even had a provision that would have made it go into effect immediately, rather
than having to wait for Federal Election Commission rules implementing it, so
that it could apply to the mid-term elections.

which opposed the bill, commended the Senate for rejecting what it called "well-intentioned
but overly broad legislation."

The Center
for Competitive Politics, which also opposed the bill, called it a victory
for free political speech, but said it was not time to rest on any laurels. "This
bill wasn't about disclosure, it was an attempt by the majority to legislate an
electoral advantage fewer than 100 days before the midterm elections," said
Center for Competitive Politics Chairman Bradley A. Smith in a statement.
"Senators who support free speech in politics must remain vigilant to make sure
these campaign finance restrictions aren't pushed through on a later vote or in
a lame duck session."