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Vote Expected Today on Campaign Spending Rules

PHOTO: A vote is expected today on the floor of the U.S. Senate on a constitutional amendment that would give Congress and states control over political campaign spending limits. Photo credit: Lucidology/iStockphoto.com.
PHOTO: A vote is expected today on the floor of the U.S. Senate on a constitutional amendment that would give Congress and states control over political campaign spending limits. Photo credit: Lucidology/iStockphoto.com.
September 8, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas – 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 warn that approval would basically give the government the ability to limit free speech, but Baker says the amendment would restore those principals.

"That really value the fact that a democracy functions where all points of view can be considered and all voices heard,” she says. “And Americans get that the current system is not that.

“In the current system, it's those with the deepest pockets who get to control who gets elected and get to control what arguments are made."


John Michaelson, Public News Service - TX