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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Heinrich Joins House Colleagues to Introduce Campaign Finance Constitutional Amendment

This legislation is a companion to Senate Resolution that empowers Congress to regulate campaign finance

On November 14, 2011, U.S. Representative Martin Heinrich (NM-1) joined Representatives Betty Sutton (OH-13), Jim McDermott (WA-07), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), and Jesse Jackson Jr. (IL-02) to introduce an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would authorize Congress to regulate the raising and spending of money for federal political campaigns, including independent expenditures, and allow states to regulate such spending at their individual levels.

Rep. Heinrich led the fight for public financing of elections while he served on the Albuquerque City Council and continues to be a fighter in the House to take back control of the campaign finance system.

“This is about putting the American people before big corporations,” said Rep. Heinrich. “It’s time we put voters first and increase the transparency and disclosure of political spending.”

The amendment would provide Congress with the responsibility to regulate the raising and spending of funds, which would allow laws to be established regulating so-called, “Super PACs” which have worked to concentrate money and political power in the hands of the political elite and away from working Americans.

“I have yet to find somebody who thinks this is a bad idea,” said Rep. Heinrich during an interview with the New Mexico Independent earlier today. “Unfortunately, if you look at the other people who are behind this bill, it’s largely Democrats. Still, I think even the most ardent Tea Party activists are concerned that corporations have been given this status of being more important than individuals, and that Republicans are going to wake up to that. It’s a mistake that the Republicans don’t already see this. But I do think they’ll have to respond to the growing sentiment that’s out there.”

The amendment offered is a companion amendment to one introduced by U.S. Senators Tom Udall (NM) and Michael Bennett (UT) on November 1, 2011. The proposed amendment:

  • Authorizes Congress to regulate and limit the raising and spending of money for federal political campaigns and allow states to regulate such spending at their level.
  • Includes the authority to regulate and limit independent expenditures, such as those from Super PACs, made in support of or opposition to candidates.
  • Would not dictate any specific policies or regulations, but instead would allow Congress to pass campaign finance reform legislation that withstands constitutional challenges.

A PDF of the text of the amendment can be found, here.

November 17, 2011 at 08:40 PM in Ethics & Campaign Reform, Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01), Transparency | Permalink

Comments

It's actions like these that make me want to vote for someone in a democratic primary. Heinrich just moved ahead for me in this "tough to choose" senate race. This has to pass to get any meaningful change out of this political system based on bribery. I'm glad he's joining our other great Senator in trying to get this done!

Posted by: JDM | Nov 18, 2011 7:12:01 PM

This is a strong indication of Heinrich's principles. Think of what he can do as our senator.

Posted by: qofdisks | Nov 22, 2011 2:23:40 AM