Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) helped pass legislation today that will shine a light on the role of special interests by increasing disclosure and strengthening transparency in federal campaigns. The bipartisan DISCLOSE Act will prevent big corporations from drowning out the voices of the American people in elections.
"The American people have a right to know who is spending millions to influence elections," said Himes. "The recent Supreme Court decision Citizens United practically put a "For Sale' sign on the U.S. Capitol, and this legislation will shine a light on that spending."
The DISCLOSE Act requires corporations, organizations, and special interest groups to stand by their political advertising just like a candidate for office does. It will stop moneyed interests and U.S. corporations controlled by foreign governments from secretly manipulating elections by funneling money to fly-by-night front groups that run last minute attack ads and other anonymous election advertisements.
CEOs will need to identify themselves in their advertisements, and corporations and organizations will be required to disclose their political expenditures. The bill also prohibits entities that receive taxpayer money -- such as large government contractors and corporations receiving TARP funds -- from turning around and spending that money to influence elections.
This landmark bill is the most far-reaching and significant campaign finance reform law since the McCain-Feingold Act, and does more to strengthen disclosure and transparency than any measure in recent history. It has been subject to extensive bipartisan debate, including six public hearings, and contains both Democratic and Republican amendments. The DISCLOSE Act has strong support from the campaign finance reform community and been endorsed by Common Cause, League of Women Voters, Public Citizen, Campaign Legal Center, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), and Democracy 21, among many other organizations.