On Monday, President Obama criticized Republicans in the Senate for blocking the passage of a campaign finance bill designed to force unions, corporations and other organizations to disclose their sponsorship of political advertisements.
The measure, which was narrowly passed in the House last month, was crafted by Democrats to reduce the influence that special interest groups have in elections. If passed, the bill would no longer allow the majority of organizations to run advertisement campaigns without publicly taking responsibility for them.
"You’d think that reducing corporate and even foreign influence over our elections would not be a partisan issue," said Obama.
Many Republicans in the Senate have publicly opposed the legislation because they feel that it infringes on First Amendment rights by attempting to silence critics of the administration and its supporters.
The GOP has also criticized the bill because it exempts organizations that have existed for more than 10 years and that have at least 500,000 dues-paying members, according to CNN. This loophole allows nonprofits such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the AARP to continue to run political ads without full disclosure.
"Citizens who are members of other grassroots groups will be muzzled by this legislation for no reason other than that they belong to a group without the financial and lobbying muscle to exempt itself from this bill," said David Bossie, president of Citizens United, an organization dedicated to restoring the government to the control of Americans.
"This bill is nothing more than incumbent protection in its worst and most cynical form," he added.