Hidden Consequences of the DISCLOSE Act

May 19, 2010

WASHINGTON - Today, the Committee on House Administration's Ranking Republican Dan Lungren, R-Calif., released a list of hidden consequences of the DISCLOSE Act (H.R. 5175), campaign finance legislation introduced by Democrats to counter the U.S. Supreme Court decision to block government attempts to ban books and restrict political speech. The legislation, which some Democrats claim is simply about disclosure, includes provisions that would: 

  • Ban over 56,000 U.S. companies with government contracts from engaging in political speech 
  • Ban PACs funded and controlled by American citizens if 20% or more of their company is foreign owned
  • Limit speech on certain political blogs and other internet communications by subjecting them to new "coordinated communication" restrictions  
  • Require 30-second ads to include 13- to 26-second disclaimers 
  • Ban speech by business corporations with government contracts but not speech by prominent labor unions in collective bargaining agreements with the government 
  • Ban speech by business corporations with partial foreign ownership but not speech by influential labor unions with foreign control or non-citizen members 
  • Force organizations to file certifications under penalty of perjury before engaging in political speech or making any type of donation, even charitable 
  • Require non-profit advocacy organizations to cover the high costs of complying with new cumbersome requirements for tracking and reporting donations  
  • Enact a vague law without waiting for the FEC to issue instructions and rules so people can follow the law and avoid criminal and civil punishment 
  • Fine or penalize candidates for activities they didn't even know occurred  


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