H.R.5175 - DISCLOSE Act

To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to prohibit foreign influence in Federal elections, to prohibit government contractors from making expenditures with respect to such elections, and to establish additional disclosure requirements with respect to spending in such elections, and for other purposes. view all titles (9)

All Bill Titles

  • Official: To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to prohibit foreign influence in Federal elections, to prohibit government contractors from making expenditures with respect to such elections, and to establish additional disclosure requirements with respect to spending in such elections, and for other purposes. as introduced.
  • Popular: Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act as introduced.
  • Popular: DISCLOSE Act as introduced.
  • Short: Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act as introduced.
  • Short: DISCLOSE Act as introduced.
  • Short: Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act as reported to house.
  • Short: DISCLOSE Act as reported to house.
  • Short: Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act as passed house.
  • Short: DISCLOSE Act as passed house.

Comments Feed

Displaying 1-30 of 51 total comments.

  • votedemint 06/03/2010 4:27am

    I oppose this bill because FEDERAL LAW already bans foreign funds donated to campaigns. The Supreme Court’s ruling mostly focused on the provision that groups cant run ads within 60 days of election day. Obama and Democrats are restricting free speach with this bill. MOREOVER, why shouldn’t the companies that create jobs and pay billions in taxes have a say in who should be elected that would allow them to have the flexibility to increase their business, hire more people, and create more profits to reinvest in new companies and donate to community efforts. America is the only superpower BECAUSE of economic power and allowing private industry to voice what candidate they think will allow them to grow individually will result in a stronger U.S. economy as a whole. The Soviet Union didn’t have private industry (and restricted free speech) and look how well that worked out. Capitalism is a proven success and private industry can only survive IF they can work WITH government.

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    TripFX21 06/16/2010 8:01am

    Actually the financial meltdown was led by government driven policies which were favorable to their pet companies such as Freddy, Franny, AIG etc… No where in the Constitution does it grant power to the Federal government to “guide” any business with exception of regulation of interstate trade, but even that is just a jurisdictional clause. Last I checked, the US government is the most bankrupt corporation in the entire world! Why would you trust a government that has bankrupt itself and every social program its ever created to know how to “guide” a business and tell it what’s in its best interest. Capitalism by definition is a market free of government control. Government involvement in the market is the very definition of FASCISM!

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    Foggy 06/17/2010 6:35am

    Actually the financial meltdown was much more complex than that, and it had much more to do with a culture of greed on wall street. The government played a role to be sure, but really, blaming it all on their policies towards Fanny and Freddy? Come on. And another thing: do yourself a favor and look up the definition of fascism.

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    joncollie 06/20/2010 12:11am

    @ Foggy

    Don’t you love oversimplifications to incredibly complex events? You can’t reason with them, just let them tea bad each other.

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    mwilbur137 08/03/2010 11:45am

    …because civilization didn’t exist before capitalism. Nobody ever invented any new technologies, discovered any medicines, or did ANYTHING remotely beneficial without money as the primary motivator for the first 52,000 years of human existence?

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    amfriedman 07/26/2010 3:13pm

    Fascism (Wikipedia):
    Fascism, pronounced /ˈfæʃɪzəm/, is a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology.1234 Fascists seek to organize a nation according to corporatist perspectives, values, and systems, including the political system and the economy.56 Fascism was originally founded by Italian national syndicalists in World War I who combined left-wing and right-wing political views, but it gravitated to the political right in the early 1920s.78 Scholars generally consider fascism to be on the far right of the conventional left-right political spectrum.91011121314 Fascists believe that a nation is an organic community that requires strong leadership, singular collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong.15

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    Peter510 07/12/2010 2:22pm

    You need to take a course in economics. Totally unregulated Capitalism is not healthy but we have not had a true unregulated free market in a long, long time. But your statement has nothing to do with this particular legislation which is a sweetheart deal for the Unions, allowing them to mask their political contributions but forcing businesses to disclose their contributions. Businesses have the right and expectation of representation as they also pay taxes, or did you forget that? They are the major drivers of our economy and should have a right to help select the leaders of our country. If you want political contributions disclosed then EVERYONE, businesses, UNIONS, the NRA, all special interests should have to. No one should be excused from the requirement.

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    amfriedman 07/26/2010 2:55pm

    Can someone please cite the part of the bill that says unions are exempt from disclosing? I did a word search for “union” and it only came up once, where the bill put them in the same category as corporations, that they can now open floodgates of cash on our elections.

    Also, let’s get our numbers straight: $45 billion versus $300 million. Which is bigger? How much bigger?

    Exxon-Mobil made $45 BILLION in clear-cut PROFIT in 2008. In contrast, the AFL-CIO, our largest union, only took in about $300 million in GROSS REVENUE from their membership dues. So, one of our biggest corporations is at least 135 times more powerful than one of our largest unions.

    You guys cheering for what you think is “free speech” is really showing you up as unknowing mouthpieces for an unbelievably powerful entrenchment in our midst. They’ve been running the show for decades, and here you are helping them crystallize their position of supremacy in our government.

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    Nokwisa 06/17/2010 3:38pm

    Are private companies mentioned anywhere in the Constitution??? NO… All rights in voting for elected officials lies with the People! The People as individules. So would you have each plant vote who they would like to be elected to the office of _______ (you fill in the blank) Industry and Labor Unions go hand in hand at times to the benefit of all and at times NOT. I dont want any Industry nor Labor Union to do MY Voting for me. A certain industry only cares about what is good for IT not the Nation as a whole.

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    jason87 06/22/2010 7:15am

    “why shouldn’t the companies that create jobs and pay billions in taxes have a say in who should be elected that would allow them to have the flexibility to increase their business”

    Our government has handed out $70 billion in oil subsidies (subsidies are as far from capitalism as it gets) in the past 8 years. ExxonMobil, one of the most profitable corporations on the planet, paid ZERO in income tax in the U.S. 2009. Ever wonder why it’s been so hard for this country to reduce its dependance on foreign oil? It’s mainly because of the money that oil companies spend on lobbying.

    Situations like these are too common today and exist directly because of corporations’ ability to use their enourmous bank accounts to influence our political and economic policies.

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    tumbleweed 06/22/2010 6:36pm

    jason87, you should really check out your comments for accuracy and in this case, just check ExxonMobil’s website. Their annual statement shows they paid $78.8 billion in taxes in 2009. Also in error is your comment about subsidies. All businesses receive some government assistance which encourages them to do what the government wants. Businesses receive depreciation and depletion deductions, etc. US companies pay the highest tax rate in comparison to all foreign companies, 35%, so some deductions are necessary. Should the goverment give any deductions to any companies? Probably not but the oil companies are not given preferencial treatment.

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    fry3113 08/06/2010 5:55am

    this is not true

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  • TripFX21 06/16/2010 8:01am

    Businesses should have say, and there are already stipulations in place to limit their financial interest. The problem arises as lobbyists work in the loopholes of the system and allow for corruption from outside entities. All this bill does is force names to the surface of people and businesses operating outside the rules. This bill doesn’t close those loopholes and solve the problem.

    And if we’re getting specific of a representatives roll, it isn’t do what’s right for the little ‘ol constituents. It’s to do what they’re told by their constituents. Thus the roll of public SERVANT. We The People are in charge of the government, not the other way around.

  • kenthwing 06/16/2010 2:36pm

    I find myself wondering how any of these restrictions on political speech line up with the clear verbiage of the first amendment which states “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech…” It doesn’t say that congress shall only make well crafted laws or anything like that. It says that congress shall make no law.
    If all the law did was to make it clear who was doing the speaking, that would be one thing. Identifying yourself is not an abridgement. That is not all this law will do.

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    blubugeye 08/21/2010 7:09am

    Does freedom of speech imply the right to anonymity while speaking?

  • peacefrog 06/18/2010 6:15pm

    This bill actually protects the larger organizations and would effectively silence and/or intimidate the voice of smaller grassroots organizations. They often make it sound like they’re fighting the ‘greed’ of big corporations when promoting these types of bills— reading the details of this particular bill however reveals that it does the opposite. If you really want to protect the little guy and oppose the establishment/lobbyist run/crony government then oppose this bill.

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    mike3 06/24/2010 10:48pm
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    + -1

    So then what would you think about a different bill that would do the reverse: silence and/or intimidate the voice of large powerful organizations, while protecting and coddling the small guy and the grass roots?

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    peacefrog 07/31/2010 3:18pm

    (See my comment below.)

  • NukeET 06/19/2010 6:19am

    Perhaps one should actually READ THE BILL, and also The Heritage Foundation’s article about it here: http://blog.heritage.org/?p=36480

  • peacefrog 06/19/2010 12:35pm

    Great article, NukeET. I recommend reading it.

    “…The NRA, which previously called the Citizens United decision a “defeat for arrogant elitists who wanted to carve out free speech as a privilege for themselves and deny it to the rest of us,” has apparently agreed to withdraw its opposition to the DISCLOSE Act in exchange for a narrowly drawn exemption. Instead of applying to all nonprofit advocacy groups, including the smaller, less powerful ones with limited budgets that will be particularly affected and burdened by these new regulations, the exemption will apply only to 501©(4) organizations with members in all 50 states, numbering more than one million overall, that have been in existence for ten years and receive 15 percent or less of their funds from corporations. The NRA, a well-funded, powerful organization, coincidentally fits within this exemption. So the NRA has received its 30 pieces of silver in return for forsaking the political speech rights of the rest of us.”

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    mike3 06/24/2010 10:50pm

    So what would you think if you got a bill that applied it to them all?

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    peacefrog 07/31/2010 3:09pm

    Would the power-brokers allow a bill to be written and passed which limited their own free speech, their own rights to privacy and which forced themselves to act with full disclosure? Would they then enforce it on themselves?

    A bill like the Disclose Act doesn’t address the real problem, which is that the government itself is too big and too powerful, such power breeds corruption. In fact this bill would make that problem worse by granting government more power to intimidate smaller entities. Government has basically become a massive corporation itself, which acts as the enforcement arm for mega-banks and big businesses which seek a monopoly on all fronts, especially speech and political influence. The bottom line: any bill that undermines the peoples’ rights to free speech and privacy will always hurt individuals and small organizations the most.

  • PubliusfromGrave 06/22/2010 1:03pm

    “THE CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW ABRIDGING THE FREEDOM OF SPEED OR THE PRESS” This is a factual excerpt from the First Amendment of Constitution of the United States of America, in case you haven’t read it lately. Nowadays ‘freedom of press’ would most certainly include the internet, and ‘anyone’ would still most certainly mean anyone. So why are these guys doing this? Because they are Democrats! www.publiusfromgrave.us

  • tumbleweed 06/22/2010 6:50pm

    Regarding the NRA and getting a ‘backroom deal’, read their website. The NRA focus is the right to bear arms, not to fight for freedom of speech. There are other organizations that focus on the first amendment. Pelosi was not giving the NRA a deal but exempting other organizations, like the Sierra Club. It turns out that other liberal’s will not vote for it now because it does exempt the NRA, which was their goal, to quiet the NRA. By exempting organizations like the NRA, the bill may go down in defeat. If so, the NRA actually did stop the bill.

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    Greenlander 09/22/2010 2:28pm

    Yeah, they say they’re trying to provide transparency to political elections, but they’re really just trying to take your guns. You’re right.

  • EqualJustice 06/24/2010 6:42am

    This bill will only give the liberal Democrats a monetary advantage in the fall. I wonder who will actually end up EXEMPT from this? It has ALREADY been ruled “unconstitutional” in the courts. They should now abide by that decision!

  • Dasher 06/24/2010 7:06am

    What part of free speech does Congress not understand. If a union can force there members to pay for political ads I see no reason a corporation can not pay for its own political ads. After all there is much bad legislation that affects business in America. It is time they have the same free speech rights as individuals. If you want to deny a corporation free speech maybe there should be no corporate taxes.

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