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Statement on Supreme Court Decision to Eliminate Limits on Federal Campaign Contributions

WASHINGTON – Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in McCutcheon v. FEC, which eliminates aggregate limits for high-dollar campaign contributors.

“For those who have everything, today’s Supreme Court ruling is a better gift than anything their money previously could buy, paving the way for special interests to dramatically increase their already vast influence over government and public policy,” Yarmuth said. “With this decision, the Court’s Republican-appointed majority continues to ignore the reality that money in politics is corrupting public policy, offering greater access to the well-off and well-connected and further diminishing the voices of the vast majority of Americans.”

Before the Court’s decision, individuals could contribute as much as $123,200 during a two-year election cycle: $48,600 to candidates, and $74,600 to parties and committees. Without aggregate limits, an individual may contribute as much as $3.6 million to candidates and political parties, providing the wealthy even more influence on public policy through our elections.

During the 113th Congress, Rep. Yarmuth introduced legislation to amend the Constitution so that financial expenditures and in-kind contributions do not qualify as protected speech under the First Amendment. Doing so would ensure the constitutionality of commonsense restrictions on campaign finance and additional disclosure requirements by Congress.

He is also the lead sponsor of the Fair Elections Now Act and a cosponsor of other legislation that would create a public financing system for Congressional campaigns. The bills would also enable small-dollar campaign donors to compete with special interests in Congressional elections, mitigate the effects of outside money in politics, and encourage a more diverse pool of candidates to run for federal office.