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Free Speech an Essential Element of Liberty

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Free speech, guaranteed to us by the First Amendment, has lit the world and inspired the democracy we all cherish today. Efforts to limit speech based on the identity of the speaker in order to gain a political advantage must be pushed back on all fronts. Defending the right to speak freely without fear of reprisal is a fight that never ends.

Today, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stood tall in defense of this essential element of liberty as he addressed the American Enterprise Institute. In discussing the DISCLOSE Act, Leader McConnell correctly noted that the bill is fundamentally an end-run on the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. The DISCLOSE Act would require certain groups to disclose donor lists – opening the door to intimidation by those who disagree with them. He went on to say, “…if disclosure is forced upon some but not all, it’s not an act of good government, it’s a political weapon.”

At the NAM, we are committed to protecting the First Amendment rights of manufacturers. The First Amendment is for all, not favored groups, and our nation finds itself strongest when our right to voice our opinions is unimpeded. Manufacturers have a right to weigh in on the policies that will determine future economic growth and global competitiveness, and we applaud Leader McConnell for fighting this encroachment on our liberties.