It took Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThe DC bubble is strangling the DNC Dems want Sessions to recuse himself from Trump-Russia probe Ryan says Trump, GOP 'in complete sync' on ObamaCare MORE (D-Nev.) less than 10 minutes on Monday to mention conservative billionaires David and Charles Koch in his first floor speech after Congress's five-week August recess.
“We have had in this country a flood of very, very dark money coming into this nation’s political system,” Reid said on the Senate floor. “Radical billionaires are attempting to buy our democracy.”
Reid said the vote was necessary because the Koch brothers are trying to “buy America” through campaign donations to conservative candidates. He said that the billionaire brothers have paid for 44,000 30-second ads alone this election cycle — that’s 16 days worth of television.
“These two brothers try to fix every election to their liking,” Reid said. “This constitutional amendment is what we need to bring sanity back to elections and restore Americans’ confidence in our democracy.”
S.J. Res. 19 is designed to overturn two recent decisions that allowed corporations, labor unions and wealthy individuals to spend extensive amounts of money on federal elections.
Republicans support the Supreme Court’s decisions in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and McCutcheon v. FEC, arguing they removed limits on free speech protected under the First Amendment.
The 2010 Citizens United ruling struck down restrictions that had barred corporations and unions from spending money from their general treasury funds to support or oppose candidates. In McCutcheon, the court struck aggregate limits on individual contributions to candidates.
The amendment from Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) would authorize Congress and the states to regulate and limit fundraising and spending on federal candidates.
It would also prohibit the Supreme Court from reversing any future campaign finance legislation passed by Congress.