Campaign Finance Reform
Out-of-control campaign spending has reached a truly dangerous level in our country. I believe our country’s future is at risk unless we achieve significant campaign finance reform. The opportunity for ordinary Americans with talent and dedication to win elections in our country is steadily disappearing. In 1982, the average race for the U.S. House of Representatives cost $265,000, according to the Federal Elections Commission. Now it’s well over a million dollars—at a minimum! Also, special interests and wealthy contributions exercise far too much influence over government and the legislative process. The American people, not deep-pocketed special interests, should have the access and influence in Washington.
The Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court represented a major step backward—allowing corporations and rich individuals to contribute unlimited sums of money without any accountability. Real campaign finance reform thus far has been unattainable because neither party wants to stop the money chase. Despite appeals from citizens for campaign finance reform and assurances from presidents and congressional leaders to pass such reform, significant progress has been lacking. Congress must enact strong campaign finance reform and end once and for all the current practice of allowing elections to be bought by the highest bidder.
LEGISLATION I HAVE SPONSORED IN THE 113TH CONGRESS
H.R. 128 would require radio and TV broadcasters to provide free broadcasting time for political advertising as a condition of their federal licenses. The bill was referred to the House Energy and Commerce committee.
H.Con. Res. 6 expresses the sense of Congress that the U.S. Supreme Court misinterpreted the First Amendment to the Constitution in the case of Buckley v. Valeo, which equated campaign spending with free speech. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
H.R. 195 would amend campaign law to prohibit contributions and expenditures by multi-candidate political committees controlled by foreign-owned corporations. The bill was referred jointly to House Administration and the Judiciary Committee.
H.J. Res. 12 proposes a constitutional amendment to address campaign contributions and expenditures. Referred to the Judiciary Committee.
H.J. Res. 13 proposes a constitutional amendment that would waive application of the first article of amendment to the political speech of corporations and other business organizations with respect to the disbursement of funds in connection with public elections. Referred to Judiciary.
H.J. Res. 14 proposes a constitutional amendment that waives the application of the first article of amendment to the political speech of corporations and other business organizations with respect to the disbursement of funds in connection with public elections and granting Congress and the States the power to establish limits on contributions and expenditures in elections for public office. Referred to Judiciary.