By Alexander Bolton - 07/27/10 05:57 PM EDT
Senate legislation that would require corporations to make detailed public reports on political spending is expected to fail Tuesday afternoon.
The three Republican lawmakers considered most likely to support the bill, Sens. Olympia Snowe (Maine), Susan Collins (Maine) and Scott Brown (Mass.), have said they oppose the bill.
The centrist Republicans declined to support the bill despite heavy lobbying from liberal groups such as MoveOn.org, which has strong membership in Maine and Massachusetts.
Democrats are also missing the vote of Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) who was absent Tuesday from the Senate.
This means Democratic leaders are at least two votes short of the 60 they need to proceed to debate on the Disclose Act.
The House passed the bill last month by a vote of 219 to 206.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the Senate sponsor of the bill, made changes to it to address Republican concerns.
He eliminated a carve-out that would have exempted labor unions from reporting fund transfers between its affiliates.
But that did not satisfy GOP hold-outs. Snowe told reporters before the weekly Republican luncheon that she considered it “premature” to support the bill.
The legislation would also prohibit domestic subsidiaries of foreign corporations, government contractors and recipients of federal bailout funds from spending on federal races. It is a reaction to a Supreme Court decision earlier this year that struck down laws restricting corporate political spending.
Schumer held out hope as late as Monday that the bill might attract some unexpected GOP votes.
“We’re working very hard on getting a Republican,” Schumer told reporters. “There are a number of possibilities. You never know until you call the vote.”