On Thursday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) blocked President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over whether he supports the Disclose Act.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Cruz “placed a hold on the nomination of former telecom lobbyist and venture capitalist Tom Wheeler to lead the Federal Communications Commission” until he “pledges not to require more disclosures from the sponsors of political ads.”
A Cruz spokesman said that Wheeler has “expressed his readiness to revisit the senator’s questions” about the Disclose Act, which Democrats have tried to pass after the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in the Citizens United case that ruled that political expenditures amounted to speech that is protected under the First Amendment. That decision allowed unlimited campaign spending by outside groups. The Disclose Act would force “corporations, unions, and other outside groups to disclose when they spend more than $10,000 to air campaign-related ads,” and Democrats have “suggested the FCC could require such disclosure under its existing authority.”
Cruz fiercely opposes the Disclose Act and indicated in June during a confirmation hearing that “any attempt by the FCC to achieve the Disclose Act’s goals through executive fiat would go beyond its authority.”