Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Wednesday slammed the effort by Democrats to bring the DISCLOSE act to a vote in the Senate.
The bill could cut into campaign spending on TV and radio ads by requiring major donors and company executives to appear in disclosures in those ads. It would also restrict contributions by government contractors and companies with foreign investors.
Saying that the country wants to focus on jobs and the economy, McConnell (R-Ky.) maintained that Democrats instead are pushing a bill about transparency in elections that " was drafted behind closed doors without hearings, without testimony, and without any markups."
The bill, he said, "picks and chooses who gets the right to engage in political speech and who doesn't."
The bill passed the House in June, but failed to get a vote in the Senate when it came a handful of votes short of defeating a filibuster. The Republicans are expecting Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to schedule the bill for a vote Thursday (Sept. 23).
The legislation is an effort to take some of the teeth out of a Supreme Court decision a year ago this month removing the ban on direct funding of federal campaign electioneering ads--for or against--by corporations and unions in the days leading up to primaries and general elections.
Democrats led by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), saw that decision as opening the floodgates to corporate control of elections.
"[A]fter spending the past year and a half enacting policies Americans don't like," said McConnell of the Democratic majority, "they want to prevent their opponents from being able to criticize what they've done."