Idaho Sen. Jim Risch told delegates gathered at the GOP convention in Idaho Falls that a controversial bill that has many high-profile Republicans in an uproar will not clear the U.S. Senate. The bill, known as the DISCLOSE Act, reforms political communication in federal elections. Idaho's two representatives, Democrat Walt Minnick and Republican Mike Simpson, voted against the measure in the House.
The act, among other things, would require corporations to disclose the names of their top five donors to political ads. The act has brought together several diverse groups that don't usually agree on issues, including the American Civil Liberties Union, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who argue that the measure violates the 1st and 4th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Several large interest groups, including the National Rifle Association and labor unions, were exempted from the requirements of the act.
Risch told delegates that the bill wouldn't clear the U.S. Senate because every Republican in that body has promised to oppose it. "The good news is it ain’t going to pass," Risch told convention-goers. "There are 41 Republicans in the United State Senate and it will take one of them to move it." Because Democrats need 60 votes to break a filibuster, the bill may die in the Senate unless one Republican switches and sides with proponents of the bill.
Risch also took a swipe at the administration of President Barack Obama, who, the senator said, is aiding the assault on the free market in the country. "This country is being run by community organizers who have never worked in the free enterprise system," Risch said. "So they do what community organizers do and redistribute wealth."
Risch is slated to address delegates once more before the convention wraps up Saturday. He along with Sen. Mike Crapo, who was held over in Washington, D.C., due to his official duties and has yet to make an appearance at the event, will address delegates at Saturday morning.