Senator Tom Udall Encouraged by Growing Support for Constitutional Amendment

Disappointed that GOP sided with corporations and billionaires in filibuster of measure to limit influence of big money on American elections

U.S. Senator Tom Udall led the Senate yesterday in rallying historic support for a constitutional amendment on campaign finance. The amendment, S.J. Res. 19, won 54 votes, a majority of the Senate, but failed to reach the 60 votes needed to overcome the Republican filibuster and advance to a final vote. An outspoken critic of the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions, Udall introduced his constitutional amendment last June to make it clear in the Constitution that Congress and the states have the authority to regulate campaign finance. The amendment would effectively reverse the Court’s 1976 ruling in Buckley v. Valeo, which first equated money and speech, as well as subsequent decisions, including Citizens United and McCutcheon. Udall issued the following statement:

“Today was a historic day for campaign finance reform, with more than half of the Senate voting on a constitutional amendment to make it clear that the American people have the right to regulate campaign finance. It is unfortunate, but not unexpected, that Republicans would filibuster this measure and instead choose to support a broken system that prioritizes corporations and billionaires over regular voters.

“A narrow majority of the U.S. Supreme Court has been systematically diluting the power of the American voter by allowing corporations and billionaires to pour millions of dollars to influence our elections. New Mexicans, and all Americans, are sick of corporations and special interests trying to buy our elections. Over 3 million people have signed petitions, which were delivered to me on Monday, calling for Washington to reform the broken campaign finance system. But during this debate, Republicans have shown that they are ignoring these calls in favor of elections bought and paid for by secret donors and special interests.

“Momementum continues to build for common-sense campaign finance reform, and I will keep leading this fight on behalf of New Mexicans and all Americans to restore our nation’s founding principle — a democracy of, by, and for the people.”