Sen. Merkley Uses DISCLOSE Act to Argue for Filibuster Changes
Says DISCLOSE Act would have gotten a vote if opponents had to stand up and make their case on the floor
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/6/2012 3:46:19 PM
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) backs changing the rules to require debate -- he used a blow-up poster of Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to make his point -- before the kind of cloture vote whose failure essentially kills a bill without floor debate.
That was the case with the DISCLOSE Act, a bill that would require on-air disclosure of TV and radio ads taking advantage of the Citizens United decision's freeing-up of corporate and union funds for electioneering communications in the run-up to elections.
Merkley said that if those opposing the act had been forced to argue for secrecy about unlimited funding, nobody would do it, but that they didn't have to give the so-called "silent filibuster."
He argued that if there had been a requirement for senators to hold the floor to argue their point, as Stewart did in the movie, there would have been 60 votes for cloture and proceeding to debate and a vote on the bill.
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