Boehner Hails Supreme Court Ruling, Pelosi Slams It

Wednesday, 02 Apr 2014 02:09 PM

By Aaron Stern

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Republicans largely supported Wednesday's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that knocked down aggregate campaign donations by individual donors while Democrats criticized it.

House Speaker John Boehner told reporters that "freedom of speech is being upheld" by the decision, according to Politico.

"You all have the freedom to write what you want to write. Donors ought to have the freedom to give what they want to give," Boehner said.

Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate minority leader, hailed the decision as upholding the ideals of the U.S. Constitution.

"The Supreme Court has once again reminded Congress that Americans have a constitutional First Amendment right to speak and associate with political candidates and parties of their choice," McConnell said in a statement, according to The New York Times

Democrats strongly disagreed.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the decision wrongly monetized the campaign process, and urged passage of a bill introduced in February that would boost the influence of small donors by offering them matching donations and tax breaks, according to the Times.

Pelosi also posted on Twitter.

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"Make no mistake: This decision is a setback for our freedoms," said Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, who has introduced a constitutional amendment that would overturn the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which ruled that the government cannot restrict political donations from corporations in elections.

One notable Republican who agreed with Democrats was Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who co-sponsored the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill that was passed in 2002, then largely overturned by the Citizens United ruling.

"While I have advocated for increasing the aggregate limits on individual contributions to candidates and party committees, I am concerned that today's ruling may represent the latest step in an effort by a majority of the court to dismantle entirely the longstanding structure of campaign finance law erected to limit the undue influence of special interests on American politics," McCain said in a statement, according to the Times.

"I predict that as a result of recent court decisions, there will be scandals involving corrupt public officials and unlimited, anonymous campaign contributions that will force the system to be reformed once again," McCain said.

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