By Jay Heflin - 04/29/10 06:02 PM EDT
The Disclose Act is a legislative response to the Supreme Court's ruling on the Citizens United case.
The court decision removed some of the restrictions on campaign spending by corporations and others, allowing them to spend unlimited funds on election activities to expressly advocate for or against a candidate's election.
Lawmakers interpreted the decision to mean that organizations could spend as much as they want on political campaigns and potentially drown out less wealthy opponents. Legislation introduced today in the House and the Senate attempts to prevent this situation from happening by requiring campaign donors to publicly disclose where they put their money.
"Powerful special interests and their lobbyists should not be able to drown out the voices of the American people," Obama said in prepared remarks, adding, "The legislation introduced today would establish the toughest-ever disclosure requirements for election-related spending by big oil corporations, Wall Street, and other special interests, so the American people can follow the money and see clearly which special interests are funding political campaign activity and trying to buy representation in our government."
The bill targets leaders of labor unions, advocacy organizations and corporations that run campaign ads by requiring them to appear at the end of the commercial and announce that they sponsored the ad.
The top 5 organizations that donated to the ad would also be disclosed and contributions over $1,000 would be reported to the Federal Election Commission within 24 hours of the money is spent.
For attack ads, the bill enables its intended victim to purchase air time at the lowest possible rate to respond.
Government contractors, TARP beneficiaries and foreign nationals are prevented from contributing to campaign under the bill.
Lawmakers look to have the bill at the president's desk by the July 4 recess.