Release Date: Apr 29, 2010Contact: 888-249-NEWS
U.S. Chamber: Schumer & Van Hollen Bills are Brazen Attempt to Silence Free Speech on Eve of Elections
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued two statements today on the introduction of The DISCLOSE Act, one by U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue and one by U.S. Chamber Counsel and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher Partner Theodore B. Olson.
Statement by THOMAS J. DONOHUE:
"What's most in need of disclosure is the real purpose behind this bill—it's nothing more than a brazen attempt to tilt the playing field in favor of the incumbent party in this fall's elections, silence constitutionally protected speech, and abridge First Amendment rights.
"It's a sad day when legislators like Rep. Van Hollen and Sen. Schumer so blatantly put politics before the people's business. With unemployment near 10% and millions of Americans out of work, Congress should be more concerned about creating jobs than protecting their own. It's no coincidence that Rep. Van Hollen is the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Sen. Schumer is immediate past chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Sen. Schumer even admits his legislation is designed to 'impact' this fall's elections 'as much as possible.'
"Stifling free speech is an abuse of the legislative process and is unconstitutional. It will not stand. Free speech does not corrupt our politics, but efforts to limit it do."
Statement by THEODORE B. OLSON:
"Though it comes wrapped up in language of 'transparency,' the plain intent of the Schumer and Van Hollen legislation—the purpose invoked by its sponsors—is to discourage people from exercising their constitutional right to free speech. One can understand why today's party leaders may want to silence discussions on their continued fitness for office, but the First Amendment simply does not tolerate it."
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.
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