IG news Update,
Washington DC – US Senate Republicans have blocked a bill aimed at combating “black money” in United States elections, making it mandatory for political organizations to disclose large donors.
The so-called Disclosure Act, which was endorsed by President Joe Biden earlier this week, failed to garner any Republican support in a procedural vote on Thursday.
With only 49 legislators voting in favor in the 100-member Senate, the bill did not clear the 60-vote threshold needed to make it to the final vote.
We all want transparent and fair elections. But these goals are not met by limiting Americans’ First Amendment rights—which the DISCLOSE Act would do,” Republican Senator Bill Haggerty wrote on Twitter. promotes doing so, so I voted against it.”
Democrats had argued that the bill was needed to increase transparency in the electoral process amid increased spending by political groups with different ideological leanings.
The bill’s main sponsor, Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, on Thursday rebuked special interest groups that seek to influence American politics with “unlimited money” while hiding their identities.
“Is that the group of people we want to control our country? I don’t think so,” Whitehouse said in a speech on the Senate floor. “How about regular voters, how about regular people – Farmers And doctors and business owners, nurses?”
Under US law, political action committees – commonly called PACs – and individuals can contribute limited funds directly to political candidates.
But in a 2010 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled that free speech protections guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution give entities the right to spend unlimited amounts of money indirectly opposing or supporting candidates.
Additionally, some political support groups are not required to disclose their donors. Others obscure funding through shell organizations, which make it difficult, if not impossible, to trace money back to original donors.
“Our current campaign finance system allows unidentified special interests to hide in the shadows while spending unlimited amounts of money to influence our elections, leading Americans to suspect that their elected representatives are in fact,” the White House said in a statement. I am working for them or not. Voting on Thursday.
“Under our current system, it is very easy for foreign funds to influence our elections.”
BREAKING: Senate Republicans have just filmed #exposure Act to counter the influx of anonymous special interest spending in our elections – which means they don’t want the American people to see who is trying to influence our elections and gain control of our government.
— Senate Judiciary Committee (@JudiciaryDems) 22 September 2022
Biden on Tuesday commented in support of the bill, saying black money “erodes public confidence” in the government.
Biden acknowledged that unlimited political spending is an issue for both major parties, but added that Democrats “support greater openness and accountability” in Congress, while Republicans have rejected calls for campaign finance reform.
“Black money has become so common in our politics. I believe sunlight is the best disinfectant,” Biden said.