Can Van Hollen and Schumer beat the clock?

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“I know, let’s stay in power by overturning free speech!”

Congressman (D) Chuck Schumer of New York and (D) Chris Van Hollen of Maryland are on a fast track in their joint effort to derail the recent Supreme Court decision regarding Citizens United regarding campaign finance reform. They are in panic mode that the GOP will retake the House this November.

The following text is from the office of Maryland Congressman (D) Van Hollen: 

Chris Van Hollen


Van Hollen Statement on Legislative Framework to Address Citizens United Ruling

Washington, Feb 10 –

Today Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Assistant to the Speaker, released the following statement on his and Senator Charles Schumer’s (D-NY) legislative framework to address the Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission:

“The Supreme Court’s radical decision in the Citizens United case essentially equates corporations with individuals for the purposes of spending money in elections.  It opens the floodgates to big corporate money that can drown out the voices of American citizens.  It also opens wide the door to campaign spending by foreign corporate interests that don’t put our country first.  We must do everything we can to mitigate the damage this ruling could do to our democracy.

“The legislative framework I am releasing today with Senator Schumer will serve as a guide to our legislative response to this ruling in both the House and Senate. We have a multipronged approach to restrict the corrosive influence of special interests and to ensure that corporate activities in campaigns are fully disclosed to the public.  The response includes banning expenditures from foreign interests, federal contractors, and TARP recipients.

Wall Street banks should not be able to take taxpayer dollars and then turn around and spend millions to defeat lawmakers who are regulating them.  We will also include provisions that will allow voters to ‘follow the money’ so corporations cannot hide behind sham organizations and dummy corporations.  In addition, we will require CEOs to ‘stand by their ad’ – if corporations spend their funds in campaigns, voters have a right to know who is delivering and paying for the message. 

“I want to thank the members of the House taskforce and our other colleagues who participated in developing this framework.  We will continue to work with them as we draft a final bill.  We must move expeditiously to pass this legislation.  I hope our Republican colleagues will join us in ensuring that the voices of our citizens are not drowned out by big money corporate special interests.  This should not be a partisan issue.  Time is of the essence and we should act now.”

 The framework will include:

• Ban on expenditures from foreign interests;
• Ban on expenditures from Federal contractors; 
• Ban on expenditures from TARP recipients;
• Disclosure to the public through enhanced reporting through the FEC and LDA;
• Disclosure to shareholders directly and through the SEC;
• Stand By Your Ad (CEO and donor disclosure);
• Lowest Unit Rate (air time for candidates and party committees);
• Coordination Rules (tightened between outside groups and candidates).

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