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Congressman John Larson

Representing the 1st District of Connecticut

Larson Joins Democratic Leaders to Introduce Democracy is for All Amendment

July 16, 2014
Press Release

Washington - Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01), Chairman of the House Election Task Force, announced the introduction of H.J. Res 119, a companion to S.J. Res 19, the constitutional amendment slated for a historic vote in the U.S. Senate later this year. The Democracy is for All Amendment will reverse highly controversial Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United v. FEC and McCutcheon v. FEC, which have given corporations and the wealthiest donors the right to buy unlimited influence in our elections.

“We need to give our elections back to everyday Americans,” said Larson. “The electoral process is awash with unregulated and undisclosed money. Recent Supreme Court decisions have continued clearing a path for special interests, millionaires and billionaires to drown out the voices of the people. This amendment is a vital step towards strengthening our system by reversing the negative impact of decisions like Citizens United, helping ensure our elections are not for sale to the highest bidder. I commend Leader Pelosi for creating an agenda to take big money influence out of politics and thank Representatives Deutch, Edwards, McGovern and the entire Task Force for putting everyday Americans first.”

Yesterday, Larson joined U.S. Representatives Ted Deutch (FL-21), Donna Edwards (MD-4), Jim McGovern (MA-2) and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA-12) to officially file the legislation. Click here to view a copy of H.J. Res 119.

Since the 2010 Citizens United decision, Americans have witnessed an unprecedented explosion of big money in state and federal elections. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, outside spending tripled between 2008 and 2012, and 93 percent of the more than $600 million spent in 2012 by Super PACs came from about 3,300 donors, or .0011 percent of the American population.

Sponsored in the U.S. Senate by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), S.J. 19 was amended and passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 10, 2014. The provisions within the Democracy for All Amendment are the product of months of collaboration between the House and Senate sponsors of previously proposed constitutional amendments, constitutional scholars, and grassroots advocacy organizations committed to restoring the integrity of our electoral process. In addition to overturning recent rulings like Citizens United and McCutcheon, the Democracy is for All Amendment also reverses the Supreme Court’s controversial holding in Buckley v. Valeo that spending money in elections is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment.