DISCLOSE Act: Democrats’ Legislative Solution to a Campaign Problem

Apr 29, 2010

WASHINGTON - Today, the Committee on House Administration's Ranking Republican Dan Lungren, R-Calif., issued the following statement on legislation drafted by the Democrats' top campaign operatives in  response to the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission:

 "I'm disappointed that despite my offer to work together to identify areas of bipartisan agreement, Chairman Van Hollen has withheld the text of such consequential legislation for the past three months.  After briefly reviewing the bill, I now understand why.

 "Hours after the Court's decision blocking government attempts to ban books and restrict political speech, Democrats' top campaign operatives launched a stealth mission to stifle public opposition to their big-government agenda  just months before elections.    

 "Just two weeks ago, the President mocked anti-tax Tea Party protestors for expressing their views opposing his policies.  And now, Democrats are poised to rush through this self-serving legislation they claim will protect the public interest. Do they honestly expect Americans to believe that restricting free speech will protect political debate? The greatest tragedy is that this bill does nothing to encourage more Americans to engage in robust political debate - what the framers of the Constitution thought would be the remedy for false or misleading statements.

 "Don't be fooled. This bill isn't about simply increasing disclosure so that voters know the source of political speech.  This secretly written bill is about who gets to exercise their right to free speech.  This bill is going to dictate who is eligible to criticize Congress and its policies.

 "As someone who has spent almost an entire career on constitutional issues - including arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court - I understand how careful we must be with issues as important as First Amendment rights.  Congress must remember its responsibility to protect American voters and their right to individually or collectively express their views - even if they disagree with ours."  

 For more information, please contact the Committee press office at (202) 225-8281.