ABC News’ Rick Klein reports:
The announcement that several former Obama White House aides have launched an outside group that plans to spend millions on the election without disclosing its donors is proving awkward for some Democrats, who – like President Obama – denounced such groups when they sprung up in support of Republicans last year.
On ABC’s “Top Line” today, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who’s been outspoken in arguing that outside groups should be required to disclose their financial sources, told us that the same goes for all groups, regardless of their political alignments.
“I think whether you're a Republican-leaning group or a Democratic-leading group, you should be required to disclose. I think voters have a right to know who is spending their monies to try and influence their elections,” said Van Hollen, D-Md.
“I think all groups, regardless of their political affiliation and who they're supporting and opposing, should provide the viewers, the voters, with information on who's paying for those ads,” he continued.
“I'm going to say it again: We will ask everybody to disclose their donors. But what we really need is a law [requiring such disclosure], and it's the Republicans who have blocked the law.”
Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said Democrats will press for an increase to the debt limit that will carry more than a few months, to provide financial markets the stability that comes with the knowledge that United States will make good on its obligations.
“What the economy needs and what the markets need is stability,” he said. “If what you're gonna say is every two months, we’re going to have a debate about whether the United States will make on its full faith and credit, whether the United States will pay its bills — to our servicemen and women, to our Social Security beneficiaries, as well as bond holders — that that will be very unsettling for the economy. … Let's not play Russian roulette with the economy.”
He also said voters are reacting negatively to the House Republican budget, which overhauls Medicare to make it a system of federal premiums for seniors rather than having the government directly purchase health care.
“The American people are figuring out just what's in the Republican budget that passed in the House, and they don't like what they see, because the calculus was pretty simple: The Republican budget ends the Medicare guarantee, says that seniors have to go into the private insurance market, and eat the rising cost of health care at the same time they're providing another round of tax breaks to the very wealthiest Americans. Those are the choices the Republicans made with their budget, and it's not going over well with the American people.”
Watch the full interview with Rep. Chris Van Hollen HERE.
We also previewed the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner weekend – the annual event we affectionately refer to as “nerd prom” – with Patrick Gavin of Politico’s CLICK Website.
Watch the chat with Patrick Gavin HERE.
And be sure to check out Amy Walter and I on the red carpet at the dinner Saturday night, starting at 6:30 pm ET. “Top Line” will be live streaming as a special edition at the ABCNews.com homepage.