Campaign Finance Reform and Corporate Constitutional Rights

Floor Speech

Date: Jan. 29, 2014
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, it has been 4 long years since the Supreme Court's awful Citizens United decision; and, sadly, this Republican leadership has failed to take action to address the increasing influence of big corporations and big money in our elections and our political discourse.

The House has repeatedly voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act which, quite frankly, helps millions and millions of our fellow citizens get health care. We have voted to weaken financial regulations and environmental protections; and while I am pleased that most of this legislation has not become law, I find it troubling that we have not addressed an issue so fundamental to our democracy--the empowerment of everyday Americans over special interests.

I am proud to be the sponsor of two constitutional amendments, H.J. Res. 20, which empowers Congress and the States to regulate political spending, while my people's rights amendment puts a stop to the growing trend of corporations claiming First Amendment rights.

Sixteen States, including my home State of Massachusetts, and hundreds of cities and towns across the country have taken action to support a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and the fabricated doctrine of corporate constitutional rights.

Our democracy is of the people, by the people, and for the people. We endanger that most sacred value when big money, special interests, and corporations have unlimited power to buy and influence elections.

Mr. Speaker, it is time for us to act.