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The House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties heard testimony Thursday on a proposed amendment to nullify the effects of Citizens United.

Amendment to nullify Citizens United finally gets air time in the House

It's been a decade since the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, paving the way for an ocean of unregulated and secretive campaign spending. Proponents of tighter restrictions had their first chance on Thursday to tell the House why amending the Constitution is the best way to reverse the multibillion-dollar trend — but the subcommittee hearing looks to be all they get for a while.

The so-called Democracy For All amendment has been introduced in the House and Senate in all six Congresses since the Supreme Court's landmark decision. Each time, Democrats have been joined by one Republican at most in backing the proposal — signaling the government is nowhere close to "overturning" Citizens United v. FEC by making the 28th constitutional alteration.

The two-hour hearing did nothing to alter that reality. In fact, the chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Democrat Steve Cohen of Tennessee, said nothing about reconvening someday to hold the first necessary vote.

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He faces really long odds, but Bill Weld is still the most prominent Republican to endorse changing the Constitution to permit tougher money-in-politics limits.

Campaign finance constitutional amendment gets a GOP presidential backer

Bill Weld is now the most prominent Republican candidate in favor of amending the Constitution in order to slow the torrent of big money in American politics.

The former Massachusetts governor is the longest of long shots as he runs against President Trump for the GOP nomination. And a constitutional alteration to permit much tighter campaign finance regulation has essentially no near-term shot of getting through Congress with the necessary two-thirds majority and then getting ratified by the required 38 states.

But those who view such a 28th Amendment as the most consequential aspiration of democracy reformers can nonetheless point to Wednesday's announcement as a symbolic milestone: The idea can now claim a measure of bipartisan support in the presidential field.

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"Our government must be solely accountable to the governed — we, the American people," argues Jim Rubens.

Three pillars of conservative thought demand a constitutional curb on campaign finance

Rubens was a Republican state senator in New Hampshire from 1994 to 1998. He's a board member of American Promise, which seeks to amend the Constitution to allow tighter controls on money in politics.

This month I shared the stage at American Promise's citizen leadership conference with Rep. Jamie Raskin, a liberal Democrat from Maryland. We differ on policy, but the two of us join most every American in agreeing on this deepest fundamental: Our government must be solely accountable to the governed — we, the American people.

To this end, to protect and preserve the world's oldest democratic republic, we will break the suffocating grip of concentrated big-money. We will get a 28th Amendment added to our cherished and ever-more-perfect Constitution.

Democrats are overwhelmingly on board. Two-thirds of Republican voters are on board. Now is the time to get Republicans in Congress to join us in large numbers. To do so we must persuade their most conservative constituents. And we can do that because big-money corruption is undermining three critical conservative priorities: capitalism, low taxes and federalism.

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