Politico reported yesterday, “The DISCLOSE Act has died again. Senate Democrats’ second attempt in less than 24 hours to advance the campaign finance bill failed Tuesday — even after at least 16 senators held the floor for six hours Monday night in support of the measure. On a strictly partisan 53-45 vote, it fell short of the 60 votes needed to break a GOP filibuster.”
During Republicans’ weekly press availability yesterday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell summed up the reasons to oppose the DISCLOSE Act, saying, “This is about selective disclosure of 501(c)(4)s with a huge carve out for labor unions so that the law doesn’t have to apply to them. According to a Wall Street Journal study last week, labor unions have contributed $4.4 billion over the last few years to our friends on the other side. . . . There’s been no committee mark up, no hearings and it’s managed to generate the opposition of everybody form the ACLU to the NRA.I rest my case. We ought to be working on the economy, getting jobs created, keeping this fiscal cliff from occurring at the end of the year.”
And of course this followed a night of spectacle over the bill from Democrats, as Rob Bluey chronicles at Hot Air: “The Senate has gone 1,175 days without passing a budget. Taxmageddon and sequestration are threatening the economic livelihood of millions of Americans. And yet the top order of business for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) this week is the DISCLOSE Act, a blatant attempt by liberals to circumvent and restrict the First Amendment. Senate Democrats even staged a ‘midnight vigil’ [Monday] night to promote their cause. That’s when the follies starting flying. New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the No. 3 Democrat, had the biggest whopper of the evening when he called for ‘limits on First Amendment rights’during his Senate speech.” Schumer intoned that there need to be “certain limits on First Amendment rights” and that the absence of such limits, “destroy the equality — any semblance of equality in our democracy.”
At the same time, BuzzFeed reported, “The Senate Democrat leading the push for greater transparency in campaign donations to outside organizations slipped out of a highly orchestrated floor event Monday – to attend a fundraiser for an outside organization. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, the lead sponsor on the Disclose Act – which would force outside political organizations to disclose donations of more than $10,000 – briefly left a ‘midnight vigil’ on the Senate floor to attend a fundraiser for a health care reform group.”
And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was complaining to MSNBC’s Ed Schultz about Republicans blocking the DISCLOSE Act and vowing again to try to attack the rights of the minority in the Senate through weakening the filibuster is Democrats retain their majority next year.
Frustrated by this, Leader McConnell took to the Senate floor this morning to blast Reid for his comments and the way he’s run the Senate. He asked Reid why Democrats haven’t produced a budget, which isn’t subject to filibuster. He asked Reid why the Senate hasn’t even done its basic job of funding the government through appropriations bills and why it hasn’t been working on a Defense authorization bill to help the Pentagon. Each time, Reid dodged, blaming someone else for the inaction.
McConnell responded, “[Q]uit blaming everybody else. It’s not the House. It’s not the Senate. It’s not the motion to proceed. Why don’t we operate like we used to under leaders of both parties, and understood that amendments we don’t like are just part of the process, because everybody here doesn’t agree on everything?”
He summed up the problem for Reid: “The Majority Leader is basically trying to convince the American people that it’s somebody else’s fault that the Senate is not doing the basic work of government. And, you know, regardless of the blame game, the results are apparent. No budget, no appropriation bills, no defense authorization. We’re not doing the basic work of government here.”