GOP Risking a Government Shutdown to Avoid Revealing Corporate Spending

Another government shutdown is looming, and you’ll be frustrated to learn what the biggest obstacle in reaching a solution is this time around: an argument over whether corporations should be able to keep their political spending a secret.

As The Hill reports, Congress has until midnight October 1 to produce what is known as a “continuing resolution” in order to avert a government shutdown. The best way to ensure a continuing resolution passes is for legislators to resist the urge to augment the resolution with controversial riders that will prevent both parties from reaching a consensus.

Wouldn’t you do know it, though? That’s precisely the route that Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell is taking. Time is running down on Congress, but Senator McConnell claims that he refuses to move forward with the resolution if it doesn’t include a guarantee that corporations will be able to make political donations secretly.

In recent months, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has started to devise new federal rules that would force big companies to publicize their political donations. As it stands, even a company’s own shareholders can be left in the dark on the kinds of political expenditures that the company is making.

Not long ago, over one million Americans urged the SEC to make appropriate rule changes to prevent this secrecy. No doubt, McConnell is aware the tide is changing on this issue, so he’s trying to prevent the rule change from coming to fruition by preemptively forbidding it as part of this must-pass resolution.

Since the rider has nothing to do with the resolution at hand, there’s really no reason for the parties to debate this issue right now. If McConnell wants to defend secret corporate political spending, he should take it up at a more appropriate time instead.

The money may be secret, but the Republicans’ motives are not. McConnell is pushing for this change because this is the kind of thing that his corporate friends want in exchange for their hefty campaign donations. Presumably, the GOP stands to make more money from big business when they can better conceal the extent of their donations.

While you could argue that the Democrats are also complicit in causing a potential shutdown for refusing to roll over on this issue, at least they’re standing up for what’s right in this instance.

Liberals in Congress are also justifiably angry that the Republicans left the Democrats out of the continuing resolution process. If the Republicans wanted to ensure that their bill passed, they should have sought input from all of Congress.

“[McConnell] has filed a Republican-only bill,” said Senator Barbara Mikulski. “We Democrats cannot vote for that.”

Forget members of Congress, though. Even if it were to pass in the House and Senate, Republicans could have a lot of trouble getting President Barack Obama to sign the resolution. Last week, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest indicated that the corporate money rider gave the president pause.

“I don’t really know what a proposal like that is doing in a budget bill,” said Earnest. “It sounds to me like Republicans in Congress have more work to do to make sure the government doesn’t shut down.”

Indeed, at a time like this, the GOP should be working to avoid a government shutdown rather than focusing on allowing corporations to secretly donate money. The fact that conservatives are willing to risk disaster for corporations proves that the average American ranks a distant second to the 1% in the party’s eyes.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

79 comments

william Miller
william Millerabout a year ago

thanks

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Cabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

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ERIKA SOMLAI
ERIKA Sabout a year ago

noted

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Vivianne Mosca-Clark
Vivianne Mosca-Clarkabout a year ago

The republicans have been supporting big business for a long time. At this time they are digging themselves into a hole. The rich do not need more money..they need morals..which you can not buy.

We have learned the conservatism is a mental, issue...as a species we really share with others.

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Past Member
Past Member about a year ago

Freddy R. CONSERVATISM IS A MENTAL DISORDER. Like my buddies at Wounded Warrior Vets always say.

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Past Member
Past Member about a year ago

Freddy R. the pathetic idiot. EVERYTHING IS OBAMAS FAULT. You have to be THE biggest idiot on here.

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Past Member
Past Member about a year ago

One reason i left Repugnant party.

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ERIKA SOMLAI
ERIKA Sabout a year ago

noted

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Nancy W.
Nancy Wabout a year ago

disheartening.

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Chad Anderson
Chad Aabout a year ago

We all know who feeds us.

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