June 03, 2014

Senator Tom Udall: Momentum Building for Campaign Finance Reform

Udall's constitutional amendment gets key hearing in Senate Committee today

WASHINGTON - Today, at 10:30 a.m. ET, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on a proposal by U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) to amend the Constitution and restore power to regulate campaign finance to the people through Congress and the states. Udall's amendment would clarify in the Constitution that money does not equal speech, effectively reversing the Court's decisions in Buckley v. Valeo, Citizens United, and McCutcheon, which have unraveled campaign finance regulations and handed undue power to wealthy donors to influence elections.

The hearing is available via livestream, and video will be archived HERE. Udall issued the following statement:

"Step by step, a narrow majority of the U.S. Supreme Court is dismantling our campaign finance system. Most Americans have one opportunity to make a difference in an election: the ballot box. But under the Supreme Court's rulings in Citizens United and McCutcheon, a billionaire in one state can influence the elections in 49 other states with millions of dollars in donations. No wonder people are disillusioned with the political process. It's time to act to ensure our government is of, by and for the people - not bought and paid for by secret donors and special interests.

"Americans are making their voices heard, calling for Washington to reform the campaign finance system, and thanks to them, we're building momentum. Amending the Constitution is hard - and it should be. But our founders never envisioned the out-of-control spending on campaigns of today, and they never intended for a few billionaires to be able to control our elections just by writing a check.

"Today's hearing on our proposal in the Senate Judiciary Committee is an important step. I look forward to a vote in the full Senate later this year to restore integrity in our election system and put our elections back in the hands of 'we the people.'"

Specifically, Udall's amendment would:
-Authorize Congress to regulate the raising and spending of money for federal political campaigns, including independent expenditures.
-Allow states to regulate such spending at their level.
-Not dictate any specific policies or regulations, but instead allow Congress to pass campaign finance reform legislation that withstands constitutional challenges.

For more information on Udall's amendment, click HERE.