(The Hill) – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced on Monday that the chamber will vote later this week on proposed legislation to disclose super PAC donors.
“Today, I am announcing the Senate will vote this week to take up a measure critical to fighting the cancer of dark money in our elections: the DISCLOSE Act,” Schumer said in a statement, also thanking the legislation’s sponsor, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), for his efforts.
The DISCLOSE Act, introduced by Whitehouse earlier in April, will require super PACs and other dark money groups to report those who contribute $10,000 or more during an election season.
On Tuesday, President Biden endorsed the legislation.
“Dark money erodes public trust. We need to erode public trust and I’m determined to do that,” Biden said in remarks at the White House. “Dark money has become so common in our politics. I believe sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
Biden mentioned a recent $1.6 billion donation to a political advocacy group, which is the largest donation to such an entity in U.S. history, from a conservative activist who had worked to overturn Roe v. Wade. The donation was only discovered because of reporting from the New York Times.
“There’s much too much money that flows in the shadows to influence our elections. It’s called dark money. Its hidden. Right now, advocacy groups can run ads on issues attacking or supporting a candidate right until election day without disclosing who’s paying for that ad,” he said.
“When was the last time any of us heard voters say it’s better for billionaires and special interests to buy elections in secret, rather than be held accountable to the public?,” Schumer added. “Of course, they don’t think that! Unless they themselves are the ones cutting the multi-million dollar checks.”
Schumer noted that the legislation’s purpose is to make sure Americans know who is trying to influence elections, mentioning how a previous Supreme Court ruling lead to this motive.
“Their ruling has paved the way for billions in unlimited campaign contributions by Super PACs and other dark money groups over the last decade,” Schumer said. “Ordinary citizens, meanwhile, have had their voices drowned out by elites who have millions to spare for political donations.”