McGovern Reintroduces Bill to Overturn Citizens United and Declare Corporations Are Not People

Today Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) reintroduced H.J. Res. 88, the People’s Rights Amendment, a bill to overturn Citizens United, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that lifted restrictions on spending of outside groups on elections. In a speech on the House floor, Congressman McGovern spoke about how Citizens United opened the floodgates to corporate spending in politics which drowns out the voices of ordinary citizens.

Congressman McGovern was one of the first national leaders to speak out against Citizens United in 2011 and is the lead sponsor of the Democracy for All Amendment.

Joining Congressman McGovern today to introduce H.J Res. 88 were Representatives Stephen Lynch (MA-08), Steven Cohen (TN-09), Jim Langevin (RI-02), Peter Defazio (OR), Bill Keating (MA-09), Mark Takano (CA-41) Peter Welch (VT-AL), Chellie Pingree (ME-01), Michael Capuano (MA-07), Jim Cooper (TN-05), Raul Grijalva (AZ-03) and David Loebsack (IA-02).

Full Text of Congressman McGovern’s Speech:

“It’s been seven years since the dreadful Citizens United ruling. In upholding the rights of corporations to donate to political campaigns under the First Amendment, the Supreme Court created an election system that is now corrupted by limitless, unregulated donations. Ordinary citizens are left powerless and politicians are increasingly beholden to wealthy special interests.

Since Citizens United, we’ve seen a major telecommunications company, oil companies, and the tobacco industry all attempt to dismantle regulations and disclosure rules by claiming First Amendment rights.

Today, I am reintroducing the People’s Rights Amendment to overturn Citizens United and declare, once and for all, that corporations are not people. The Constitution was never intended to give corporations the same rights as the American people. Corporations don’t breathe. They don’t have kids. They don’t die in wars.

“The preamble to the Constitution is ‘We the People,’ not ‘We the Corporations.’ Let us hope this Congress doesn’t forget that.”