Democrats in the Senate made a concerted push on Tuesday during a confirmation hearing for nominees to the Securities and Exchange Commission to require corporations to disclose political contributions. Senator Charles Schumer of New York threatened to vote against confirming the nominees, Lisa Fairfax and Hester Peirce, if they did not clearly state support for requiring corporations to make their political donations public. “The SEC is certainly not responsible for patching that hole in our campaign finance system, but you can help prevent that hole from being ripped any wider,” Schumer said. “Shareholders remain in the dark as executives of public corporations funnel money into our political system with no transparency or accountability.”
Other Democrats, including Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, made similar comments.
The securities regulator has faced mounting pressure to require contributions disclosure from corporations since the Supreme Court struck down strict limits on campaign finance in its 2010 Citizens United decision.
Menendez said 1.2 million people have written to the SEC about the disclosure requirement.