Senate Advances Amendment to Overturn Citizens United

Today the U.S. Senate voted 79-18 to advance a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, the landmark Supreme Court decision which gave corporations and labor unions the green light to spend unlimited amounts on campaign advertisement.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have strong feelings about the ruling, especially with the November midterm election just two months away.

Back in January 2010, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it OK for corporations to spend as much as they so choose on political campaigns.

Court justices handed down the ruling, justifying their reasoning by stating it was still illegal for corporations to make contributions directly to candidates for federal office.

But then came the rise of Super PACs, which can accept unlimited amounts from billionaires, unions and corporations to buy advertising and attack ads.

"What makes America great is that everyone has a say in the decisions that we make," says Senator Jon Tester. "That each one of us from the richest to the poorest, has an equal stake in electing our leaders, but the Supreme Court can't seem to figure that out. "

Senator Tester, who is co-sponsoring the amendment introduced by New Mexico Senator Tom Udall, is calling fellow lawmakers to overturn the ruling which many felt cemented corporations as people.

"Its time to overturn Citizens United. Its time to put people and ideas back in charge of our elections."

The amendment, which Senator Tester is co-sponsoring, would not dictate any specific policies or regulations of campaign contributions, but would grant congress the express authority to regulate and limit independent expenditures, mostly made by large corporations.

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