Senate to Vote on Campaign Reform Amendment

Cloture vote passes, which allows, but limits, debate on bill, preventing filibuster
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The Senate Monday voted to vote on S.J. Res. 19, a constitutional amendment that would allow Congress to regulate--including limit--the amount of money candidates can raise and spend.

The Senate approved a cloture motion 79-18 (it requires a three-fifths majority). The motion allows for, but limits, debate on the bill--to 30 hours--and potentially forces an up or down vote, though in this case "up" would require a two-thirds majority.

Campaign reformers are looking to drum up support, including financial, for their push for a Constitutional Amendment to limit "big money" contributions and essentially overturn the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United.

Even if the amendment passes, by the needed two-thirds majority, which appears unlikely, it would then have to pass in the House by the same majority and be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures.

"For the first time in history, every single senator will be forced to say-on the record-whether or not they think money is speech," said MoveOn, one of the reformers looking to push the amendment through Congress. "The Senate will debate money in politics this week-and a full vote is expected Thursday."

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