As far as symbolic actions go, the one behind HJM 4001 is a pretty good one. Passed through the House earlier this session, and having received a hearing in the Senate Committee on Governmental Operations on Tuesday, the resolution asks Congress to introduce a constitutional amendment reversing the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling - the controversial high-court decision that paved the way for super PACs, and has led to the unprecedented flow of corporate cash into our democratic process.
The results have been noticeable, to say the least. Super PACs - and the money the wield - have changed the landscape of the political process, with many contending the change has been for the worse.
“I think the way that money has come to be deployed in our politics is a threat to our democracy and it’s a threat to both the reality and perception of individual citizens being able to have an influence on the political process,” said Rep. Jamie Pedersen (D-Seattle) of HJM 4001, via the Capital Record blog.
Of course, that doesn’t mean everyone agrees. The resolution passed through the House on a purely partisan vote - 55-42 - while a similar bill died in the Senate Governmental Operations Committee earlier this session. Now with the Senate Governmental Operations Committee giving a hearing to HJM 4001 on Tuesday, as the Capital Record notes, “The symbolic legislation offered by the House also has little chance in the Republican-controlled committee chaired by Sen. Pam Roach (R-Auburn).”
I’ve reached out to Sen. Roach for comment and have yet to hear back. Should I hear back I will update this post accordingly.
It’s worth noting that Roach isn’t against all constitutional amendments, After all, she did sponsor SJR 8205, which would have amended the state Constitution to require a two-thirds majority vote of the legislature to raise taxes.