McConnell skewers Dem plan as ‘shockingly bad’

 

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellThis week: GOP picks up the pieces after healthcare defeat The Memo: Winners and losers from the battle over healthcare GOP senators pitch alternatives after House pulls ObamaCare repeal bill 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 ReidThis obscure Senate rule could let VP Mike Pence fully repeal ObamaCare once and for all Sharron Angle to challenge GOP rep in Nevada Fox's Watters asks Trump whom he would fire: Baldwin, Schumer or Zucker MORE’s (D-Nev.) testimony before the panel. Reid called on colleagues to adopt a constitutional amendment sponsored by Sens. Tom UdallTom UdallDems introduce MAR-A-LAGO Act to publish visitor logs The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Overnight Tech: FCC chief says media isn't 'the enemy of the people' | Fallout from Comey's testimony | Google apologizes for ads near extremist content | US preps electronics ban on some flights MORE (D-N.M.) and Michael BennetMichael BennetUnder pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Senators introduce new Iran sanctions 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.