White House Endorses Campaign Finance Bill

The Obama admin is taking a greater role in pushing a key campaign finance bill in spite of a provision aimed at exempting the NRA and other groups from disclosure requirements, the WH said today, even as other key liberal organizations came out against the measure.

The DISCLOSE Act, aimed at addressing the Supreme Court's Jan. Citizens United v. FEC ruling by requiring additional campaign finance disclosures from outside organizations that can run political advertisements, ran into snags last week.

After chief sponsor Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) announced a deal with the NRA, liberals and the Congressional Black Caucus balked at backing a bill they once supported. A planned Friday vote was scrapped, though supporters hope to round up the votes this week.

This seems both natural and mildly problematic: President Obama called for campaign-finance legislation as a response to the Citizens United ruling (recall the in-person denunciation of the ruling, with Supreme Court justices present, during his State of the Union address), but the NRA deal has soured some important Democratic factions, including labor, which has been quite unhappy with the White House anyway after an anonymous White House staffer trashed their spending on behalf of Lt. Gov. Bill Halter to Marc and Politico's Ben Smith on the night Halter lost to Sen. Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas' Senate primary.