July 23, 2014

Senate Rules Committee Holds Hearing on the Disclose Act of 2014

Hearing focused on merits of expanding disclosure and transparency of money in politics

WASHINGTON, DC-- The Senate Committee on Rules and
Administration convened a hearing today on S.2516, the Democracy Is
Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections Act of 2014 or the
DISCLOSE Act of 2014.

The hearing featured remarks by U.S. Senator Sheldon
Whitehouse, the sponsor of the 2014 DISCLOSE Act. The committee also heard
testimony from two campaign finance experts.

“U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously stated
“Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants,” Schumer said. “The DISCLOSE
Act of 2014 is a dose of sunlight needed to combat special interests and
increase transparency after the Supreme Court’s decimation of our nation’s
campaign finance laws.”  

The DISCLOSE Act of 2014 would require covered organization
that spends $10,000 or more on election ads to file a disclosure report with
the FEC within 24 hours, and to file a new report for each additional $10,000
or more that is spent. The disclosure report must include the sources of all
donations of $10,000 or more that the organization received during that
election cycle. A “covered organization” includes any corporation, labor
organization, section 501(c) or 527 organization, or super PAC, but not a party
or candidate committee.  Section
501(c)(3) charitable organizations, which are prohibited by their tax status
from spending money to influence elections, are excluded.

Witnesses testifying today: Heather Gerken, J. Skelly Wright
Professor of Law, Yale Law School and Bradley A. Smith, Chairman, Center for
Competitive Politics.