Senate to Vote on Campaign Reform Amendment

The Senate Monday voted to vote on S.J. Res. 19, a constitutional amendment that would allow Congress to regulate--including limit--the amount of money candidates can raise and spend.

The Senate approved a cloture motion 79-18 (it requires a three-fifths majority). The motion allows for, but limits, debate on the bill--to 30 hours--and potentially forces an up or down vote, though in this case "up" would require a two-thirds majority.

Campaign reformers are looking to drum up support, including financial, for their push for a Constitutional Amendment to limit "big money" contributions and essentially overturn the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United.

Even if the amendment passes, by the needed two-thirds majority, which appears unlikely, it would then have to pass in the House by the same majority and be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures.

"For the first time in history, every single senator will be forced to say-on the record-whether or not they think money is speech," said MoveOn, one of the reformers looking to push the amendment through Congress. "The Senate will debate money in politics this week-and a full vote is expected Thursday."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.