Anti-Speech DISCLOSE Act Moves to House Rules Committee

By June 17, 2010General

The House Rules Committee has scheduled a 3 p.m. meeting this afternoon to consider the rule for H.R. 5175, the DISCLOSE Act, meant to limit political speech by business and other disfavored groups.

Barring a strange turn of events — like a renewed appreciation for the First Amendment — a House floor debate can be expected Friday.

Background …

UPDATE (12:10 p.m.): Here is the Manager’s Amendment.

UPDATE (12:20 p.m.): National Journal’s Hotline on Call reports the House Democratic leadership has agreed to carve out further exemptions in the efforts for Congress to pass a law abridging freedom of speech.

House Dems, responding to critics angry over a provision that would allow the NRA to be exempt from disclosing membership roles, will allow more organizations to withhold their donor rosters, according to a top leadership aide.

DCCC chair Chris Van Hollen, lead sponsor of the DISCLOSE Act, told the Dem Caucus this morning the bill will allow long-standing organizations with more than 500K members to be exempt from disclosing their membership lists. An original carve-out, aimed primarily at mollifying the NRA, would have exempted only groups with memberships of more than 1M.

UPDATE (2:55 p.m.): House Rules Committee’s website reports the 3 p.m. meeting has been postponed.

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