Democrats Consider Vote on a Bare Bones DISCLOSE Act

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 2:06 pm

The Hill is reporting that Senate Democrats are considering putting the DISCLOSE Act on a diet and sending it up for another vote as early as next week. Under the new strategy, supplemental provisions prohibiting political spending by some government contractors and companies with 20 percent of more foreign ownership would be discarded, leaving only the bare-bones disclosure requirements to be voted upon. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the bill’s lead sponsor, seems more or less on board:

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the lead sponsor of the bill, is expressing a willingness to negotiate on the bill but has stopped short of saying he’s decided to strip away everything but straight disclosure.

“We of course are open to adjusting the bill to address any legitimate concerns raised by Senate Republicans, but we do plan to bring it back up,” he said Monday in a statement. “The threat to our democracy is too great.”

One issue still up in the air is whether the carve-out for large nonprofits like the National Rifle Association is on the table as well. Yanking that out would force another squabble if and when it would return to the House to be voted upon again.

In either case, Democrats’ efforts to find the one elusive Republican vote needed for cloture don’t look like they’ll find a receptive ear with Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), whose spokesman indicated on Monday that Brown hasn’t changed his mind and thinks Congress should be focused on jobs. Republican Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, however, have thus far been more guarded with their opinions, meaning the efforts of disclosure advocates will likely focus entirely on them.

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