Floor Updates

Whitehouse, Reed, Brown-OH

JOBS Act (H.R. 3606)

Mar 21 2012

06:35 PM

Senator Whitehouse: (6:04 PM)
  • Spoke on the DISCLOSE Act.
    • SUMMARY "The bill we're introducing today has been trimmed down so that it just does two simple things: one, if you're an organization, like a corporation, a SuperPAC's or a 501-c-4 group, spending money in an election campaign in support of or in opposition to a candidate, you have to tell the public where that money came from and what you're spending it on in a timely manner. That should not be a controversial idea to anyone. At least to anyone who's not seeking special influence. If you are a top executive or a major donor of an organization spending millions of dollars on campaign ads, you have to take responsibility for those ads by having your name on the ad, and in the case of an executive appearing in the ad yourself. That's it - disclosure and a disclaimer. These are reasonable provisions that should have wide support from democrats and republicans alike. The DISCLOSE Act of 2012, trims down the original DISCLOSE Act in another way. We have raised the threshold for donations that require now; it may sound like $10,000 is a ridiculously high threshold, that that's just an awful lot of money. But when you look at what's happening in these SuperPAC's, $10,000 in this particular world is no big deal. 93% of money raised by SuperPAC's in 2010 and 2011 that can be traced to specific donors came in contributions of $10,000 or more. So we will catch probably 93% of the money in this reporting provision while leaving smaller donations and dues payments to membership organizations private. The act also does not require the disclosure of nonpolitical donations, affiliate transfers, business investments and other transfers of money that have nothing to do with electioneering. At the same time, however, the bill also contains strong provisions to prevent the use of dummy organizations or shell corporations to hide their donations from public view. The way this bill is drafted, if somebody sets up a phony organization to take a contribution and in turn make that contribution to another phony organization and in turn make that contribution to another phony organization before it finally lands in the SuperPAC's that is benefiting a candidate, we will be able to trace that series of transactions. So it's a good law, it's a simpler law, it's an effective law. It only goes after high dollar givers, and passing it would prove to the American people that congress is committed to fairness, that we are committed to equality and that we are committed to the fundamental principle of a government of the people, by the people and for the people."

Senator Reed: (6:18 PM)
  • Paid tribute to Senator Barbara Mikulski, the longest serving woman in the history of the United States Congress.

Senator Brown-OH: (6:24 PM)
  • Paid tribute to Senator Barbara Mikulski, the longest serving woman in the history of the United States Congress.
  • Spoke on Ohio being the first state to have four teams in the Sweet 16 NCAA tournament.