Washington, DC – As political spending continues to break records – with the anticipation that the 2018 mid-term election will be the most expensive mid-term in American history – Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) and Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-03) relaunched the bipartisan Congressional Campaign Finance Reform Caucus to promote and facilitate a meaningful dialogue to address the undue influence of money and special interests on our political process.
“Within the last decade, two Supreme Court decisions have unleashed a flood of money into our elections,” said Congressman McNerney. “The end result of the Citizens United and McCutcheon cases has been a great increase in campaign spending, much of which has come from undisclosed and unregulated sources. When dark money determines the outcomes of our elections, the American people become disillusioned and discouraged, and when the dollars in your pocket define the value of your voice, our democracy deteriorates. Now is the time to commit to reforms that will bring transparency to our campaign finance system and restore voter confidence. By bringing together members from both sides of the aisle, this Caucus can address these inequities and advocate for changes to repair our broken system.”
According to a report by the public policy organization, Demos, the Citizens United decision opened the door for $1.3 billion in campaign spending in the 2016 election, while the McCutcheon decision – which struck down the contribution limits a single donor could contribute to all federal candidates, parties and political action committees (PACs) – resulted in just 1,724 individuals donating a total of $274 million in the 2016 election cycle. Across the board, political spending in the 2016 federal election cycle totaled almost $6.5 billion.
“Deep pocketed special interests have more power and influence than ever before,” said Congressman Jones, “and I continue to see that influence, instead of the voices of American citizens, shape misguided policy in Washington. It is time to reform the system and return the government to the people.”
At the Caucus’s first meeting of 2018, Congressmen McNerney and Jones were joined by other Caucus members and were briefed on the impact of the Citizens United decision by featured guest speaker Tiffany Muller, the President and Executive Director of End Citizens United. The Caucus will hold regular meetings to educate members of Congress and staff about the influence of money in politics and to advocate for relevant policy proposals.
The Caucus is open to all members of Congress and will provide a forum to discuss and advance solutions to reform the way campaigns are financed in this country.
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Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney