FOR RELEASE: US House Support Grows for We The People Amendment

Monday, August 10, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, August 10th

CONTACT:   Keyan Bliss, (707) 269-0984, press [at] movetoamend.org

                     David Cobb, (707) 362-0333, david [at] movetoamend.org

Three New Sponsors for Constitutional Amendment Ensuring Rights for People, Not Corporations

Reps. Blumenauer, DeFazio, and Slaughter Join Movement to End Corporate Personhood & Money as Speech

(Washington D.C.) - The movement for constitutional reforms that would end what organizers call “corporate rule” has picked up new support in Congress. Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon), Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon), and Louise Slaughter (D-New York) joined Move to Amend and six members of the U.S. House of Representatives to sponsor the “We the People Amendment.” Introduced as House Joint Resolution 48 on April 29, 2015, the proposed Constitutional amendment would clearly and unequivocally state that:

  1. Rights recognized under the Constitution belong to human beings only, and not to government-created artificial legal entities such as corporations and limited liability companies; and 
     
  2. Political campaign spending is not a form of speech protected under the First Amendment, and can be regulated in public elections by local, state, and federal governments.

In a statement announcing her support, Rep. Slaughter said: “Our nation has long recognized the need to protect our political process from the corrosive effect of money. Allowing corporations and wealthy individuals to dominate our politics, public policy, and our elections undermines our democracy by drowning out the voices of ordinary American citizens."

“I strongly believe that money is not speech and that corporations and other artificial entities are not people and therefore should not be protected by the Constitution,” said Rep. Blumenauer about his support for HJR-48. “We must amend the Constitution to restore the power of the people.

Rep. DeFazio has spoken out against the influence of money in politics, previously referring to political spending by corporations as “legal blackmail, because a lot of times it isn't that they're going to give you a bunch of money, it's that they're going to spend a bunch of money against you."

“It’s time to take the shaping and molding of public policy out of corporate boardrooms, away from the corporate lobbyists, and put it back in city halls – back with county boards and state legislatures – and back in the Congress where it belongs,” said Rep. Richard Nolan (DFL-Minnesota), lead sponsor for HJR-48.

The Move to Amend coalition was formed in 2009 in preparation for the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision. Today, the coalition of over 390,000 people and hundreds of organizations has helped to pass over 600 resolutions in municipalities and local governments across the country calling on the state and federal governments to adopt this amendment. Sixteen state legislatures have passed similar resolutions.

The Move to Amend coalition makes a point of differentiating themselves from the other proposals that have come forward in response to Citizens United. "In every single community where Americans have had the opportunity to call for a Constitutional amendment to outlaw corporate personhood, they have seized it and voted yes overwhelmingly,” stated David Cobb, Move to Amend spokesperson. “The Citizens United decision is not the cause, it is a symptom. We must remove big money and special interests from the legal and political process entirely."

Co-Sponsors for HJR-48 include: Rick Nolan (MN), Mark Pocan (WI), Matthew Cartwright (PA), Jared Huffman (CA), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Keith Ellison (MN), Earl Blumenauer (OR), Peter DeFazio (OR), Louise Slaughter (NY).

Click here to read the We the People Amendment text: www.MoveToAmend.org/amendment

For information comparing the various Constitutional amendments introduced in the 114th Congress, see: http://MoveToAmend.org/other-amendments

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