Democrats on House Administration Advance Campaign Finance Legislation Designed to Silence Critics of Their Big-Government Agenda and Protect Union Supporters

WASHINGTON - Today, after rejecting 11 out of 13 amendments introduced by the Republican members of the Committee, Democrats on House Administration forced the DISCLOSE Act (H.R. 5175) through the Committee on a party-line vote. The legislation, written by Democrats' top campaign operatives, includes overreaching and unevenly applied restrictions designed to silence their critics before the upcoming elections.

Despite their public claims that the bill is simply about disclosure and that the provisions will treat unions and corporations equally, the legislation headed to the House Floor for consideration includes provisions that exempt unions while placing cumbersome, unconstitutional requirements on corporations that reach far beyond disclosure.

During the markup, in addition to strongly criticizing the Democrats' lack of transparency throughout this legislative process, the Committee's Ranking Republican Dan Lungren, R-Calif., expressed grave concern with the adoption of this bill. After the hearing, Lungren noted that, "by insisting that this legislation be put into effect without regulations from the FEC, political speech of organizations large and small - ranging from the NRA, to the Sierra Club, to a small family-owned business - will be at risk of civil and even criminal punishment if they dare to exercise their First Amendment Right of free speech."

The Republican amendments rejected by the Democrat members of the Committee included provisions that would evenly apply the legislation's restrictions and requirements to unions, replace vague foreign ownership restrictions with clear regulations, and increase the opportunity for candidates and political parties to take ownership of their campaigns and limit the influence of outside interest groups.

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