Sunday, September 19, 2010
Obama again slams GOP for holding up campaign finance bill
For the second time in a month, President Obama on Saturday used his weekly address to call on Senate Republicans to stop blocking legislation that would require companies, unions and other interest groups to explicitly identify themselves in any campaign advertising they fund.
As the November election nears, Obama has increasingly used his radio and Internet address to make a political statement, and his remarks Saturday echoed a theme he used in a campaign fundraising speech earlier in the week.
He has repeatedly cast a January Supreme Court ruling that, for the first time, allows corporations, unions and other organizations to spend unlimited amounts of money on behalf of candidates as a grave threat to fair elections during a critical midterm campaign season. The address drew an angry response from Republicans, who accused Obama of caring only about his party's hold on Congress.
"What's at stake is not just an election," Obama said in the address. "It's our democracy itself."
Obama said that, since he took office, Democrats have "fought back against the entrenched special interests, weakening their hold on the levers of power in Washington."
"Now, the special interests want to take Congress back, and return to the days when lobbyists wrote the laws," Obama said. "And a partisan minority in Congress is hoping their defense of these special interests and the status quo will be rewarded with a flood of negative ads against their opponents. It's a power grab, pure and simple."
Congressional Democrats have proposed legislation to tighten some of the disclosure requirements that the Supreme Court's ruling loosened.
But Senate Democrats failed in July to muster enough votes to bring the legislation, known as the Disclose Act, to a vote, with Republicans opposing the measure as a bloc.
"This is common sense," Obama said. "In fact, this is the kind of proposal that Democrats and Republicans have agreed on for decades."