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Vote Expected Today on Campaign Spending Rules

PHOTO: U.S. Tom Harkin of Iowa is among the roughly 50 cosponsors of legislation up for a vote Monday that attempts to reverse the effects of big money on politics.
PHOTO: U.S. Tom Harkin of Iowa is among the roughly 50 cosponsors of legislation up for a vote Monday that attempts to reverse the effects of big money on politics.
September 8, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa – A vote is expected today on the floor of the U.S. Senate on a constitutional amendment that would give Congress and the states control over political campaign spending.

Marge Baker, executive vice president of People For the American Way, says Senate Joint Resolution 19 is needed to stop the flow of big money into politics following related rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court that opened the floodgates.

"The goal of this amendment is to undo the damage that the court has done over the years, most recently in the Citizens United case, and the McCutcheon case and other related cases, that have essentially stripped Congress and the states of the ability to set reasonable regulations over the raising and spending of money on elections," she explains.

While support for the amendment has been growing, it faces an uphill battle at best.

To be enacted, it must pass both houses of Congress by a two-thirds vote and be ratified by at least 38 states.

Those opposed to the proposal are coming from both sides of the spectrum.

Many Republicans warn that approval would basically give the government the ability to limit free speech.

Others, such as Deborah Holley with Move to Amend Des Moines, say the proposal doesn't go far enough.

"It does not actually address corporate personhood, and the corporate personhood issue and money as free speech are the two items that the Move to Amend group have been always trying to abolish,” she stresses. “So, it's too watered down."


John Michaelson, Public News Service - IA