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AFL-CIO Officially Opposes the DISCLOSE Act

Just hours before the cloture vote is set to take place, one of the country’s largest labor unions, the AFL-CIO, issued a statement registering its official opposition to the Senate version of the DISCLOSE Act:

The AFL-CIO supports reasonable disclosure and disclaimer requirements related to political and advocacy activities. We have long argued that there is too much special interest money in politics and that much of it remains hidden behind a smokescreen of third-party organizations established for the purpose of obscuring the real source of funding.

However, the Senate bill imposes extraordinary new, costly, and impractical record-keeping and reporting obligations on thousands of labor (and other non-profit) organizations with regard to routine inter-affiliate payments that bear little or not connection with public communications about federal elections.

Previously, labor unions had voiced displeasure at Sen. Charles Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) revisions to the House version of the bill but had stopped short of opposing it. Official union push-back might actually help promote passage of the bill in the Senate by convincing some Republicans that the bill does not, in fact, favor unions over corporations. But Sam Stein at Huffington Post notes that union opposition will not prove so helpful in convincing House Democrats sympathetic to labor to approve the revised bill — if it makes its way back to the House for a vote.

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