Articles Tagged Citizens-United,
In both the House and Senate, the majority controls the agenda and the Speaker decides what gets a vote, with one exception: the discharge petition.
In the House, if a majority sign on to "discharge" a bill from committee (218 signatures required), it will be brought to the Floor for a vote. Since 1993, all signators to a discharge petition are public. This means that this petition can only be sucessful if some members of the majority party are willing to buck their own leadership to see a bill get a vote.
This week some House Members are touting a discharge petition in the House that would force a vote on the Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending (DISCLOSE) Act (HR 4010) from Represenative Chris Van Hollen [D-MD-8]. The discharge petition currently has 149 signatures, 79 short of the 218 that would be necessary to force a vote.
Today the Senate will hold a cloture vote on a similar bill. The Senate bill, S 3369 from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse [D-RI], would "provide for additional disclosure requirements for corporations, labor organizations, Super PACs and other entities…" Senate Republicans have indicated they will filibuster and the bill is not expected to make it to an up or down vote.
While rare, discharge petitions have been employed by both parties throughout the years. Additional discharge petitions filed in the current Congress are:
- HR 1148 The STOCK Act from Rep. Tim Walz [D-MN-1]: While the requisite 218 was never reached for this petition, the bill was brought to the Floor and passed on February 9, 2012. It was signed into law on April 4, 2012. (View the discharge petition.)
- HR 1297 The Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act from Rep. Louis Gohmert [R-TX-1]: This bill was introduced in the heat of the debt ceiling talks, and would have provided that members of the military would still get paid in the event of a government shutdown. In the end, a deal was reached and a shutdown avoided. (View the discharge petition.)
- HR 639 The China Currency Bill from Rep Sander Levin [D-MI-12]: The first discharge petition of the 112th Congress currently has 179 signatures. The bill passed the Senate in October 2011 and continues to be discussed on the 2012 Presidential campaign trail.
Today marks the two-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC. The justices voted 5-4 that corporations and unions had First Amendment rights that prohibits government from placing limits on their independent spending for political purposes. We pulled together a list of bills related to campaign financing.
We hope you'll weigh in on these bills on POPVOX and share with your friends and networks.
Campaign Finance Bills on the Anniversary of Citizens United
- SJRes 33 The Saving American Democracy Amendment and The OCCUPIED Amendment propose a Constitutional amendment to expressly exclude for-profit corporations from the rights given to natural persons by the Constitution, prohibit corporate spending in all elections, and affirm the authority of Congress and the States to regulate corporations and to regulate and set limits on all election contributions and expenditures.
- S 750 The Fair Elections Now Act and (HR 1404) reform the financing of Senate elections and establish a Fair Elections Fund.
- HJRes 65 Constitutional Amendment to prohibit candidates for election to Congress from accepting contributions from individuals who do not reside in the State or Congressional district the candidate seeks to represent.
- SJRes 29 Constitutional Amendment to clarify the authority of Congress and the States to regulate corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities established by the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state.
- HJRes 88 Constitutional Amendment relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections.
- HJRes 100 Constitutional Amendment regarding the use of public funds to pay for campaigns for election to Federal Office.
Please keep in mind that highlighting a bill doesn't imply a POPVOX endorsement in any way. Rather, we're simply trying to offer one more way to stay informed of an overwhelmingly complex legislative system.
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