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Did Democrats' deal with the NRA kill campaign finance reform?

At issue is a deal brokered by the House Democratic leadership to exempt the powerful National Rifle Association and others from disclosure requirements in a new campaign finance law.

A man looks through a scope on a mock rifle during the National Rifle Association's 139th annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, last month. A deal to exempt the NRA derailed a new campaign finance law.

Chris Keane/Reuters

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The derailing this week of the House Disclose Act gave Republicans – still reeling from Rep. Joe Barton’s “apology” to BP CEO Tony Hayward this week – a rare chance to gloat about the pitfalls of cozying up to special interests.

“Van Hollen’s carve-out for special interests has proven about as popular as first-time World Cup ref Koman Coulibaly’s blown call today, which cost the United States a victory,” said House Republican whip Eric Cantor (R) of Virginia in a blog today. His barb was aimed at Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) of Maryland, chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

At issue is a deal brokered by the House Democratic leadership to exempt the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) and others from disclosure requirements in a new campaign finance law. The legislation aimed to restore campaign finance limits stripped away by a controversial 5-4 US Supreme Court decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, which scrapped restrictions on when and how much corporations and unions can spend to influence elections.

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