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May
2014
2

Proposal to Reverse Citizens United, McCutcheon Introduced by Top Dems in Senate Hearing

"Hold it right there, corporatists."

“Hold it right there, corporatists.”


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During a Senate Rules Committee hearing New York Senator Charles Schumer said that the Senate will vote on a constitutional amendment to effectively reverse the Supreme Court’s Citizens United and FEC v. McCutcheon decisions.  The hearing fell victim to predictable partisan divide with no compromise in sight, but Schumer spoke out in favor of the legislation submitted by Sen. Tom Udall regardless:

“The Supreme Court is trying to take this country back to the days of the robber barons, allowing dark money to flood our elections,” Schumer said. “That needs to stop, and it needs to stop now. The only way to undo the damage the court has done is to pass Senator Udall’s amendment to the Constitution, and Senate Democrats are going to try to do that. Before the year is out, we’re going to bring it up on the Senate floor for a vote, where we hope Republicans will join us in ensuring the wealthy can’t drown out middle-class voices in our democracy.”

The reality: the proposal has no chance of becoming law given the current party makeup of Congress.  It would need a two-thirds majority to pass.  It would also have to be ratified by three-fourths of the states.  The result will be a Democratic midterm election talking point a best, a way to gain momentum for future efforts while increasing the outrage about big money in politics.

Independent Angus King chaired the meeting. He argues that campaign finance reform should be a bipartisan issue given its effect on both parties:

The lack of consensus appeared to pain King, who tried to persuade his GOP colleagues that subterranean forms of campaign spending pose a threat to both sides.

“This isn’t a partisan issue,” the senator from Maine said. “I think this nondisclosed money is a danger to the republic, no matter who it favors, one year to the next. As the Old Testament says, ‘If you sow the wind, you’ll reap the whirlwind.’ ”

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