By Jay Heflin - 06/15/10 05:53 PM EDT
The Disclose Act enhances disclosure rules for campaigns by requiring major backers to appear at the end of commercials for their candidate and announce they sponsored the ad.
The top 5 organizations that donated to the ad would also be disclosed, and contributions above $1,000 would need to be reported to the FEC within 24 hours of being spent.
Support for the bill comes on the heels of 50 organizations urging Congress to oppose the legislation.
The opposition, comprised of organizations ranging from the 60 Plus Association to CatholicVote.org, contends the bill threatens free speech because it requires the names of chief supporters for political ads be disclosed.
"This inclusive treatment of organizational funding reveals that the intent of this legislation is not true disclosure — it is the intimidation of speech," states the group's release, adding that "such efforts should be rejected swiftly."
To broaden support for the bill, Democratic leaders have brokered a deal with the National Rifle Association and other large organizations that exempts them from the bill's disclosure rules.
The exemption pertains to organizations that receive a small percentage of their funds from corporations and labor unions and that do not use any corporate or labor union money to pay their campaign-related expenditures. These organizations must also be in existence for at least 10 years and have at least 1 million members who paid dues to the organization during the previous year.