Obama slams GOP on Disclose Act

President Obama called out
Senate Republicans on Monday for holding up a vote on a contentious
piece of
campaign finance legislation.

Senate Democrats plan to vote
on cloture for the Disclose Act on Tuesday, though it remains unclear whether
they have the 60 votes necessary to end debate.

{mosads}Democrats need at least one
Republican vote, which they so far lack.

“You’d think that making
these reforms would be a matter of common sense,” Obama said in brief remarks
from the Rose Garden. “But of course this is Washington in 2010, and the
Republican leadership in the Senate is once again using every tactic and manuever
they can to prevent the Disclose Act from even coming up for a vote.”

The legislation was crafted
in response to a Supreme Court decision that opened the door to unlimited
corporate and union spending in elections. The bill would require such groups
to disclose their role in campaign spending, namely advertisements.

“A vote to oppose these
reforms is nothing less than to allow a corporate and special interest takeover
of our elections,” Obama said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said a campaign finance bill should not be a priority with the economy still struggling.

“The mere suggestion that a bill designed to save politicians’ jobs should take precedent over helping millions of Americans find work is an embarrassing indictment of Democrats’ priorities,” McConnell said in a statement.

The legislation exempts nonprofits with memberships of above 500,000 from the disclosure requirements. Republicans have argued the exemptions aid Democratic-friendly groups. (The NRA, which mainly supports Republicans, was one of the exempted groups.)

“The Disclose Act seeks to protect unpopular Democrat politicians by silencing their critics and exempting their campaign supporters from an all out attack on the First Amendment,” McConnell said.

The legislation passed the House last month by a vote of
219-206. Two House Republicans supported the legislation.

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