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Senate Debates What Could Be 28th Amendment To The U.S. Constitution

PHOTO: What could become the 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and reform political campaign spending limits, is being debated in the United States Senate. Photo credit: Library of Congress.
PHOTO: What could become the 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and reform political campaign spending limits, is being debated in the United States Senate. Photo credit: Library of Congress.
September 11, 2014

CARSON CITY, Nev. - The U.S. Senate is involved in an historic debate over a proposed constitutional amendment that would give Congress and the states control of political campaign spending limits. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) sponsored Senate Joint Resolution 19, which could become the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

On the Senate floor, Udall said a growing number of Americans want big money out of politics.

"Over three million people have signed petitions in support of a constitutional amendment," Udall said. "Sixteen states, over 550 cities and towns, pushing for reform - demanding a more level playing field."

The Senate is expected to vote on the amendment this week. It would counteract U.S. Supreme Court rulings such as Citizens United, which lifted limits on some campaign donations made by businesses.

Jonah Minkoff-Zern, campaign co-director at Public Citizen, said he believes Senate Republicans, who largely oppose the amendment, agreed to debate it because big money in politics has become part of the national conversation.

"It's probably attributable just to the really popular energy around this that Republicans felt they couldn't shut down debate," Minkoff-Zern said. "It's been really exciting to hear the debate all week this week, showing that there's not a viable argument against a constitutional amendment."

Passage of a constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds vote in Congress and support from three-quarters, or 38, of the states.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - NV