GOP Expected to Thwart Biden's Plan to Go After 'Dark Money' in Politics

Senate Republicans look set to thwart President Joe Biden's plan to bring greater transparency to so-called "dark money" in U.S. politics in a procedural vote on Wednesday.

Biden has argued in favor of the DISCLOSE Act which would require super Political Action Committees (PACs) and "dark money groups" to disclose the identity of donors who contribute $10,000 or more.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer will bring the bill up for a vote on Wednesday but it is expected to fall at the first hurdle as there aren't 60 votes in support of it.

"There's too much dark money flowing in the shadows of our politics," Biden's official Twitter account wrote on Tuesday.

Joe Biden Discusses the DISCLOSE Act
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act during an event at the Roosevelt Room of the White House on September 20, 2022 in Washington, DC. The legislation is likely to fail in a procedural vote in the Senate on Wednesday. Alex Wong/Getty Images

"The DISCLOSE Act ensures groups that run issue ads to influence elections will have to disclose contributions above $10,000," the president tweeted. "And foreign entities would be banned from making any contributions for these ads."

In a speech in the White House's Roosevelt Room on Tuesday, Biden pointed to a donation of $1.6 billion from a single donor paid to a conservative group, Marble Freedom Trust, which is led by Leonard Leo, co-chairman of the conservative Federalist Society.

The Federalist Society played a key role in advising former President Donald Trump on the selection of conservative Supreme Court nominees.

"And here's the deal: The public only found out about this $1.6 billion transfer because someone tipped off some of your reporters; otherwise, we still wouldn't know about it. But now we know, and there's something we can do about it," Biden said.

Biden said that "Republicans should join Democrats" to pass the DISCLOSE Act "and get it on my desk right away."

"And dark money has become so common in our politics, I believe sunlight is the best disinfectant. And I acknowledge it's an issue for both parties," the president said.

"But here's the key difference: Democrats in the Congress support more openness and accountability. Republicans in Congress so far don't ... I hope they'll come around," Biden added.

However, it appears unlikely that the bill will pass in a procedural vote on Wednesday due to Republican opposition. Schumer appeared to acknowledge it would not pass in remarks on the Senate floor on Monday.

The Democrat said the legislation "would require Super PACs and other dark money groups to report anyone contributing $10,000 or more during an election. It would likewise require groups spending money on judicial nominees to disclose their donors too."

"Republicans are going to have to take a stand on whether they want to fight the power of dark money or allow this cancer to grow even worse," Schumer said.

The DISCLOSE Act first passed the House of Representatives in 2010 but failed to pass the Senate twice in 2012, with opposition led by now Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Newsweek has asked the White House for comment.