Spanberger calls for Senate to vote on campaign finance, ethics package
Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., today called on the U.S. Senate to vote on a comprehensive campaign finance and ethics reform package passed in the U.S. House last year.
January 21, 2020 marks 10 years since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC ruling, which substantially expanded the influence of corporate special interests and mega-donors in the American political process. To combat the effects of this decision, Spanberger is a cosponsor of the For the People Act, which would strengthen transparency in the U.S. political system and help limit the oversized power of special interests and undisclosed donors in U.S. elections. The legislation includes an amendment Spanberger introduced and led to prevent foreign interference in the U.S. electoral system.
In recognition for her work to limit the power of special interests in Washington, Spanberger was recently given an “A” rating on End Citizens United Action Fund’s 2019 legislative scorecard. Announced ahead of the 10th anniversary of the Citizens United decision, the scorecard tracks Members’ support for federal legislation that would help end the outsized dominance of special interest money in U.S. politics and restore ethics throughout the federal government.
“The Citizens United decision overturned a century of established legal precedent, and it ultimately made a broken system worse. The decision was a disastrous moment for the transparency of our country’s campaign finance system, and over the past decade, we’ve watched as massive amounts of undisclosed donations have poured into our political system to advance the agendas of special interests—not the agenda of the American people,” said Spanberger. “Central Virginians want their elected officials to pass policies that can actually expand opportunity and improve their financial security, and that’s why I’m proud to be a part of the fight to restore accountability and integrity to our federal government. Inaction is not an option—and Majority Leader McConnell and the Senate need to begin the process of fixing our broken system by taking a vote on the For the People Act, especially as we continue to see an explosion of outside money enter into the 2020 elections and beyond. If we truly want to make progress on critical issues ranging from high prescription drug costs to the safety of our children at school, we need to take steps to amplify the voices of our neighbors and our communities.”
“Congresswoman Spanberger knows that if we want to make progress on so many issues important to Virginians, from lowering the cost of prescription drugs to ensuring access to affordable health care, we must end the dominance of special interest money in politics and give everyday people a bigger voice in our elections,” said Tiffany Muller, President, End Citizens United Action Fund. “She has been a champion in the fight to end corruption in Washington and we’re proud to give her an ‘A’ on our 2019 legislative scorecard.”
Citizens United v. FEC invalidated the ban on corporate and union independent expenditures. By arguing that corporations are people, the Supreme Court effectively gave wealthy donors and special interest organizations the unlimited ability to influence elections.
In June 2019, Spanberger helped lead an effort calling on U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow a debate and a vote on the For the People Act.