Larsen Supports Constitutional Amendment to Undo Citizens United

Jan 22, 2015 Issues: Equality & Opportunity

Larsen also cosponsors two other bills to reform campaign finance laws

WASHINGTON—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today supported a Constitutional Amendment that would overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United and McCutcheon campaign finance decisions. Larsen is a cosponsor of H.J.Res. 22, the Democracy for All Amendment.

“The success of our democracy depends on people’s participation at the ballot box, not the size of their bank accounts. The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision opened the door to unforeseen levels of corporate campaign spending in the form of Super PACs. The McCutcheon decision further debilitated our democratic election process by equating money with free speech, wrongly empowering bank accounts over the ballot box.  Never before have the wealthy had such an outsized influence on elections.

“This amendment gives Congress and states the power to determine reasonable limits on campaign spending, to distinguish between people and corporations, and it helps restore transparency to our elections. I look forward to a robust debate on this needed amendment to make sure elected officials represent all people and their interests, not just the wealthy,” Larsen said.

Larsen supported a similar amendment in the previous Congress and has long advocated for limiting money in politics. He voted against a federal spending bill late last year because it greatly increased campaign donation limits, and he has cosponsored a bill to undo these harmful changes. He also has spoken against the Supreme Court’s recent decisions that have granted too much ‘personhood’ to corporations.

Two other bills to reform campaign finance laws that have Larsen’s support include:

  • The DISCLOSE Act would improve election transparency by increasing disclosure requirements for corporations and outside groups who spend money on political campaigns. Larsen cosponsored the Act when it was first introduced in 2010. That year the bill passed the House but failed in the Senate. 
  • The Government By the People Act would fight against the influence of wealthy campaign donors by creating ways for small campaign donations to make a bigger impact, through a campaign contribution tax credit and a small-donor matching fund.

I have long said that elections should give power to the people, not to money. All of these bills would help restore true democracy to our elections. I will continue to be a strong voice to reform our campaign finance system to make sure people in Northwest Washington and across the country can participate in elections that are fair,” Larsen said.

###