Why Democrats are trying again on campaign finance reform
Odds are long that the DISCLOSE Act will pass. But Senate Democrats are trying again Thursday, saying the campaign finance system needs greater transparency. Republicans say the bill gives Democratic candidates an edge.
Senate Democrats are trying again Thursday to pass legislation aimed at greater disclosure in the campaign finance system, as well as other restrictions.
The odds are long that the bill – called the DISCLOSE Act – will pass. Senate Democrats tried and failed to pass the legislation in July, and in the heat of an election campaign, members are even less likely to break party ranks. The Democrats need to bring at least one Republican to their side to halt a filibuster.
But Democrats are pressing on. If they somehow manage to pass the bill, they score a victory. If not, they have a talking point for the midterms – that, they will say, Republicans are defending a campaign system that allows special-interest money to flood the airwaves without the clarity of knowing who’s behind it.
“Even if we didn’t take this step, the reality is, we are late enough in the election cycle that the law could not realistically take effect for this fall,” said Senator Schumer, chief Senate sponsor of the bill. “But to show we are willing to work with Republicans, we would offer this as an amendment if we can get onto the bill.”