House passes disclosure bill

 

House Passes Campaign Disclosure Bill

Corporate CEOs would have to appear in campaign ads they fund, under a political disclosure bill the House just passed by a narrow margin.

Democrats, hoping to rein in special-interest spending before November's midterm elections, pushed the measure, which would impose broad new disclosure rules on political spending.

The bill, approved by a 219-206 vote, was opposed by Republicans who cast it as violating free-speech protections and filled with exemptions for powerful groups, such as the National Rifle Association and labor unions. The measure was crafted by Democrats "to help their friends, while silencing their political opponents," House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said during floor debate today.

But the bill's chief architect, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.,said the legislation would ensure "the voice of citizens is not drowned out by secret spending."

The legislation was crafted in response to a January ruling by the Supreme Court that cleared the way for unlimited spending by corporations and unions on campaign ads that oppose or support candidates.

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