Republicans are pointing to big union midterm spending budgets as the primary reason House Democrats refused to implement new campaign finance restrictions for labor groups on Thursday.
“Yesterday, at the House Administration markup of the DISCLOSE Act (H.R. 5175), Democrats blocked GOP attempts to apply the legislation’s restrictions to unions,” reads a press release from the Committee on House Administration Republican office.
“Despite public promises to treat corporations and unions equally,” the release says, “Democrats are insisting that unions be exempted from their proposed restrictions on political speech.”
According to The Hill, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the SEIU plan to spend $100 million in the lead-up to November’s elections.
GOP members say such behavior proves that Democrats have little interest in reforming campaign finance. Democrats on the Committee on House Administration voted down the party line against a proposed amendment that would do away with language “[banning] speech by business corporations with government contracts but not speech by prominent labor unions in collective bargaining agreements with the government,” according to a memo Republicans released on Wednesday.
According to a senior Democratic aide, only two of the Republicans’ 13 proposed amendments made it into the bill that the committee is sending to the floor. One amendment “codifying FEC regulations exempting Internet communications and one permitting expenditures and contributions to be made from PACs without prior certification of foreign national status if those PACs are limited to receiving contributions from U.S. citizens.”
Rep. Chris Van Hollen and Sen. Chuck Schumer introduced the DISCLOSE Act in April to counter the effects of the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.