Democrats moving ahead on campaign finance legislation without McCain

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) will move ahead with his campaign finance legislation without Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the father of modern reform.

The Senate will vote Monday to advance a measure forcing outside political groups that have spent millions of dollars to influence federal races to disclose their donors.

ADVERTISEMENT
Republicans are expected to block the bill, known as the Disclose Act, in a vote along party lines.

Democrats had revised the legislation in an effort to attract Republican support but so far not a single GOP senator has signed on.

Whitehouse has been in negotiations with McCain in an effort to secure his backing but has so far unsuccessfully.

McCain said he will not endorse it until it is revised to cut out favorable treatment for pro-Democratic unions.

This demand has perplexed Whitehouse who says the requirement on organizations spending more than $10,000 to disclose their donors applies to corporations and unions alike.

Whitehouse said Wednesday he had not talked recently to McCain.

The legislation would require any organization that spends $10,000 or more during an election cycle to file a report within 24 hours identifying donors who gave at least $10,000.

The sponsors say it will prevent corporations and special interests from using shell companies to funnel money to super-PACs.

“The flood of secret money unleashed by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision threatens to drown out the voices of middle class families in our democracy,” Whitehouse said in a statement.

“The Disclose Act will uphold every citizen’s right to know where this secret money is coming from and whom it is going to, and will help protect the interests of middle class families from the special interests who already have too much power.  It’s time for Congress to act,” he added.

McCain told The Hill recently it will take a major scandal before there is enough political will on Capitol Hill to pass another campaign finance reform bill.

“What I really think is that it’s going to take a scandal and there’s going to be one. There’s just too much money washing around,” McCain told The Hill. “Every time in history there have been these reforms it’s been following a scandal. It’s what it’s going to take, I think.”


More in Senate

McCain: ‘I know from personal experience’ torture doesn’t work

Read more »