Tester dragging Senate campaign reporting into the 21st Century
Senate panel approves Senator’s bill requiring electronic filing, more accountability
(U.S. SENATE) – Thanks to Senator Jon Tester, the U.S. Senate today is one step closer to the 21st century.
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved Tester’s bipartisan bill that requires all U.S. Senate candidates to file their quarterly campaign finance reports electronically with the Federal Election Commission.
Senate candidates currently only have to file paper reports with the Secretary of the Senate, leading to delays that prevent the documents from being publicly available online for months and costing taxpayers nearly half a million dollars every year.
“In Montana, accountability and transparency are expected from our elected officials and candidates for public office,” Tester said after today’s committee meeting. “This bill will bring Senate campaign reporting and transparency into the 21st Century. The public expects us to do things that make sense, and this makes sense.”
Tester noted that under current campaign finance rules, reports filed as early as July could be unavailable to the public until well after an election in November. In addition to adding more transparency, Tester hailed the measure for making government more efficient.
“It is rare that we have an opportunity to both cut spending and improve transparency,” Tester added. “And that’s exactly what my bill will do.”
The committee’s approval adds to the recent momentum behind Tester’s bill. The bipartisan measure also passed out of the Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday and is co-sponsored by more than one-third of the Senate.
Tester’s Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act (S. 375) is also co-sponsored by fellow Montana Senator Max Baucus. A news article recently highlighted the bill for bringing the kind of transparency to the Senate that Senators are demanding of other branches of the government.