Whitehouse Tries to Get DISCLOSE Passed in Worst Congress ever

While being a member of Congress definitely has its benefits, it seems to be a pretty frustrating job these days. Take, for instance, this article by Ezra Klein outlining why this is the worst Congress ever:

14 reasons why this is the worst Congress ever.

Nevertheless, some people are trying to get work done, or at least make it look that way. In fact, some are willing to stay up all night if that’s what it takes to get some attention:

Senate Democrats to Hold “Midnight Vigil” on DISCLOSE Act

If GOP Blocks Effort to End Secret Election Spending, Democrats Will Continue Debating Past Midnight and Ask for Second Vote Tomorrow

Washington, DC – With Senate Republicans threatening to block debate this evening on the DISCLOSE Act, Senate Democrats are sending a clear message that they won’t back down easily. If Republicans succeed in blocking a key procedural vote on the measure today, a group of Democrats have pledged to hold onto the Senate floor late into the night tonight in an effort to bring greater attention to the issue and force a second vote on the bill tomorrow.

The late night “midnight vigil” effort will be led by the members of the Citizens United Task Force, which includes U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Al Franken (D-MN). The group was organized by U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, the Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, who will also take part in tonight’s effort.

“We recognize that you don’t win every fight in round one, and this is a fight worth continuing,” said Whitehouse, the lead sponsor of the DISCLOSE Act. “Putting an end to secret election spending by special interests is an essential step in protecting middle class priorities. For that reason, we are committed to continuing the debate on the DISCLOSE Act late into the night and asking for a second vote tomorrow if need be. We can’t let the special interests off the hook after just one round.”

The DISCLOSE Act requires any organization that spends $10,000 or more during an election cycle to file a report within 24 hours, identifying any donors who gave $10,000 or more. It will require political groups posing as social welfare organizations to disclose their donors and will prevent corporations and other wealthy interests from using shell corporations to funnel secret money to super PACs.

“We are determined to prove that transparency is not a radical concept,” said Udall. “Our bill is as simple and straightforward as it gets – if you are making large donations to influence an election, the voters in that election should know who you are. The American people are blessed with common sense. They know that when someone will not admit to something, it is usually because there is something to hide.”

“This is too important an issue to let it lie quietly,” Shaheen said. “New Hampshire voters were subjected to a flood of negative ads this primary season, many of them fueled by unregulated, secret money. It isn’t right. We need to stand up for accountability and fairness in our politics.”

“Tonight we will debate whether we truly believe in the first three words of our Constitution: ‘We the People.’ The flood of secret money unleashed by Citizens United is drowning out the voice of the people,” said Merkley. “Indeed, those who oppose disclosure are seeking to replace ‘We the People’ with ‘We the Powerful.’ This is wrong in so many ways. It’s way past time to shine a light on the darkness and discover who or what this money really stands for.”

“Coloradans have been inundated with attack ads funded by a small number of people through anonymous groups,” Bennet said. “Disclosure would at least provide information about who is behind these ads and bring accountability that bolsters democracy in our elections. Unfortunately, a minority of senators are poised to block progress on the DISCLOSE Act and prevent necessary transparency in our election system.”

“The DISCLOSE Act will not fix all of the evil effects of Citizens United, but it is certainly a step forward,” said Sen. Franken. “And it will bring much needed sunshine to our political system, which will go a long way toward reducing the number and dishonesty of negative attack ads that further corrode our public dialogue and ultimately threaten our democratic system.”

“We believe that all of the unlimited cash allowed by the Citizens United decision must at least be disclosed,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer. “This legislation seeks to limit the damage of the Supreme Court decision that has given corporations and the very wealthy unprecedented sway over our elections, and represents one of the most serious threats to the future of our democracy.”

Individuals are encouraged to follow the floor debate throughout the night on Twitter, using the hashtag #DISCLOSEVote.

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5 responses

  1. I have watched Ezra Klein and he is an obnoxious character-he has a really WEIRD inflection like the old Eastern European immigrants i grew up around,but he’s from LA,so….?He also never got a slap for interrupting at the dinner table because he was so “bright”.Oh,yeah,no corporal punishment anymore,right?This is what you get.
    And there is difference between that and actual abuse.

  2. Donald Wolberg | Reply

    Mr. Bernstein seems to have issues with the “inflection” of Eastern European immigrants. One wonders what this might mean. “The worst Congress ever would seem to fit the candidacy of Mr. Obama as the “worst President ever,” or certainly the least able since the “other” worst President of modern times, Mr. Carter. There is a perspective that says, the democratically elected but Republican majority, is balanced by the democratically elected and still Democratic majority in the Senate. It would seem to be the proverbial half empty or half full glass–stalemate can mean do no harm.

  3. I have no problem with THEM(East European immigrants)-my grandparents had those accents-I’m talking about this twirp-his parents are from the USA and so is he.Why does he sound like that?
    This kid and Chris Hayes and a bunch of other young talking heads need some hard real life lessons.This goes for some of the conservative ones also.
    Can someone tell me what Alex Wagner brings to the table besides an engaging grin?I think she’s really cute,but a TV show of her own?
    Rachel ray is cute,but she has somethig of interest to convey.

  4. Wow. The DISCLOSE Act gets killed so the GOP can protect its Corporate Overlords, and all we can do is snark about Ezra Klein’s possibly affected inflections.

    Can we please pay attention to the subject? We have a law that allows anonymous people to donate unlimited amounts of money to campaigns. The GOP is fighting tooth and nail to prevent the disclosure, and we’re snarking about a commentator?

    BTW: 60% of the donations of $10,000 and more have been given by 17 people. So maybe the left has George Soros (or maybe not), but the RW has 17 people giving gobs of cash.

    That is a serious problem. Ezra Klein’s inflections are simply a distraction. Why don’t we want to focus on the real issue here?

    1. Oh yes teacher-you really crack me up,you know?
      Now for a serious question-I am no slavish admirer of corporate power,particularly of the new trend in sending jobs overseas,BUT why do liberals like yourself and the liberal wing of the Supreme Court(OK a few years back)support the concept of Kehlo vs.New London-that private developers can exercise eminent domain?It cannot be justified.Eminent domain is for the use of government to seize property with proper compensation for public works.Period.Crickets from the liberals.????

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