Originally posted here.
Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM)’s S.J. Res. 19, the constitutional amendment proposal that would severely handicap our First Amendment political speech protections, has just been pushed forward in the Senate.
The Hill reports that early on Monday, the Senate advanced the amendment proposal after 20 Republicans voted with Democrats. The amendment, which would reverse the Supreme Court’s decision inCitizens United v. Federal Election Commission, has been worded to restrict the work performed by issue-focused nonprofit organizations and political action committees. It would also target corporations, which is the reason why this amendment is being so widely supported by liberals.
While most Republicans originally stood against boosting the regulatory burden on political speech, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), John McCain (R-AZ), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) – among others – voted to push the motion forward. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), among others, voted against the proposal.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has claimed he will spend as much time as Republicans need to debate the issue. To him, campaign spending reform is necessary to curb the easy flow of what he calls “dark money” in politics. According to Reid, “this constitutional amendment is what we need to bring sanity back to elections and restore Americans’ confidence in our democracy.”
While Sen. Reid’s stance on this issue may have a lot to do with the overwhelming support he receives from lobbying groups such as the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), which invests a substantial amount of money in funding Democratic candidates, reverting the SCOTUS decision will require great support in the House of Representatives where it would have to be ratified by two-thirds of the states.
To Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), little will come out of the effort to push the amendment forward, considering its potentially short life was meant to work as a political stunt that would boost Democrats ahead of midterm elections.
The rhetoric may seem inflammatory enough to instill a sense of pride among passionate progressives but would they support those who are pushing this amendment through Congress if they learned where campaign money for Sen. Reid came from?
Had SCOTUS not acted on striking restrictions that kept corporations and unions from putting money from their general treasury funds into political campaigns, Sen. Reid would have never been able to win elections, considering the substantial financial support he has been receiving from big corporations for so long.