Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Chris Van Hollen announce the proposed legislation, which would seek to prevent foreign-owned corporations and government contractors from spending money on U.S. elections, among other things.
WASHINGTON—Democrats rolled out their response Thursday to last month's Supreme Court ruling that threw out restrictions on corporate and union political spending, proposing new disclosure requirements and limits on spending by foreign companies.
The proposal, drafted by Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.) in consultation with the White House, also includes a ban on election expenditures by companies that have taken government bailout funds or received federal contracts.
The court's ruling freed corporations and unions to spend as they wish on political advertisements, while leaving intact existing restrictions on direct contributions to candidates' campaign treasuries.
The Schumer-Van Hollen plan seeks to expose the funding trails behind political advertisements placed by outside groups, including a requirement that corporate chief executives appear in commercials to say they "approved this message," much as candidates must.
Supporters of the Supreme Court ruling say it upholds First Amendment free-speech rights and will allow entrepreneurs and people who band together in nonprofit corporations to have their voices heard in elections. Some parts of the Democratic proposals, if adopted, could face court challenges.
Mr. Schumer said Thursday he wanted to prevent funders of political messages from hiding behind "dummy corporations." The measure would require that the top five contributors to an organization sponsoring political ads be listed in the ad itself.
|Your name: *|
|Your email: *|
|Recepient's email: *|
|Enter code: *|