On the sixth anniversary of the Supreme Court's Citizens United v. FEC ruling, Senate Democrats are renewing calls for a rule requiring corporations to disclose their political spending.
The landmark 5-4 ruling allowed corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts on politics, so long as they do not coordinate with campaigns or parties, and critics have been pushing the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue a rule ever since.
Though Republicans snuck language into this year’s government funding bill that bars the agency from issuing a rule, Senate Democrats told reporters Thursday that the rider doesn’t stop the SEC from working on one.
“Respected legal scholars have confirmed it doesn’t stop the SEC from working on it, so when the law expires the SEC can enact it in short order,” said Sen. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerSchumer to GOP: Push back against Trump's 'alternative facts' McConnell to Dems: Work with us on GOP's 'formidable' challenges Democrats and the boycott of Trump's inauguration MORE (D-N.Y.)
Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenAT&T beefs up lobbying after merger proposal Sanders: I'll work with Trump on trade Poll: Warren could face rocky reelection path MORE (D-Mass.), who joined the call organized by Public Citizen Thursday, said she’s personally disappointed that the agency cancelled a roundtable discussion on political spending that was scheduled for this month.
“SEC has the legal authority to reschedule the roundtable and take other major steps to create this rule,” she said.“It’s time for the SEC to stop delaying and start acting to address this problem.”
If Republicans wanted to bar the SEC from working on a rule, the lawmakers said they would have drafted the language specifically to say so.
“The rider did not limit SEC’s ability to prepare the rule or meet with interested parties,” Warren said. “There is nothing to prevent the SEC from making real progress on the rule this year."