House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) believes restrictions on political spending would guarantee more women, minorities and young people get elected, and she is willing to amend the Constitution to get those limits.
“We have the legislation to do it that dares to disclose who is this money coming from and amend the Constitution to overturn Citizens United,” Pelosi said when speaking Wednesday at the Make Progress Conference, sponsored by the Center for American Progress. “This special interest money is suffocating the airwaves, causing confusion.”
The Democratically-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee recently voted to send a bill to the floor to amend the Constitution to allow Congress and state legislatures to put spending limits on political campaigns.
The U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 in the 2010 Citizens United ruling and this year in the McCutcheon ruling that political spending is speech and caps by government violated the First Amendment.
“In order to take back our politics, we must reduce the role of money in politics and increase the level of civility,” Pelosi said. “I guarantee you, if we increase the level of civility and reduce the role of money, we will allow more women, more minorities, more young people to elective office.”
Pelosi was speaking to a youth conference, part of CAP’s Generation Progress initiative. About 750 young progressives attended the conference.
“That’s the most wholesome thing that we can do for our country,” Pelosi continued. “We have to win the election in order to be able to do that. I don’t know if we’re here to talk politics today, but I do want to say, that we have to win the election in order to reduce the role of money.”
She added that restricting campaign contributions and spending would take care of other problems.
“All the other things they are doing is horrible, from obstacle to participation and suffocating the airwaves to confuse the issues turns people off,” Pelosi said. “But we have to turn people on to the idea that things can get better for them if we take the action that is necessary, if we choose to take action to make progress for America’s workers.”
The Supreme Court decided in the Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commission case that prohibiting corporations and labor unions from supporting a candidate is unconstitutional. The McCutcheon vs. FEC determined there can be no restrictions on how many candidates an individual can donate to. The high court ruled that the restrictions would violate free speech.
“When you’re talking about free speech, you are talking about America,” Shaun McCutcheon, lead plaintiff in the McCutcheon vs. FEC case, told TheBlaze in June regarding the proposed constitutional amendment considered in the Senate. “You are talking about the country. You’re talking about everything, OK? I think that they are out of their minds. When I listen to what they’re saying, it sounds like a bunch of crazy stuff. I don’t even know what it is. I can’t make any sense out of it.”
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