Biden: bill to disclose information about donations to election campaigns
President Joe Biden is introducing a bill that would require so-called super PACs, independent organizations that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to support political candidates, as well as certain other groups, to disclose information about donors who have contributed $10,000 or more during an election cycle.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said Monday that the bill will come up for a vote in the Senate this week. Democrats are seeking greater electoral transparency ahead of November’s midterm elections after failing to pass a broader voting rights bill earlier this year.
“There is no excuse for such huge contributions (to the campaign) being hidden from the public,” Schumer said.
The measure, known as the DISCLOSE bill, was originally included in the Democrats’ voting rights bill to combat voting restrictions in Republican-led states. The package passed the House in January, but failed in the Senate because of stiff Republican opposition.
Supporters of the state-level measures said they were needed to combat the fraud that former President Donald Trump falsely claimed led to his defeat in the 2020 election.
Democrats accuse Republicans of enacting state-level measures that make it harder for racial minorities, who tend to support Democratic candidates, to vote.
“State after state, Republican-controlled state legislatures are making unprecedented efforts to suppress the sacred right to vote and undermine the foundations of free and fair elections in America,” Biden said when Republicans in the Senate voted in January to block broader efforts to ensure voting rights.
Republicans, for their part, accuse Democrats of trying to impose federal election laws on states.
The DISCLOSE ACT, if approved, would also require groups that donate money to support judicial candidates to disclose their donors.
The House of Representatives is separately considering a proposal by Republican Liz Cheney and Democrat Zoe Lofgren that clarifies a 135-year-old law to fix the vice president’s role in certifying elections as purely symbolic.
The proposal is a response to the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol by Trump supporters who tried to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s victory and to pressure from Trump himself on Vice President Mike Pence to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory by desserting certain electoral rolls.