Coalition urges constitutional amendment to rein in campaign spending

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Money-II

Coalition urges amendment to overturn Citizens United.

Several dozen groups representing an array of interests called this week on the U.S. Senate to back a constitutional amendment to rein in out-of-control campaign spending.

The groups, in a letter to senators, urged support for S.J. Res. 19, a proposed constitutional amendment to establish that Congress and the states have the power to regulate and limit election spending.

“We know that America will never deliver on its promise if our election system is dominated by big money interests,” wrote advocates of the amendment, including Public Citizen, USAction, Common Cause, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, National Education Association, NAACP, Franciscan Action Network, Pesticide Action Network and Communications Workers of America.

S.J. Res. 19 would overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and McCutcheon v. FEC. The amendment also would overturn the 1976 Buckley v. Valeo ruling, which established the doctrine colloquially known as “money equals speech.”

The letter said: “America faces great and serious challenges — putting people back to work, addressing deepening inequality, averting catastrophic climate change, fixing our schools, ensuring quality and affordable health care for all, and much more. Our country has the wealth and wherewithal, and the creativity and conscience, to meet these challenges. But we will fall short unless we repair our democracy.

“We do not lightly call for amending our great Constitution. But we know that there can be no greater constitutional purpose than ensuring the functioning of our democracy. We urge you in the strongest terms to support S.J. Res. 19, so that it quickly becomes the 28th Amendment to our Constitution.”