Senate Democrats on Monday lost another attempt to pass legislation forcing donors of groups that bankroll most election ads to be revealed. But Democrats, led by New York Sen. Charles Schumer, pledged to hold the Senate floor hostage and continue the debate well into the night.
The DISLCOSE Act, which was dealt the same fate in the Senate in 2010, failed to overcome a key procedural vote on entirely partisan lines, 51-44. Democrats will push for another vote as early as Tuesday after holding a “midnight vigil” to protest the GOP filibuster of the measure.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was the only Democrat to vote “no” — a procedural move allowing him to bring it up again. Four Republicans and one Democrat did not vote on the bill, which would require unions, nonprofits and corporate interest groups that spend $10,000 or more during an election cycle to disclose donors who give $10,000 or more.
The new, stripped down version of the bill sponsored by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) no longer required sponsors of electioneering ads to have a disclaimer at the end and pushed the effective date to 2013. A discharge petition in the House to bring up the DISCLOSE act was also filed by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) last week.
The push for the act comes as Democrats are lagging behind Republicans in fundraising. Critics of the bill argued that bringing up the measure was merely a political ploy.