The Hill reports that "Democrats have been unable to find a GOP co-sponsor of highly anticipated campaign finance reform legislation, delaying the rollout of a measure aimed at counteracting a landmark Supreme Court ruling." Apparently, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) planned to roll out the legislation at the end of last week but haven't been able to find any Republicans in the Senate to sign on:
With Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a longtime champion of greater restrictions on campaign finance, sidelined in a tough reelection primary fight, Democrats had set their sights on the newest GOP celebrity with centrist appeal, Sen. Scott Brown (Mass.), the freshman Republican who won the seat held by the legendary Sen. Edward Kennedy (D) for decades.
After weeks of courting, however, Brown turned down the Democrats late last week, according to spokeswoman Gail Gitcho and several sources close to the negotiations. Brown delivered the news to Schumer on the Senate floor Thursday.
"Sen. Brown's priorities continued to be jobs, the economy and national security," Gitcho explained when asked why he declined to co-sponsor.
Shortly after Brown delivered the bad news, Schumer would not acknowledge the failure to win Brown over.
When asked how important Brown's support was for the bill's passage, Schumer said only: "We welcome everyone's support."
In a statement e-mailed from his spokesman, Schumer on Monday told The Hill: "We are reaching out to a number of Republicans, but we will move forward with a bill whether we get a Republican co-sponsor or not."
As of late Monday, Senate Democrats still lacked a Republican willing to sign up for the difficult task. According to sources close to the negotiations, Schumer was focusing his efforts on convincing Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) but had yet to successfully secure an agreement.
After the high court's decision in Citizen United, Snowe seemed to come out swinging, saying it would undercut reforms that she and others had fought to secure and amounted to a "serious disservice to our country." Snowe's office did not respond to calls for comment for this story.
Snowe and Sen. Susan Collins, her fellow Republican from Maine, co-sponsored the historic Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002, along with McCain and a handful of other Republicans. But Collins's spokesman Kevin Kelley said this year that Collins would not jump onboard. He did not indicate the reason behind the decision.
Democrats have been slightly more successful in the House. Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.) has confirmed that he will sign on to sponsor the bill. The Hill reports that other targeted Republicans in the House include Reps. Walter Jones (N.C.) and Todd Platts (Pa.).