Floor Updates

Reid

Opening Remarks

Jul 16 2012

02:12 PM

  • Today --
    • The Senate will resume consideration of the Motion to Proceed to S. 3369, the Disclose Act.
    • At 5:00 PM, the Senate will proceed to Executive Session and begin up to 30 minutes of debate, equally divided, on Executive Calendar #662, Kevin McNulty, of New Jersey, to be United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey.
    • At 5:30 PM, the Senate will conduct 2 ROLL CALL VOTES on:
      1. Executive Calendar #662, Kevin McNulty, of New Jersey, to be United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey; and
      2. Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S. 3369, the Disclose Act (there will be 10 minutes of debate prior to the vote).

Senator Reid: (2:03 PM)
  • Spoke on the Disclose Act.
    • SUMMARY "Thomas Jefferson one of our great presidents, once said "the end of democracy will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed corporations." Campaign finance reforms protections that we have in place and have had for many, many years have solved the problem that Jefferson talked about by limiting political spending by corporations. Then out of nowhere came the Supreme Court, and issued its Citizens United opinion rolling back a century of work to make elections transparent and credible. The result of Citizens United has been a flood of corporate special interest campaign spending by shadowy groups with questionable motives. Not since the days of Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican who put a stop to unlimited corporate owe donations has America seen this kind of out-of-control spending to influence elections. Democrats and a majority of Americans believe the Supreme Court got it very, very, very wrong with Citizens United. Anonymous spending by so-called nonprofits often backed by huge corporate donors used to make up 1% of election spending. This year it will make up over half the spending. There's no question that the citizens united decision opened the door for big corporations and foreign entities to secretly spend hundreds of millions of dollars to undermining the fairness and integrity of the process The legislation today before the senate, the Disclose Act, would require disclosure of donations in excess of $10,000 if they're used for campaign purposes. The bill treats all political entities whether unions, corporations, business associations or SuperPAC's the same, they're treated equally and contrary to Republican claims, this legislation would not require organizations to turn over membership rosters or list of grassroots donors ... Yet my Republican colleagues with rare exception have lined up against this commonsense legislation. Their newfound opposition to transparency makes one wonder who they're trying to protect. Perhaps republicans want to shield a handful of billionaires willing to contribute nine figures to sway a close presidential election. If this flood of outside money continues, the day after the election 17 angry old white men will wake up and realize they've just bought the country. That's a sad commentary. About 60% or more of these outside dollars are coming from these 17 people. These donors have something in common with their nominee. Like Mitt Romney, they believe they play by their own set of rules."