U.S. Senate: Senate Electronic Filing Legislation Long Overdue
Today, the Campaign Legal Center expressed strong support for Sen. Jon Tester’s (D-MT) and Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R-MS) Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act(S. 375), to require electronic filing of campaign finance disclosure reports by Senate candidates, as House and Presidential candidates have done for more than a decade.
Candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives and for the office of President, and nearly all federal political committees, currently file their campaign finance disclosure reports electronically with the FEC. This data is typically uploaded onto the FEC website for public access within 24 hours. By contrast Senate filings generally take weeks to become publicly available and the cost of converting them for FEC purposes costs taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
“Through its insistence on clinging to this time consuming and expensive process of paper-based filing, the U.S. Senate succeeds only in denying voters vital information about who is bankrolling campaigns until after the votes have been counted, but that is precisely the goal of opponents,” said Meredith McGehee, Campaign Legal Center Policy Director. “The U.S. Supreme Court and the majority of the Senate have long recognized the importance of timely disclosure to allow the electorate to make informed decisions at the polls but a small minority of obstructionists has held back progress for too long. It is high time the U.S. Senate moved forward on this and dragged reluctant colleagues into the 21st Century.”
The bill currently has 34 cosponsors, including a number of Republicans.
To read a PDF of the letter, click here.