In an effort to keep corporate money out of politics, Senate Democrats have proposed a constitutional amendment that would grant Congress the power to regulate the “raising and spending of money for federal political campaigns” and “allow states to regulate such spending at their level.”
Sens. Tom Udall of New Mexico and Michael Bennet of Colorado are sponsoring the legislation. Sens. Tom Harkin of Iowa, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Chuck Schumer of New York, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Jeff Merkley of Oregon are co-sponsors.
Whitehouse said the Occupy Wall Street movement has highlighted that corporations have “taken over” the political process.
“The extent to which money and corporations have taken over the process is something that is reflected across our cities in the Occupy movement,” he said Tuesday at the Capitol. “We’re going to have to do something about it if we’re going to reclaim American democracy as the shining light to other countries that it has always been.”
Udall said that “campaigns should be about the best ideas, not the biggest checkbooks. It’s time to put America back in the hands of the people.”
The amendment has to be ratified by three-fourths of the states within seven years after the date it’s submitted to Congress for it to take effect.