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Attempt to Overturn Supreme Court’s Citizens United Decision Fails in Senate

NEA President Eskelsen García: ‘Our only recourse is to elect a Congress that will represent best interests of all voters’


WASHINGTON - September 11, 2014 -

A key attempt in overriding the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC fell short in the U.S. Senate today. SJ Res 19 is a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would expressly grant Congress the authority to regulate and limit the amount of money raised for and spent on federal political campaigns. The legislation was unable to meet the 60-vote threshold to proceed to a majority vote in the Senate. The provision would have allowed states to regulate campaign spending at their level.

Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC in 2010, corporate money has flooded our political system, drowning out the voices of ordinary Americans. In 2012 alone, “Super PACs” and 501(c)4 entities spent hundreds of millions of dollars to influence the outcome of elections.

NEA president Lily Eskelsen García issued the following statement in response to inaction in the U.S. Senate:

“By not allowing S.J. Res 19 to come to an up or down vote, too many in the U.S. Senate have yet again bowed to corporate manipulators like the Koch brothers, the Walton family and ALEC. These groups continue use the Citizens United decision to stifle the voices of America’s workers and voters by making sure their fiscal interests and voice come before the interests of working families. The power to speak freely is a hollow freedom for the millions of Americans whose voice is drowned out by the booming echo of big money posing as free speech.

“The only way for everyday working Americans to fight back is with our vote this November and in every election. We must remind politicians that they work for us, and not corporations. If our Congress will not work in our best interests, we must elect leaders who will.”

Follow NEA at twitter.com/neamedia.

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing nearly 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Sara Robertson  (202) 822-7823, srobertson@nea.org