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McConnell skewers Dem plan as ‘shockingly bad’

 

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellRepublican wins La. Senate runoff in final 2016 race Heitkamp is Trump's top choice for Agriculture secretary: report Schumer calls for Senate probe into Russian interference MORE (Ky.) slammed Democrats on Tuesday for trying to amend the Constitution to limit political spending and vowed the effort will “never” succeed.

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“The First Amendment is about empowering the people, not the government. The proposed amendment has it exactly backwards. It says that Congress and the states can pass whatever law they want abridging political speech — the speech that is at the very core of the First Amendment,” McConnell said in rare testimony by a Senate leader before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

McConnell’s remarks followed Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidReid: Comey should be investigated in wake of Russia report Spokesman: NY Times ignored Reid's comments in pre-election story on Russia Senate passes dozens of bills on way out of town MORE’s (D-Nev.) testimony before the panel. Reid called on colleagues to adopt a constitutional amendment sponsored by Sens. Tom UdallTom UdallStaff shakeup begins at Dem campaign committee Tom Udall eyes NM governor bid Court ruling could be game changer for Dems in Nevada MORE (D-N.M.) and Michael BennetMichael BennetSenate passes college anti-Semitism bill Speculation and starting points: accreditation, a new administration and a new Congress The untold stories of the 2016 battle for the Senate MORE (D-Colo.) that would empower Congress to regulate campaign fundraising.  

McConnell said the proposal does not have the slightest chance of passing.

“Now, everyone on this Committee knows this proposal is never going to pass Congress. This is a political exercise and that’s all it is,” he said.

McConnell said Reid and other Democratic leaders are pushing the amendment motivate liberal voters who often have lower rates of turnout during midterm elections.

“The political nature of this exercise should not obscure how shockingly bad this proposal is,” he said.

He emphasized that former Sens. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), leading Senate liberals of the past, opposed efforts to amend the Constitution to rein in fundraising activities.

“Our colleagues who voted against those proposals were right then. And I respectfully submit that they would be wrong now to support the latest proposal to weaken the First Amendment,” he said.