(Roll Call) – The immediate plan that the Democratic caucus has for addressing campaign finance regulations faces terribly long odds.
Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York, the no. 3 in the Democratic leadership and chairman of the Rules and Administration panel, was making the announcement the Senate would vote this year on a constitutional amendment that would nullify the Supreme Court’s expansive reading of the First Amendment with respect to campaign contributions.
According to his prepared statement, Schumer was planning to cite the Citizens United ruling in addition to the recent McCutcheon case. Citizens United removed many limits on outside groups, while McCutcheon did away with aggregate limits on contributions to candidates and party committees by individuals.
“These recent Supreme Court opinions, if unchallenged, could end that legacy and permanently taint future elections,” Schumer said. “That’s why Senate Democrats are going to vote this year on my colleague Tom Udall’s constitutional amendment which would once and for all allow Congress to make laws to regulate our system, without the risk of them being eviscerated by a conservative Supreme Court.”
(Reuters) – The U.S. Senate will vote this year on a proposed constitutional amendment that would let states and Congress regulate campaign finance laws, Senator Chuck Schumer said on Wednesday.
The New York Democrat made the announcement weeks after a ruling on April 2 by the U.S. Supreme Court striking down aggregate campaign donation limits, a decision that could allow wealthy individuals to contribute even more to candidates and party committees.
The proposed constitutional amendment, written by New Mexico Democrat Tom Udall, would empower Congress to regulate federal election spending and outside groups, and give states the chance to dictate their own internal campaign finance rules.
“The First Amendment is sacred, but the First Amendment is not absolute. By making it absolute, you make it less sacred to most Americans. We have to bring some balance to our political system,” Schumer said at a Senate Rules Committee hearing that also featured testimony from former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.