The Senate failed to advance a Biden-backed campaign finance bill that would require political groups to disclose large donors.
Washington DC – US Senate Republicans blocked a bill aimed at combating “dark money” in US elections by requiring political groups to disclose the sources of their large sums of money.
The so-called disclosure law, approved by President Joe Biden earlier this week, failed to win the support of Republicans in Thursday’s procedural vote.
Only 49 members of the 100-member Senate voted yes, and the bill did not clear the threshold of 60 votes required for a final vote.
“We all want transparent and fair elections. But those goals will not be achieved by restricting Americans’ First Amendment rights.” , voted against because it promotes intimidation and invalidates culture, not free speech.”
Democrats argued that the bill was needed to make the electoral process more transparent amid increased spending by political groups of various ideological leanings.
Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, the bill’s main supporter, on Thursday lashed out at special interest groups that seek to influence US politics with “unlimited funds” while hiding their identities.
“That group of people, do we want to rule the country? I don’t think so,” the White House said in a speech on the Senate floor. What about farmers, doctors, business owners, nurses?”
Under U.S. law, political action committees (commonly called PACs) and individuals can contribute only limited funds directly to political candidates.
However, in a 2010 decision, supreme court It ruled that free speech protections guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution give companies the right to spend unlimited amounts of money to indirectly oppose or support candidates.
Additionally, some political advocacy groups are not required to disclose donors. Others mask their funding through shell organizations, making it difficult, if not impossible, to trace the funds back to the original donor.
The White House said, “The current campaign finance system allows anonymous special interest groups to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections in the shadows, so that elected representatives can actually do their jobs.” “It’s making Americans skeptical about whether it’s working for the United States,” he said.
“Under our current system, it is too easy for foreign currencies to influence elections.”
BREAKING: Republicans in the Senate held a filibuster # to disclose, reveal Take action to counter the flood of anonymous special benefit spending in our elections. I mean, we don’t want the American people to know who is trying to control our elections and control our government.
— Senate Judiciary Committee (@JudiciaryDems) September 22, 2022
Biden also spoke Tuesday in support of the bill, saying dark money “undermines public confidence” in government.
Biden acknowledged that unbridled political spending is a problem for both major parties, but he said Democrats in Congress “support more openness and accountability,” while Republicans said campaign finance was a problem. He refused the demand for reform.
“Dark money has become very common in our politics. We believe sunlight is the best disinfectant,” Biden said.