A group of Senate Democrats are proposing a constitutional amendment that would grant Congress authority to regulate campaign finance. The senators say this amendment would allow Congress to "correct" the Supreme Court Citizens United ruling.
They amendment unveiled today has three main points. It:
- Would authorize Congress to regulate and limit the raising and spending of money for federal political campaigns and allow states to regulate campaign spending at their level
- Includes the authority to regulate and limit independent expenditures, like those from Super PACs
- Would not dictate any specific policies or regulations, but instead would allow Congress to pass campaign-finance-reform legislation that withstands constitutional challenges.
"The latest reinterpretation of the Constitution has left our political system vulnerable like never before,” said Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) of Citizens United. “We believe it is much healthier in a democracy to have this crucial battle of ideals fought out by publically accountable officeholders"
Udall said the rise of Super PACs and their ads are harmful to the country.
"These ads are overwhelmingly nasty, negative and mean-spirited,” he added. “Letting this go unchecked is a threat to our democracy. Campaigns should be about the best ideas not the biggest checkbooks. It's time to put elections back in the hands of American voters"
Another co-sponsor, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) added, "If there's only one thing we can do to change the environment on Capitol Hill and in Washington for the better, it’s this amendment."
He continued, "If you want to take our political campaigns out of the hands of special-interest groups and super PACs and groups we've never heard of, this is the way to do it."
Durbin said Congress needs to take this power out of hands of Supreme Court.