President Joe Biden voiced his support from the White House on Tuesday, for legislation that would combat so-called dark money groups, donating large sums of money to influence the outcome of political campaigns. Photo by Ron Sachs/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 20 (UPI) — President Joe Biden voiced his support on Tuesday, for legislation that would combat so-called dark money groups donating large sums of money to influence the outcome of political campaigns.
“There’s much too much money that flows in the shadow to influence our elections. It’s hidden,” Biden said at the White House Tuesday morning, calling it a “serious problem to our democracy.”
The DISCLOSE Act would require organizations spending money in elections, including super PACs and dark money groups, to promptly disclose donors who have given $10,000 or more during an election cycle.
“Dark money has become so common in our politics. I believe sunlight is the best disinfectant,” Biden said at the White House, before heading to the United Nations in New York for the opening day of the General Assembly.
“I acknowledge it’s an issue for both parties, but here’s the key difference, Democrats in the Congress support more openness and accountability. Republicans in Congress, so far, don’t. I hope they’ll come around, he said.
Biden added that “getting dark money out of politics has been a bipartisan issue in the past,” noting that the late former Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz, “spent a lot of time fighting for campaign finance reform.”
“For him, it was an issue of fundamental fairness,” Biden said. “And he was 100% right about that.”
The president pointed to Wyoming and Tennessee as examples of Republican-controlled states that have passed similar legislation at the state level.
“Even foreign entities, that aren’t allowed to contribute to political campaigns, use dark money loopholes to try and influence our elections,” said Biden.
If passed, the act would outlaw foreign contributions of any kind to an election campaign.
House Democrats have already approved the DISCLOSE Act and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on Tuesday morning that he would call a vote on the bill.
“The Senate will vote this week on the DISCLOSE Act that would require dark money groups to report campaign contributions. Every senator will have a choice: Vote for transparency in our elections, or stand with the forces of dark money,” Schumer said on Twitter Tuesday.
“Republicans should join Democrats to pass the DISCLOSE Act and get it on my desk right away,” Biden said.