Despite failing to once to get enough votes for cloture, Senate Democrats are again pushing a vote on the DISCLOSE Act–campaign finance legislation that mirrors some state efforts (like Minnesota, for example) and would require transparency from organizations that spend corporate dollars on political campaigns. It’s been heralded as a necessary and important first step in rectifying the damage done by the Citizens United decision and one piece of legislation that the American electoral system desperately needs to have pass.
The Huffington Post is reporting that New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D) has even thrown the GOP blockade a bone in the effort to get the bill passed. According to reports, Schumer has said that he is willing to move the start date for the legislation until next year, meaning it won’t apply to this November’s elections.
It is a symbolic move, that is unlikely to win any votes or get the bill passed. Under the legislative language of the DISCLOSE Act, there is a 30-day window before implementation, meaning that even if it passed–and was implemented–today, it would go into effect roughly one week before the elections took place. However, at the time of the previous vote there were a number of Republican lawmakers who had tied their “no” vote to their belief it would have pro-Democratic implications in the 2010 elections.
So, I guess anything is possible. The first vote for cloture failed by three votes–including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (who voted against the measure for procedural reasons) and Sen. Joseph Lieberman who failed to show up for the vote (I’ll let you insert your own commentary to the aptness of that analogy here). Presuming these two are yes votes, Senate Democrats need only one vote to end a GOP filibuster.
photo courtesy of Tracy O via Flickr