A top Democrat accused Republicans of trying to "finish the job" the Supreme Court started with a ruling last year freeing up corporate and labor spending in elections.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) condemned an effort by Republicans to cut public funding for elections, legislation which passed the House on Wednesday.

“This is an attempt to finish the job that the Supreme Court started with the Citizens United decision," Schumer said in a statement. "It would bust one of the last dams protecting our election system from an uncontrolled flood of special interest money.”

The GOP has proposed the cuts to public funding as part of an effort to cut $617 million from the budget over the next decade.

But Democrats have decried the effort as a step toward further opening up elections to corporate influence, a phenomenon they believe had been exacerbated by the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision last fall.

President Obama made that court case a key part of his closing argument during the election, and bemoaned groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Crossroads GPS for spending heavily against Democrats and in favor of Republicans.

Obama himself opted out of public financing for his campaign in 2008, when it became apparent that private donations would leave him with more money for his campaign.

Schumer led the effort in the Senate for the Disclose Act, a piece of legislation meant to rein in elements of the Citizens United decision, but it never won enough support to advance out of the Senate.