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Snowe Says NO to Schumer's DISCLOSE Act

Moderate Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, just told reporters she will not support proceeding with debate on a campaign finance bill, known as the DISCLOSE Act, a move that signals the end of the road for this legislation for now.

Complaining that there have been “no hearings, no vetting, no attempt to bring people together,” Snowe touted her own past work on the issue and added, “I know the new routine on legislation these days is to ram and jam…but it really does take time…It really does require building a consensus.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, a gun control advocate, said she will support Democratic leaders’ effort to start debate on the legislation, but spokesman Gil Duran says the senator will not support the bill on final passage. And Feinstein told reporters moments ago that if today’s vote were one to shut off debate and move to final passage, she, too, would be a ‘no’ vote.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, the bill’s lead sponsor, had to keep in a House-passed exclusion from disclosure requirements for large membership groups like the NRA, in order to secure enough votes for passage. Feinstein opposes this carve out.

Senate Democrats are expected to narrowly lose Tuesday’s procedural vote, particularly as Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-CT, is out of town at a family member’s funeral (note the correction from an earlier story citing a “friend’s” funeral). And even though the vote could be called up for reconsideration when the senator returns, Lieberman spokeswoman Erika Masonhall tells Fox that the senator’s position on cloture is not yet known.

And some Democrats could possibly think twice about the measure with the just-announced opposition by the AFL-CIO.  

William Samuel, director of the union's government affairs department, makes clear in a strongly-worded statement to members that though the AFL-CIO opposes the measure "reluctantly," it nevertheless feels the bill "imposes extraordinary new, costly, and impractical record-keeping and reporting obligations on thousands of labor (and other non-profit) organizations," adding that the bill "would disrupt the operation of thousands of organizations without any corresponding public benefit."

With Snowe’s emphatic ‘no’ vote, and Monday’s announcement of opposition from her fellow Maine moderate, Susan Collins, together with one powerful union's opposition, the DISCLOSE Act appears to stand no chance of passage this session.