Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on Friday he sees an FCC rule to publicize political advertising spending as a potential burden on free speech rights.
"Adding additional burdens and more expansive requirements during an election year is a thinly veiled attempt to achieve indirectly what the administration has failed to achieve directly through the legislative process," McConnell said in a statement.
"Protecting political speech and ensuring the right to petition the government free from harassment is at the core of the First Amendment and I am deeply troubled by any proposals to expand new federal regulatory schemes that could have the effect of stifling any citizens right to engage in constitutionally protected speech."
The FCC voted to require broadcasters affiliated with the nation's four largest broadcasters to post political advertising data online. As it stands, political advertising data is public, but it's only available on paper, making collection onerous.
Supporters of the new regulation say it would increase disclosure. Campaign finance reform backers have tried to pass legislation to boost transparency without success.
The rule is likely to apply to television stations in the nation's top 50 media markets. Taken together, those markets cover about two-thirds of the nation's population. Stations outside the top 50 media markets would be required to comply with the new rules by 2014. The data will be available on the FCC's website.