Senator Carper: “We Need a Constitutional Amendment to Fix Our Broken Campaign Finance System”

WASHINGTON- On April 2, 2014, the Supreme Court struck down the caps on aggregate political contributions in the McCutcheon v. FEC decision. The controversial 5-4 decision will now allow wealthy individuals, previously limited to $123,200 per two-year election cycle, to donate up to $3.6 million per campaign cycle to candidates for federal office, national political parties, and political action committees. Today, Senator Carper cosponsored a constitutional amendment (S.J. Res. 19) introduced by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) to improve our campaign finance system.

“In recent years, I have been alarmed by the Supreme Court’s decisions to bulldoze common-sense campaign finance laws that have been on the books for decades, opening the floodgates to special interests, and giving wealthy individuals disproportionate influence in our elections. While Citizens United took us in the wrong direction, the recent McCutcheon decision confirmed my fear that we can’t turn things around without drastic action. I believe we have no choice but to pursue amending the U.S. Constitution in order to improve our campaign finance system and restore sanity to our political process.”

“We need a constitutional amendment to fix our broken campaign finance system because the American people need a campaign finance system that gives each of them an equal voice, regardless of the size of their bank account. The Supreme Court’s recent decisions have disrupted the long-understood ability of Congress and the states to regulate political money. That’s why today I’m proud to join the effort being led by my friend and colleague Senator Tom Udall to restore the authority of Congress and the states to enact sensible campaign finance regulations. It’s a simple approach, and a thoughtful one, that will allow senators and representatives from both sides of the aisle to come together to pass meaningful campaign finance legislation that can withstand constitutional challenges.”

Senator Udall’s proposed constitutional amendment:

  • Restores authority to the American people, through Congress and the states, to regulate and limit the raising and spending of money for federal political campaigns;
  • Allows states to regulate campaign spending at their level;
  • Includes the authority to regulate and limit independent expenditures, like those from Super PACs;
  • Would not dictate any specific policies or regulations, but instead would allow Congress to pass campaign finance reform legislation that withstands constitutional challenges;
  • Expressly provides that any regulation authorized under the amendment cannot limit the freedom of the press.