Obama Administration Backs DISCLOSE Act

The Obama administraiton “strongly supports” the Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act, the White House said in a statement of administration policy on Monday. From the statement:

The DISCLOSE Act is a necessary measure to ensure transparency and accountability and to equip Americans with the tools to know who is attempting to influence the Nation’s elections. The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 50 (2010), allowed unlimited corporate and special-interest money in elections, bringing about an era where corporations and other wealthy interests can exert vastly disproportionate influence, including through anonymous donations. Under the DISCLOSE Act, any “covered organization” that spends $10,000 or more on campaign-related disbursements would be required to file a disclosure report with the Federal Election Commission within 24 hours of the expenditure, and to file a new report for each additional $10,000 or more that is spent.  In addition, the bill provides mechanisms to allow organizations to keep non-political donations private. In the absence of the disclosure rules in S. 3369, corporations and wealthy individuals will continue to be able to shield their donations from disclosure. Congress should act now to hold corporations and special interests that participate in the Nation’s elections accountable to the American people.

Democratic senators are planning a “midnight vigil” in support of the bill, which has almost no chance of passing.