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Sens. Coons and Carper denounce Senate's inability to pass Disclose Act

Roman Battaglia
Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons decried the Senate’s failure to pass a bill requiring the disclosure of ‘dark money’ donors in politics.

In a 49-49 vote, the Disclose Act failed to pass a procedural vote Thursday to advance in the Senate.

It would have required super PACs and other political groups to disclose donors who give $10,000 or more during an election cycle.

On the Senate floor, Coons said dark money’s impact in politics has become more and more pernicious.

“Wealthy individuals and corporations, shadowy special interest groups have contributed hundreds of millions, now billions of dollars, across several election cycles that have undermined the integrity and fairness of our elections–that are at the very heart of our democracy.”

In 2010, the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case allowed corporations and other outside groups to spend unlimited money on elections.

Coons said the Disclose Act wouldn’t have resolved all the problems created by the ruling, but it would have shed light on where dark money is coming from.

In a release, Sen. Carper said dark money has left America vulnerable to foreign interference.

“I’m disappointed that my Republican colleagues in the Senate have once again blocked the DISCLOSE Act—a set of common sense reforms to our campaign finance system that will shine a light on the millions of dollars secretly being poured into political campaigns each election cycle,” Carper said.

The Disclose Act wasn’t the only vote in the Senate this week.

In a show of bipartisanship, the Senate voted 69-27 to approve the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

It curbs the use of chemicals called HFCs, commonly found in refrigerators and air-conditioners.

Coons said the vote was a major bipartisan win.

“And we do it in a way that is a win for American manufacturing, a win for American exports, and a win for our planet and creation.”

Coons said HFCs are one thousand times worse for global warming than carbon dioxide.

The pact will help reduce global warming by a full degree fahrenheit.

The U.S. joins 137 other nations in the agreement.