DISCLOSE Act In Trouble In The Senate

With a cloture vote scheduled for 2:45pm today, it’s looking increasingly likely that Democrats do not have the votes to get their campaign finance bill past a filibuster:

Quick update on today’s 2:45pm Senate cloture vote on whether or not to start debate on Senate Dems’ campaign finance legislation known as the DISCLOSE Act.

It’s all but a done deal that this vote will fail, as Sen Joe Lieberman’s out attending a friend’s funeral, according to a spokeswoman.

With GOP Sen Susan Collin’s announced NO vote, that leaves Reid short at least TWO votes on cloture, though he’s thought to be short more than that.

While Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, remains undecided, Sen Schumer, the bill’s sponsor, admitted Monday that he is coming up short in his own party.

Sens Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif, and Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ, gun control advocates, have blasted a carve out, first authored in the House in order to get votes, that would leave large membership groups like the NRA outside the bill’s disclosure requirements.

Schumer’s legislation, unlike the House, would put unions back under the disclosure mandate, generally speaking.

Criticism of the bill, led most prominently by the Chamber of Commerce, has focused on what it sees as favoritism for one of the Democrats’ top allies, the unions.

“The DISCLOSE Act is a perfect example of Washington politics at its absolute worst, and at a time when the country can afford it least. Legislation that silences incumbent politicians’ critics and exempts their political friends should never be considered in America,” said Chamber President and CEO Thomas Donohue.

Unless Harry Reid can get either Olympia Snowe or Scott Brown to flip, this bill would seem to be dead.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Herb says:

    It always amuses me when politicians think more disclosure is the answer to problems with campaign financing. As if you can shame people with no shame whatsoever….

    Disclosure isn’t the magic bullet these guys think it is.

  2. wr says:

    Herb — It’s better than nondisclosure.

  3. mannapat says:

    I would love to hear a few hours or days or even weeks of Republicans filibustering this bill. It has nothing to do with free speech, only sunlight. What’s wrong with a little light on the subject? Sunlight disinfects.