WORCESTER, Mass. – U.S. Rep. James McGovern introduced two Constitutional amendments on Tuesday to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case, which prohibited government restrictions on corporate and union contributions.
"The American people are deeply troubled by the growing influence of corporations in our political discourse,” said McGovern, who represents the 2nd Worcester District. “They are also demanding action on campaign finance reform – because they are repulsed by the large amount of money in our campaigns. And, quite frankly, they want elected officials to spend more time on policy, on debating and deliberating on issues – and less time dialing for dollars."
The first amendment, HJ Res 20, empowers Congress and states to regulate political spending. It will allow Congress to pass campaign finance reform legislation that will withstand Constitutional challenges.
The second amendment, HJ Res 21, would overturn Citizens United and put a stop to what McGovern termed a growing trend of corporations claiming first amendment rights. This “People’s Rights Amendment” not only addresses corporate rights as they pertain to campaign finance, but also clarifies corporations are not people with Constitutional rights.
“We need to have a serious, thoughtful debate in this country about this important issue,” McGovern said. “I hope that my amendments will begin to spur that debate.”
Watch McGovern's testimony in the video above.