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U.S. Chamber: DISCLOSE Act Is Partisan Effort to Silence Critics and Gain Political Advantage

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - 8:00pm

Donohue: 'It's Unconstitutional. It's Un-American. And It Must Be Stopped'

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue issued the following statement today in response to the House Administration Committee's markup of the so-called "DISCLOSE Act:"

"The DISCLOSE Act is an unconstitutional attempt to silence free speech and a desperate attempt by Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen and the immediate past chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Senator Chuck Schumer, to gain political advantage in the 2010 elections.

"Congress should not be wasting its time on an 'Incumbent Protection Act,' but instead should be focused on job creation. Nothing makes Americans angrier than members of Congress who are more concerned about protecting their own jobs, rather than creating new ones for unemployed constituents.

"Unions, businesses, and individuals all have a constitutionally protected right to free speech that has been upheld by the Supreme Court. The DISCLOSE Act would undermine that protection and would allow for only the voices of politically favored groups—such as big labor unions—to be heard in national debates. It's unconstitutional. It's un-American. And it must be stopped."

The Chamber also noted that it was a signatory to a letter to the House along with 85 other trade associations representing the entire range of American businesses to oppose the "DISCLOSE Act." The letter states that the Schumer-Van Hollen bill is a direct attack on the rights of the business community and the role organizations play in the national political dialogue, and urges members of both chambers to oppose the unconstitutional legislation.

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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