Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor on the DISCLOSE Act urging Senators to stand with the American people over dark money and special interests. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:
Well, first, let me just give as many kudo – because he taught me the word was kudo, not kudos – as I can to our wonderful Senator from Rhode Island. There is no one, I don't think in America – let alone just in the Senate – who has done more to highlight the evil scourge of dark money that just plagues our republic. It degrades our democracy. One of the reasons that people are so upset with what's going on in this country is because of the dark money, and no one has shined that spotlight on it like Senator Whitehouse. Hats off to him.
Now, the choice before the Senate is simple: will members vote today to cure our democracy of the cancer of dark money, or will they stand in the way and let this disease metastasize beyond control?
Members must pick a side: which side are you on? The side of American voters and one-person-one-vote, or the side of super PACS and the billionaire donor class rigging the game in their favor?
Sometimes the contrast is really that simple: today is about standing either with the American people or the dark money donor class.
And the DISCLOSE Act itself is simple to its core. It says that a healthy democracy is a transparent democracy – a healthy democracy is a transparent democracy – one where all of us can exercise our right to the franchise on an equal playing field, without regard to our wealth or our connections or lot in life.
It’s a quintessentially American ideal.
In the twelve years since the conservatives on the Supreme Court ruled in Citizens United, our elections have become rank with the stench of dark money. You can smell it in every corner of this country, and particularly in Washington. We must fix that. In free and fair elections – one person, one vote – American voters should have the power to determine our nation’s leaders, without fear that their voices will be drowned out by powerful elites or special interests.
That’s simply what the DISCLOSE Act would do.
For the sake of our democracy, for the sake of transparency in elections, for the sake of breaking the wretched stranglehold that dark money has on our country, I urge my colleagues, plead with my colleagues, to rise to this occasion, to protect our democracy and vote yes.