Maybe Biden means it on Taiwan

Biden to renew calls on Congress to pass bill aimed at targeting dark money in campaigns


President Joe Biden on Tuesday is set to make a new push for a bill aimed at targeting dark money in campaigns more than 10 years after the legislation failed to pass in the Senate, a symbolic effort toward transparency that is expected to fail again this week.

Biden will renew calls to pass the DISCLOSE Act in an afternoon speech from the Roosevelt Room.

“President Biden will speak about the importance of protecting our democracy by getting dark money out of our politics, and closing off loopholes that allow foreign entities and powerful special interest it to influence our elections and courts,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Tuesday.

Biden, she added, “believes that our democracy must serve all people equally and that Republicans should join Democrats this week in passing this bill.”

The President’s speech comes one day after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced during a speech on the Senate floor that the chamber will take a procedural vote on the DISCLOSE Act Wednesday, which is likely to fail due to GOP opposition.

The legislation would require greater transparency into who is behind much of the secretive, often negative, campaign advertising. It would require most independent groups that pay for political advertising – which is currently not required to disclose the names of donors – to release the names of those who give donations of $10,000 or more.

“Today I’m announcing the Senate will vote this week to take up a measure critical to fighting the cancer of dark money in our elections: the DISCLOSE Act,” Schumer said Monday, calling dark money a “veil cast over our democracy that must be ripped away once and for all.”

Schumer said that the legislation “would require Super PACs and other dark money groups to report anyone contributing $10,000 or more during an election. It would likewise require groups spending money on judicial nominees to disclose their donors too.”

The bill does not have the 60 votes needed to clear a procedural hurdle, but Schumer insisted that they will hold the vote anyway to put GOP members on the record.

“Republicans are going to have to take a stand on whether they want to fight the power of dark money or allow this cancer to grow even worse,” he said.

The DISCLOSE Act first passed the House of Representatives narrowly in 2010 and failed twice in the Senate in 2012, with Republican opposition led by Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

“This legislation is an unprecedented requirement for groups to publicly disclose their donors, stripping a protection recognized and solidified by the courts,” McConnell said in 2012, accusing Democrats of crafting the legislation to favor labor unions.

And the late longtime campaign finance reform advocate Sen. John McCain said at the time in a floor speech that the bill was a “clever attempt at political gamesmanship.”


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.