Tonight, the Committee on House Administration passed the DISCLOSE Act (HR 5175) out of Committee. The bipartisan bill introduced by Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mike Castle (R-DE), Walter Jones (R-NC), and Robert Brady (D-PA) responds to the Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United v. FEC that overturned the ban on corporate contributions to political campaigns by increasing transparency and disclosure of political spending, preventing foreign companies from influencing America's elections, and ensuring that entities that receive taxpayer money can't turn around and spend money in elections.
Speaker Pelosi on today’s passage:
Today the House of Representatives made critical progress on The DISCLOSE Act, to protect our elections from being overtaken by special interest money and influence.
The recent Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case opened the floodgates for the corporate takeover of elections. With this legislation, Congress has acted to help ensure that the special interests do not drown out the voices of America's voters.
This legislation restores transparency and accountability to our campaigns, and ensures that Americans know who is really behind political advertisements. This bill requires corporations to stand by their ads in the same way candidates do, and prevents foreign-owned entities from participating in our elections. It prevents the use of taxpayer dollars to sway elections, and sets high standards for financial disclosure by outside groups seeking to influence our democratic process.
In short, this legislation reaffirms a fundamental American value: the people decide our elections, not the special interests. I look forward to bringing this bill to the House floor soon.
Today, the House Administration Committee took another important step toward putting in place critical protections to control the flood of special interest money into American elections. The DISCLOSE Act, now moving to debate on the floor of the House of Representatives, would establish the toughest-ever disclosure requirements for election-related spending by big oil corporations, Wall Street and other special interests. It would prohibit foreign entities from manipulating the outcome of U.S. elections, and it would shine an unprecedented light on corporate spending in political campaigns so that the American people can clearly see who is trying to influence campaigns for public office. These changes are particularly urgent in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, and I encourage the full Congress to give this strong, bipartisan legislation the swift consideration it deserves.