Bennett Amendment passes, a threat to our freedom averted

Good News!  Senate votes to strike egregious provision of Lobby Reform bill.

Last week we made you aware of a serious threat to your right to make your opinion on the important issues facing this country known to your elected officials.

That threat was posed via “S.1,” a bill sponsored by Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and designated by the Senate’s now Democratic majority as this year’s “#1” legislative priority.

Described as a bill “to provide greater transparency in the legislative process,” much of S.1 focused on much-needed reform, especially in light of the lobbying scandals that have plagued our federal government in recent years.

However, buried in Section 220 of this proposed statute was a provision that would have imposed unbearably burdensome restrictions on the right of groups like CCV, Focus on the Family, and other pro-family groups to keep you informed and to encourage youto contact elected officials to express your opinion.

This egregious Section 220 specifically targeted groups like ours, while leaving “off the hook,” Section 527 organizations, such as moveon.org, and membership organizations, such as the NEA and AFL-CIO.

We can be thankful that Senator Bob Bennett (R-UT) sponsored an amendment to strike Section 220 from S.1.

And we can be thankful that on Thursday, January 18, the Bennett Amendment passed the Senate by a vote of 55-43!

In Ohio, Republican Sen. George Voinovich voted in FAVOR of the Bennett Amendment; newly elected Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown voted AGAINST the amendment.  For the complete vote record, click here.

Our thanks goes out to Sen. Bennett and to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who led the effort to strike Section 220.

And our thanks to all of you who took the time to contact our senators to encourage them to vote to remove this outrageous provision of S.1.

A serious and direct attack on our First Amendment rights to express ourselves freely and to “petition the government for a redress of grievances” has been defeated.