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Campaign finance amendment passes out of Judiciary Committee - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Campaign finance amendment passes out of Judiciary Committee

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WASHINGTON -

A move to amend the U.S. Constitution to limit spending on campaigns passed out of committee Thursday on a party-line vote.

The amendment was up for debate in the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Patrick Leahy. It would give the government the ability to set limits on the amount of money spent on political campaigns. It's a response to Supreme Court rulings that have eliminated constraints on the amount of money corporations and wealthy individuals can spend on campaigns.

"The Supreme Court has opened the floodgate to billionaires who are now pouring vast amounts of unfettered and undisclosed dollars into political campaigns across the country," said Leahy, D-Vermont.

"The amendment represents the very radical threat to constitutional rights. Those rights are and have always been individual rights," said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

The committee advanced the bill with all 10 Democrats voting yes and all eight Republicans voting no. With the amendment needing two-thirds support in both the Senate and the House, political observers in Washington say the amendment has no chance of passing.

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