The U.S. Senate today defeated the so-called DISCLOSE Act when it failed to garner the 60 votes necessary to overcome Republican objections to the bill. The final vote was 59-39.
Even though the exact same bill, sponsored by Chuck Schumer (D-NY), had been defeated just two months ago and was unlikely to pass, anti-gun Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) brought it up for another vote to “stir up” his left-wing base.
Instead of protecting the most important type of speech protected by the First Amendment—political speech—with this bill Congress attempted to force groups like GOA to “disclose” the names of donors in certain political advertisements.
Since Gun Owners of America will never disclose its membership lists to the federal government, it could be prohibited from running radio or TV ads exposing a federal candidate’s voting record in the weeks leading up to an election.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) aptly summed up the bill when it came to the floor in July:
“This DISCLOSE Act is not about reform, it’s nothing more than Democrats sitting behind closed doors [choosing] which favored groups they want to speak in the 2010 elections -- all in an attempt to protect themselves from criticism of their government takeovers, record deficits and massive unpaid-for expansions of the federal government into the lives of the American people.”
With a lame-duck session of Congress looming after the election, anything is possible—including another attempt to push through DISCLOSE, so stay tuned.