Seven Democratic senators have created a task force aimed at mitigating the impact on elections of a 2010 Supreme Court decision, the senators announced Tuesday.

The senators formed the group last year in response to the high court's ruling in the Federal Election Commission (FEC) v. Citizens United, which allows certain political action groups to accept unlimited  contributions from corporations and unions. The court decision led to the creation of so-called super-PACs, which have the right to make unlimited expenditures for or against political candidates, as long as candidates are not involved in the process.

ADVERTISEMENT
The task force will “pursue all available legislative and administrative attitudes” to disclose the donors to super-PACs and other outside groups, the senators said.

“The Supreme Court reversed itself and decades of precedent with its Citizens United ruling. Now, Coloradans and Americans are being inundated with attack ads, SuperPACs skirt accountability and the presidency might well be determined by a silent auction,” Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetGOP, Dem lawmakers come together for McCain documentary Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Trump official won't OK lifetime limits on Medicaid Hillicon Valley: White House eliminates top cyber post | Trump order looks to bolster agency CIOs | Facebook sees spike in violent content | Senators push NIH on tech addiction | House to get election security briefing MORE (D-Colo.) said in a statement.

"This group is committed to improving transparency in our campaigns and restoring the faith Americans have in our elections,” he said.

Super-PACs, 501(c)(4) organizations and other outside groups have saturated the campaign field with more than $90 million in ads so far this election cycle, the release said. The deadlocked FEC has failed to regulate the more than 300 super-PACs that have become a staple of the 2012 election cycle since their creation in 2010, the senators said.

The lawmakers said they are working from all angles to require additional disclosure of campaign finances.

Several Democratic senators have written to federal agencies advocating for the Internal Revenue Service, the FEC, and the Federal Communications Commission to require more disclosure or regulation of campaign contributions.

Bennet and Sen. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallOvernight Energy: Pruitt taps man behind 'lock her up' chant for EPA office | Watchdog to review EPA email policies | Three Republicans join climate caucus Pruitt hires outside attorney as investigations mount: report Overnight Energy: Pruitt gets Senate grilling | Dems want investigation into Pruitt's security chief | Interior officers arrested 13 in border surge | Advisers pan science 'transparency' plan MORE (D-N.M.) have introduced a constitutional amendment that would give additional campaign finance regulation powers to the states and Congress. In addition, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) introduced the Disclose 2012 Act in the House to require more donor information be made public.

“Over the past few months, the unfair influence exerted by Super PACs has become abundantly clear to voters in New Mexico and elsewhere, and they are calling for sensible campaign finance reform,” Udall said in a statement.

"I'm honored to join a group of senators who share my concern and commitment to ensuring that our elections are by the people, not the millionaires, corporations and special interests," he said.
 
The lawmakers' actions jibe with public opinion, according to a recent Washington Post-ABC survey. Almost 7 of 10 registered voters would prefer super-PACs be illegal, the survey found.

Sens. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer: GOP efforts to identify FBI informant 'close to crossing a legal line' Patients deserve the 'right to try' How the embassy move widens the partisan divide over Israel MORE (D-N.Y.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseOvernight Energy: Pruitt gets Senate grilling | Dems want investigation into Pruitt's security chief | Interior officers arrested 13 in border surge | Advisers pan science 'transparency' plan Dems claim Pruitt's former security chief intervened to hire business associate Pruitt: ‘I don’t recall’ asking security agents to use sirens MORE (D-R.I.), Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by CVS Health - A pivotal day for House Republicans on immigration Overnight Defense: Senate confirms Haspel as CIA chief | Trump offers Kim 'protections' if he gives up nukes | Dem amendments target Trump military parade GOP, Dem lawmakers come together for McCain documentary MORE (D-N.H.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyHillicon Valley: Facebook, Google struggle to block terrorist content | Cambridge Analytica declares bankruptcy in US | Company exposed phone location data | Apple starts paying back taxes to Ireland Overnight Energy: Pruitt taps man behind 'lock her up' chant for EPA office | Watchdog to review EPA email policies | Three Republicans join climate caucus Watchdog to probe EPA email preservation MORE (D-Ore.) and Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart Franken100 days after House passage, Gillibrand calls on Senate to act on sexual harassment reform Eric Schneiderman and #MeToo pose challenges for both parties Senate confirms Trump judicial pick over objections of home-state senator MORE (D-Minn.) are also on the task force.

The announcement came toward the beginning of Sunshine Week, a week observed by watchdogs and lawmakers to promote government transparency.

“We believe that the unlimited cash allowed by the Citizens United decision must at least be disclosed. The Supreme Court’s decision 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,” Schumer said in a statement.

"This group will fight back with every tool at its disposal,” Schumer said.