TPM News

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn today agreed with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that the House cannot pass the Senate bill as-is.

"No, we can't," Clyburn said on MSNBC. "I think the speaker is absolutely correct."

"Everybody keeps focusing on the Senate getting to 60 [votes], and they don't seem to remember that we have to get to 218 in the house. Even elementary, you can get to 60 quicker than you get to 218," he said. "We all know that."

He said the bill needs to be changed in order to get enough support in the House.

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Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), issued the following statement in response to the United States Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission:

"I am pleased that the Supreme Court has acted to protect the Constitution's First Amendment rights of free speech and association. These are the bedrock principles that underpin our system of governance and strengthen our democracy.

"This is an encouraging step, and it is my hope that political parties will one day soon be able to speak as freely as other citizen organizations are now permitted."

The new Rasmussen poll of Pennsylvania gives Republican former Rep. Pat Toomey a lead in this state's U.S. Senate race, against either Democratic incumbent (and former Republican) Sen. Arlen Specter or Specter's primary challenger, Rep. Joe Sestak.

Toomey leads Specter by 49%-40%, and he leads Sestak by 43%-35%. A month ago Toomey led Specter by 46%-42%, and led Sestak by 44%-38%. Toomey and Specter have quite a lot of history. Toomey challenged Specter in the 2004 Republican Senate primary, with Specter just barely surviving by 51%-49%. Last year, Specter switched parties because Toomey was running again, and polling showed that Toomey would win the rematch decisively because of Specter's work with Democrats to pass the stimulus bill.

From the pollster's analysis: "Just 41% of Pennsylvania voters favor the health care legislation currently before Congress while 57% are opposed. Those figures include 22% who Strongly Favor the legislation and 47% who are Strongly Opposed. Those who Strongly Oppose the health care plan overwhelmingly prefer Toomey over either Democrat. Those who Strongly Favor the plan prefer the Democrats."

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) made the following statement today in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission:

"I am disappointed by the decision of the Supreme Court and the lifting of the limits on corporate and union contributions. However, it appears that key aspects of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), including the ban on soft money contributions, remain intact."

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) issued a statement today on the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Here's the full text:

"It is important to note that the decision does not affect McCain-Feingold's soft money ban, which will continue to prevent corporate contributions to the political parties from corrupting the political process. But this decision was a terrible mistake. Presented with a relatively narrow legal issue, the Supreme Court chose to roll back laws that have limited the role of corporate money in federal elections since Teddy Roosevelt was president. Ignoring important principles of judicial restraint and respect for precedent, the Court has given corporate money a breathtaking new role in federal campaigns. Just six years ago, the Court said that the prohibition on corporations and unions dipping into their treasuries to influence campaigns was 'firmly embedded in our law.' Yet this Court has just upended that prohibition, and a century's worth of campaign finance law designed to stem corruption in government. The American people will pay dearly for this decision when, more than ever, their voices are drowned out by corporate spending in our federal elections. In the coming weeks, I will work with my colleagues to pass legislation restoring as many of the critical restraints on corporate control of our elections as possible."

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele released the following statement today on the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission:

"Today's decision by the Supreme Court in Citizens United v. FEC, serves as an affirmation of the constitutional rights provided to Americans under the first amendment. Free speech strengthens our democracy. While the Court's recognition that organizations have the freedom to speak on public issues and have their views protected from censorship is fundamental, the Court has now left an imbalance that disadvantages national parties in their ability to support their candidates. We need to encourage a vibrant debate on the issues, and not restrict the free exchange of ideas. Though there is still more work to be done, we are pleased with today's ruling."

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, issued a statement today on the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Here's the full text:

"Today's Supreme Court decision effectively rolls back decades of progress we have made towards ensuring the fairness of our elections. Giving corporate interests an outsized role in our process will only mean citizens get heard less. We must look at legislative ways to make sure the ledger is not tipped so far for corporate interests that citizens voices are drowned out."