Why Are Dems Voting Today on the DISCLOSE Act?
The DISCLOSE Act is up for another vote in the Senate today, and while everyone understands that the chances of flipping a lone Republican to vote for the cause is slim, most observers I’ve spoken to claim Democrats are still working hard to get the bill passed. Politico’s Meredith Shiner, however, presents an altogether less warm and fuzzy reason for why Democrats called another vote on the campaign finance issue:
When the defense authorization bill failed to clear cloture Tuesday, Democrats needed a measure to fill floor time before the weekend, and the DISCLOSE Act was one of the few measures in their legislative arsenal that was quickly available.
Having failed cloture once, the campaign bill only requires a less strict “motion to recommit” from Reid to call another cloture vote. New legislation likely would need 30 hours after being filed, 30 hours the Senate doesn’t have.
So even if Democrats know they’re likely short of votes Thursday, the alternative was practically nothing
Shiner’s logistical insight is revealing, but not mutually exclusive, of course, with other reasons Democrats felt compelled to call another vote on the bill. As far back as July, when the DISCLOSE Act first failed to overcome a GOP filibuster in the Senate before recess, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) vowed to bring it up again because the bill’s a win-win, as far as Democratic strategists are concerned: pass it, and enact much needed campaign finance reform, or fail to pass it, and gain more ammunition to target Republicans as in the pockets of big business and special interest groups. With that kind of non-deficit increasing card in his back pocket, it makes perfect sense for Reid to play it during every moment of Senate downtime.