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Harry Reid's Senate Is Focused on Citizens United While the World Is Burning

Harry Reid's Senate Is Focused on Citizens United While the World Is Burning

It has been a long, hot summer here in America and abroad. ISIS is on the march and has brutally beheaded two American journalists. The threat is so large that you even have liberal United States Senators like Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Al Franken (D-MN) openly questioning President Barack Obama’s foreign policy.

The last time the threat to the homeland was this grave was in the aftermath of September 11th. So, what is first on the policy agenda for the United States Senate after a month-long recess? Developing a response to ISIS? Or even a policy on the Russian advances in the Ukraine? No! Reid has his sights on gutting the First Amendment and overturning the landmark Citizens United Supreme Court decision.

This folly known as S.J. Res. 19, introduced by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), is just another example of how out-of-touch the Democrat-controlled United States Senate is and why Congress, according to the Real Clear Politics average, is at nearly a 80 percent disapproval rating. Harry Reid and the Democrat Caucus that he leads are completely consumed by a political agenda that attacks Citizens United. Why? Because the Citizens United decision gives a powerful voice to the opposition and makes it easier to participate in the process — a scary thought for liberal incumbents.

The Udall amendment is an insult to our Founding Fathers and the ideals that this great nation was built upon. The First Amendment holds a special place in the Bill of Rights. It safeguards our right to worship as we see fit, the freedom of the press, and yes the First Amendment most importantly protects political speech. These wise men wanted safeguards that would protect us against an oppressive government. Today, a group of liberal Senators and radical liberal groups are attempting to chip away at those protections.

This amendment would give legislators unchecked power to restrict the speech of their political opponents and challengers. It would allow Congress to restrict who is allowed to run advertising in relation to federal elections, including regulating how much money they may raise and spend. This overturns long-settled constitutional law regarding the First Amendment and the fundamental question of what constitutes speech. To amend the Constitution in this fashion would put the fox in charge of the hen house — Members of Congress could determine the extent to which independent groups can advocate for or against their reelection. 

Senator Udall’s amendment is the ultimate incumbent protection measure. Senator Chuck Schumer, in discussing the Amendment, noted that “most of the money that has come from the SuperPACs and many of these groups are knocking out incumbents.” Schumer has been eager to restrict our First Amendment rights. He believes that “no amendment is absolute.” I disagree. The First Amendment is absolute and it’s clear on its face: “Congress shall make no law.” Thomas Jefferson and James Madison are rolling over in their graves because the party that they had a hand in founding is going against everything they stood for.

Citizens United sued the Federal Election Commission for its First Amendment right to be able to run an advertisement promoting a documentary film about then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in the run-up to the 2008 presidential campaign. If Citizens United did not sue, Citizens United and I could have been subject to civil and criminal penalties. This obvious criminalization of Free Speech was born out of the unconstitutional law known as McCain-Feingold. The Supreme Court rejected the government’s overly broad regulation of political speech. President Obama immediately led the charge by attacking the decision during the 2010 State of the Union and made it one of the lead political issues for the Democrats.

When the government determines who is allowed to speak and how they may exercise that right there’s a word for that – CENSORSHIP. When Members of Congress are determined to censor speech to ensure their reelection and the cushy status quo they’ve created — something has gone awry. Congress should not be in the business of censoring the citizenry. Rather than neuter the First Amendment, I urge the Senate to embrace it. Unfortunately, it is likely that fifty-three Democrats and two Independents in the United States Senate will vote to gut the First Amendment on Monday.

The world is burning, and the Harry Reid-controlled United States Senate is more concerned about the next election and not the current war against radical Islam. ISIS is killing innocent men, women, and children because they do not believe in their warped ideology. This barbaric terrorist army poses a clear and present danger to Americans both here at home and abroad. Harry Reid is more concerned in the chilling of free speech rather than fighting terror. America deserves better from its elected leaders.

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