RECENT VOTES

DISCLOSE Act

This week the House considered H.R. 5175: the Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act. This legislation is a response to the Supreme Court's January ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission when the court ruled that corporations should be treated as individuals for the purposes of free speech. This means that corporations can use their general treasury funds on political activity. H.R. 5175 increases transparency by requiring corporations, labor unions and other organizations to report what they are spending on an election. It also requires the highest-ranking official of a sponsoring organization to appear in its political ads and approve the message being disseminated on television or radio, just as candidates are required to appear in their ads and approve their messages. This too will increase transparency and give voters more information so that they may make informed decisions.  This legislation also prohibits large government contractors from spending money on campaigns and prohibits corporations controlled by foreign entities from making political expenditures.

You may recall that in January I introduced the Shareholder Protection Act, which would require a shareholder vote before corporate treasury funds are spent on campaigns. I tried to get this measure attached to H.R. 5175 but was not successful. I will continue working to advance my legislation because I believe that shareholders should be able to exercise their free speech rights by voting on the use of corporate treasury funds. I voted YES on H.R. 5175. The legislation passed and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

217

36

0

2

REPUBLICAN

2

170

0

6

TOTAL

219

209

0

8

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

10

0

0

0