Alexander: No Tennessean Should Have to Ask Congress “Mother, May I?” Before Exercising Right to Free Speech

Opposes Democrat effort to change Constitution to give politicians power to limit voters’ ability to give money to political campaigns

Posted on September 8, 2014


“Harry Reid wants to decide whether voters in Dickson or Dyersburg have a right to free speech.” – Lamar Alexander 

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8, 2014 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today announced his opposition to Senate Democrats’ effort to change the U.S. Constitution to give politicians in Washington power to limit voters’ ability to give money to political campaigns, saying “Harry Reid wants to decide whether voters in Dickson or Dyersburg have a right to free speech.”   

“Tennesseans should never have to ask Congress ‘Mother, may I?’ before exercising their First Amendment right to support the candidates they believe will best represent their views and values,” Alexander said. “Senate Democrats and President Obama want to change our Constitution to give Washington politicians unchecked power to protect their own political futures and limit what voters can contribute to political campaigns.”

Alexander voted to debate the resolution so Republicans could offer amendments saying, “Debating and offering amendments on behalf of the people who elected us is a job I’m proud to do.”

S.J. Res. 19 is a Senate resolution supported by every Senate Democrat that would amend the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to allow Congress to limit federal campaign contributions and give to state legislatures the right to limit state campaign contributions. 

To succeed, the resolution requires the support of two-thirds of the Senate, two-thirds of the House of Representatives, and would require two-thirds of the nation’s state legislatures to ratify the proposed amendment to the Constitution.

Alexander said the Democrats’ proposal would not only attack Americans’ First Amendment right to free speech, but it would also allow politicians to protect their incumbency by limiting a challengers’ ability to run well-funded campaigns. The proposed amendment also gives Congress control over how much campaigns could spend.‎


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