Reid defends Disclose Act with McConnell’s words

“Campaign finance reform used to be an arena where Democrats and Republicans could find common ground,” Reid said on the floor Tuesday morning. “Sen. McConnell himself said sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

Reid said passing the Disclose Act was necessary to make sure not just a few billionaires control the election system.

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“There is nothing free about an election purchased by a handful of billionaires,” Reid said. “The Republicans’ goal is to protect handful of billionaires … they have the opportunity to stand up for all Americans, not just [the] wealthy few.”

A McConnell staffer said the GOP leader was referring to candidates, parties and campaign politics when he made the remark, not the DISCLOSE Act. Republicans say the bill is aimed at obtaining donor information from groups, which it would for those donating more than $10,000 to a political campaign.

The Senate will take a second vote on the Disclose Act at 3 p.m. Tuesday after Republicans prevented it from advancing on Monday.

S. 3369 would have required companies, unions and other groups to report campaign donations of more than $10,000 to the Federal Election Commission.

Republicans have argued that Democrats are playing politics by forcing this vote rather than dealing with the looming expiration of the George W. Bush-era tax rates.

McConnell called the Democrats' recent plan to let the tax rates expire an “ideological crusade.”

“Last week, in response to another disappointing month of job growth, President Obama issued a truly bizarre ultimatum: 'Let me raise taxes on a million businesses, or I’ll raise taxes on everybody,' " McConnell said in reference to Obama’s plan to let tax rates rise on those making more than $250,000 a year. “Democrats in Congress are now saying that they would rather see taxes go up on every American at the end of the year than let about a million businesses keep what they earn now.

 “This isn’t an economic agenda, it’s an ideological crusade.”

"Faced with the slowest economic recovery in modern times, chronic joblessness, and the lowest percentage of able-bodied Americans actually participating in the workforce in literally decades, Democrats' one-point plan… to revive the economy is this: you earn, and we take," McConnell added.

"That's apparently the only thing they've got. Surely we can do better."

— This story was updated at 11:19 a.m.