Democrats’ proposal for a constitutional amendment to limit campaign fundraising and spending would be “the most massive intrusion on civil liberties and expansion of federal-government power in modern times,” warns Ted Cruz (R., Texas). Taking to the Senate floor, Cruz chastised his Democratic colleagues for prioritizing a vote on the amendment for their own political gain over addressing the Islamic State, Russia, the economy, and other matters.
According to the proposal’s author, Senator Tom Udall (D., N.M.), the amendment is intended to stop the influence of “dark money” in politics and reverse Supreme Court decisions such as Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. While the proposal certainly has no chance of ratification, Democrats hope to use it to appeal to their base in a difficult election environment, and Cruz and other Republicans are sounding the alarm.
“This proposal before the Senate is bar none the most radical proposal that has been considered by the United States Senate in the time I have served,” Cruz said on Tuesday, appearing with a posterboard showing parts of the First Amendment struck out. “If this proposal were to pass, its effects would be breathtaking.”
While Udall and his allies say they are looking for “reasonable limits,” Cruz argued the First Amendment is intended to protect both reasonable and unreasonable speech. More important, Congress has no place in deciding what is deemed reasonable speech, he added.
“The idea that elected politicians would seek to arrogate power to themselves to censor the citizens is anathema to who we are as a country,” Cruz said.