Characterizing their stalling as “politics at its worst,” President Barack Obama says Republicans should quit blocking a bill to limit the amount of money corporations and unions can spend on campaign advertising.
“This is common sense,” Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address. “In fact, this is the kind of proposal that Democrats and Republicans have agreed on for decades. Yet, the Republican leaders in Congress have so far said ‘no.”‘
At issue is a Supreme Court ruling in a case known as Citizens United. The court reversed a centurylong trend of limiting the power of big money in politics by saying corporations and unions may spend heavily to influence presidential and congressional elections.
Republicans, seen as mostly benefiting from the ruling, argue that Democrats are only trying to protect themselves with the bill.
The Democratic-controlled House has passed legislation to scale back the ruling and require greater disclosure by donors. Senate Republicans have blocked it and it’s unlikely that the Senate will act on the measure in time to affect the Nov. 2 elections, when control of the House and Senate is at stake, along with 37 governorships.
Obama said a partisan minority in Congress wants to “ride this wave of unchecked influence all the way to victory” on November 2.