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Dems Say They'll Move on Campaign Finance Amendment

Image: U.S. Senator Schumer, part of the U.S. Senate's "Gang on Eight", speaks during a news briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington
JASON REED / Reuters

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Senate Democrats say they will move forward with a constitutional amendment that would reverse recent campaign finance court decisions that make it easier for corporations and wealthy donors to make large political contributions.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., formally announced the effort during a hearing Wednesday on campaign finance reform, where former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens was slated to be the star witness. The amendment, proposed by New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall, would allow states to regulate some campaign spending and would give Congress the authority to regulate and limit spending by groups like super PACs.

"The Supreme Court is trying to take this country back to the days of the robber barons, allowing dark money to flood our elections," said Schumer. "That needs to stop, and it needs to stop now. The only way to undo the damage the court has done is to pass Senator Udall's amendment to the Constitution, and Senate Democrats are going to try to do that.”

Schumer said Democrats want to bring the measure – which has little chance of passage – to the Senate floor this year.

Democrats object to the Supreme Court’s recent decisions in the Citizens United and McCutcheon cases. The former case eased restrictions on corporations’ political giving; the recent McCutcheon ruling struck down limits on aggregate donations to federal candidates and political parties.

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