A new version of the DISCLOSE Act, legislation pushed by Senate Democrats, failed to garner the 60 votes it needed Monday to move forward in the Senate.
In a 51-44 vote, the Senate failed to advance the measure requiring third party groups to disclose the names of donors who contribute $10,000 or more in a given election cycle. The legislation is an attempt to curb the impact of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision.
“A vote for DISCLOSE is a vote to arm the people with the power that knowledge gives, to arm them with the popular information about elections—information necessary to prevent this great popular government of ours from becoming a special interest farce,” the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said on the Senate floor prior to Monday’s vote.
Expecting the vote to come up short, Whitehouse and other Senate Democrats announced plans early Monday for a late-night “vigil” consisting of a series of Democratic speeches on the Senate floor. “We recognize that you don’t win every fight in round one, and this is a fight worth continuing,” Whitehouse said in a statement released well before the vote.
Earlier in the day, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had taken to the Senate floor to denounce the millions outside groups have already spent this election cycle.
“If this flood of outside money continues, the day after the election 17 angry old white men will wake up and realize they’ve just bought the country,” Reid said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pushed back on the Senate floor ahead of the vote Monday afternoon.
“Forty straight months of unemployment above 8 percent, a debt the size of our economy, and our friends in the majority want to get us to pass a bill that everybody from the ACLU to the NRA is opposed to—a bill designed to give the government the information to intimidate people that have the courage to stand up to the government and argue against what it’s doing,” McConnell said.
Immediately following Monday’s vote, Reid offered a motion to reconsider. The legislation is expected to come up for another vote on Tuesday. The majority leader then used his last moments on the Senate floor to take a shot at Republican Mitt Romney.
“We know the Republicans don’t like disclosure,” Reid said following the procedural vote on the DISCLOSE Act. “You can find that from the person they are going to nominate for president of the United States.”