Joe Biden urges Republican Party to support Disclose Act in Senate voting

US President Joe Biden has urged the Republican Party to support the Disclose Act, which aims at fighting "dark money" ahead of voting on it before the Senate this week

US President, Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden (Photo: Reuters)

Press Trust of India Washington
US President Joe Biden has urged the Republican Party to support the Disclose Act, which aims at fighting "dark money" by requiring political parties to reveal the names of big donors, ahead of voting on it before the Senate this week.
The Disclose Act has already been passed by the US House of Representatives. Biden stressed that 'dark money' erodes public trust which needs to be protected.
"Republicans should join Democrats to pass the Disclosure Act and get it on my desk right away. 'Dark money' has become so common in our politics that I believe sunlight is the best disinfectant. I acknowledge it's an issue for both parties," Biden told reporters at the White House.
"But here's the key difference Democrats in Congress support more openness and accountability and republicans in Congress so far don't. I hope they'll come around," he said.
The US president said Republican Senators should follow the lead of party governors in state legislatures in Tennessee and Wyoming that have passed disclosure laws.
"Let's remember that getting 'dark money' out of our politics has been a bipartisan issue in the past. My deceased friend, John McCain, spent a lot of time fighting for campaign finance reform. For him, it was a matter of fundamental fairness. And he was 100 per cent right about that," Biden said.
"Ultimately, this comes down to public trust. Dark money erodes public trust. We need to protect public trust and I'm determined to do that," he asserted.
Terming 'dark money' a serious issue, Biden said he had proposed much earlier on that US should just publicly fund all of its elections.
"But I don't have the support for that position. But there's a second position that is very good and that is the role of money in politics and how we can begin to solve that problem."

Ruing that too much money flows in the shadows to influence American elections, he said, "It's called 'dark money'. It's hidden. Right now, advocacy groups can run advertisements on issues attacking or supporting a candidate right until Election Day without exposing who is paying for those."

"Too often, powerful special interests use front groups to run these advertisements to win at any cost. Even foreign entities that aren't allowed to contribute to political campaigns use dark money loopholes and try to influence our elections," Biden said.
Giving an example, the president claimed that a conservative activist "who spent decades working to put enough conservative justices on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade now has access to USD 1.6 billion in dark money to do more damage from our perspective and restrict more freedoms. As far as we know, that's one of the biggest dark money transfers in our history".
"The public only found out about this USD1.6 billion transfer because someone tipped off some reporters. Otherwise, it would not be known. But now we know, and there's something we can do about it," the US president said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Sep 21 2022 | 8:56 AM IST

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