Yesterday, the U.S. Senate opened debate on a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, the Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates to big-money campaign cash. Passage of this constitutional amendment would allow limits to be set on large-dollar contributions and campaign spending.
Crucially, the Senate overcame a potential filibuster of the amendment, titled the Democracy For All Amendment. Consideration of the amendment is an important step in the fight to get big money out of politics. This past April, the Supreme Court’s decision in McCutcheon v. FEC further decimated campaign finance. The decision struck down a federal contribution limit, and according to U.S. PIRG and Demos research, it may lead to an additional billion dollars in big-donor campaign spending between now and 2020. This year’s Congressional elections are the first under the new rules.
Yesterday, U.S. PIRG joined with partner organizations to hold a rally next to the U.S. Capitol building in support of the amendment. U.S. PIRG members contributed to the 3 million petitions collected by the groups, from Americans across the country and across the political spectrum. We were joined at the event by the lead sponsor of the amendment Sen. Tom Udall (N.M.), as well as Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Sen. Al Franken (Minn.), Rep. Ted Deutch (Fla.), and Rep. Jim McGovern (Mass.).
Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT) speaks at the rally in support of the Democracy for All Amendment, surrounded by 3 million petitions from U.S. PIRG and other groups.