GOP senators block bill requiring dark money groups to disclose donors

Sen. Josh Hawley said he is concerned donors would be "doxxed, and hassled, and harried, and harmed."
Senate floor

Senate Republicans on Thursday blocked a Democrat-led measure to require so-called dark money groups disclose the identities of donors who contribute more than $10,000 during an election cycle.

The vote in the 100-member chamber was 49-49 with every present Republican voting against the bill and every present Democrat voting for it.

The bill is not new, however. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) first introduced the legislation in 2010 and it has been reintroduced every Congress since.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) told Insider that he is concerned the donors would be harassed.

"I don't want to see them doxxed, and hassled, and harried, and harmed, and that's what this bill is about," he said.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) cited a 1958 Supreme Court decision that determined that the state of Alabama, which at the time was largely controlled by segregationist Democrats, could not force the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to disclose its members.

"Racist Democrats wanted to go after the NAACP and persecute their supporters," Cruz said. "Democrats have wanted to do this for a long time."

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) criticized the GOP for not supporting the bill, which he introduced.

"Unfortunately, the Republican party has become as dependent on dark money as a deep-sea diver is on his air hose," he said. "And so even though my colleagues know that the public hates this stuff, they try to respond to that hatred with their own efforts to paint us as a dark-money party."