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Public Statements

The Disclose Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, here we go again, back to the DISCLOSE Act. Americans are speaking out. They want us to focus on the economy, on preventing tax hikes, on creating jobs. What do Democrats do? They turn to the so-called DISCLOSE Act, a bill they say is about transparency in elections but which was drafted behind closed doors, without hearings, without testimony, and without any markups; a bill which is supposed to be about free speech but which picks and chooses who gets the right to engage in political speech and who does not; a bill that is back on the floor for no other reason than the fact that our friends on the other side have decided this week is politics-only week in the Senate. Let's be clear from the outset. That is all this is--pure politics.

Over the past couple of elections, our friends on the other side have gotten a lot of help from their union allies and other outside groups--so much so, in fact, that they were able to outspend their opponents 2 to 1 in 2006 and 3 to 1 in 2008. That is our friends on the other side of the aisle. But now, after spending the last year and a half enacting policies Americans don't like, they want to prevent their opponents from being able to criticize what they have done. They hear Americans speaking out, they see some energy on the other side, and they don't want to take the kind of criticism they have leveled at Republicans for the past 4 years, so they are trying to rig the system to their advantage. That is it. It is quite simple--just to rig the system to their advantage.

The only question here is why our friends on the other side would want to propose something like this when Americans are screaming at them to focus on the economy instead. Just look at the surveys. What are Americans most concerned about? It is no secret that Americans want Congress to focus on jobs and the economy. Yet, over the last 2 months, in the midst of what Democrats are remarkably calling ``recovery summer,'' the President has devoted two of his weekly radio addresses to the Nation to making a personal pitch for this bill.

Today in the Senate, in the middle of the worst recession in memory, the Democratic leadership has decided to spend the next 2 days on the same failed partisan campaign spending bill aimed at giving Democrats a political edge. It is truly astonishing. It seems as if the more Americans say they want Democrats to focus on jobs, the more determined they are to press ahead with some piece of legislation aimed either at killing private sector jobs or, in the case of this bill, preserving their own jobs.

Here we are, in the middle of a recession, with 27 States yesterday reporting increases in unemployment, 14 million Americans looking for work, and a national debt that is putting the very future of the American dream in jeopardy, here we are voting on a bill that amounts to little more than an incumbency protection act for Democrats in Congress. If Americans are looking for one final piece of evidence in this Congress that Democrats have lost perspective and lost touch with Americans, then this is it.

I yield the floor.


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