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Obama, Dems vow to act on funding decision

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court decision easing political campaign spending means a "new stampede of special interest money" in politics, President Barack Obama said.

"With its ruling today, the Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics," Obama said in a statement Thursday. "It is a major victory for ... powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans."

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In a 5-4 ruling, the court overturned restrictions on corporate and union campaign contributions, changing the landscape of political financing heading into the 2010 midterm elections.

Obama said he instructed his administration to work with Congress "to develop a forceful response to this decision. The public interest requires nothing less."

Democratic congressional leaders said they would pursue legislation that would limit the impact of the jurists' decision, The Hill reported. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., chairman of the Senate Rules Committee and the third-ranking member of the Senate Democratic leadership, said he would conduct hearings to look into ways to limit corporate spending on elections.

"The bottom line is this: The Supreme Court has just pre-determined the winners of next November's elections," Schumer said. "It won't be Republicans, it won't be Democrats, it will be corporate America."

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Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., a co-author of the campaign finance law invalidated by the Supreme Court decision, called the ruling a "terrible mistake," saying he would work on legislation to restrict it.

"The American people will pay dearly for this decision when, more than ever, their voices are drowned out by corporate spending in our federal elections," Feingold said.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the other main sponsor of the campaign finance law, expressed disappointment but said noting about legislative options, The Hill reported.

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