Dr. Boozman's Check-up

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was on Capitol Hill today to warn lawmakers about the alarming signs that the “recovery has lost momentum in recent months, sapping consumer confidence and crimping job creation.”

In testimony to the Senate Banking Committee, Chairman Bernanke urged policymakers to take action now to avoid the dramatic impact of sequestration cuts and tax hikes that, without action, will take place at the end of the year.  He also noted that job growth has been “frustratingly slow.”

Here’s the key section from the Washington Post’s story:

Meanwhile, the prospect of a government-induced recession is already taking a toll on the economy. 

The most effective way that the Congress could help to support the economy right now would be to work to address the nation’s fiscal challenges in a way that takes into account both the need for long-run sustainability and the fragility of the recovery,” Bernanke said. “Doing so earlier rather than later would help reduce uncertainty and boost household and business confidence.”

Instead of heeding that advice, Majority Leader Reid brought the DISCLOSE Act to the floor of the Senate for a cloture vote for the second time in 24-hours.  

How many jobs does the DISCLOSE Act create? Absolutely zero.

How does the DISCLOSE Act help us prevent tax hikes on every individual and small business in America? It doesn’t.

How much of $15.8 trillion dollar national debt does the DISCLOSE Act pay down? Not a penny.

The DISCLOSE Act failed again today and rightfully so.  It is poorly written legislation designed to strip free speech rights from those with whom the Senate Majority disagrees and favors its allies like the labor unions.  To highlight just how bad the bill is, consider that it is opposed by a broad spectrum of groups including the National Right to Life Committee, the Chamber of Commerce and the American Civil Liberties Union.  These groups are rarely ever on the same page at the same time.

Don’t get me wrong.  Disclosure is a good thing.  We should strive to break the influence of money in our politics.  But reform has to be accomplished in a manner that is fair and holds everyone accountable and ensures everyone plays by the same rules. Unfortunately, it is clear that the DISCLOSE Act does not meet those requirements and is being brought up for repeated votes solely for political reasons. 

Let’s say two attempts at political gamesmanship is enough.  The Majority needs to put this bill on the shelf where it belongs and turn the Senate’s attention to that “fiscal cliff” Chairman Bernanke was up here to warn us about today.  The consequences of continuing to ignore this looming crisis are too big for election year games.