TPM News

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."

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) appeared today alongside his new junior Senator-elect, Republican Scott Brown. The fifth-term Democratic senator said he could work constructively with Brown on health care and other issues -- and appeared to be putting Brown on the spot in that regard, with Brown standing right next to him.

"Look, I think a lot of people objected to the process of the, you know, sort of last-minute deals and the way things were put together," said Kerry. "I understand that. It wasn't pretty. That doesn't mean that everything in the bill is bad. I would think Scott would not want people to be denied health insurance for a preexisting condition. I would think that he would not want somebody who paid their premiums and bought insurance to be told when they get sick that they don't have insurance anymore. There have to be some basic things here, that we can all agree on. And I certainly look forward to trying to do that with him. "

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just told reporters that she does not believe she has enough votes in the House to pass the Senate health care reform bill as-is -- at least not yet.

"I don't see the votes for it at this time," Pelosi said. "The members have been very clear in our caucus about the fact that they didn't like it before it had the Nebraska provision and some of the other provisions that are unpalatable to them."

"In every meeting that we have had, there would be nothing to give me any thought that that bill could pass right now the way that it is," she said. "There isn't a market right now for proceeding with the full bill unless some big changes are made."

While she didn't say the option was dead -- "Everything is on the table," she said -- she outlined two very different options for passing a bill.

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Earlier we told you about Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D-LA) appearance on MSNBC, where she declared that "there's always tomorrow" on health care reform, and seemed to suggest that Democrats ought to go "back to the drawing board."

"I would strongly advise about completely going back to the drawing board," Landrieu said.

But did she really mean that? Seems she did not.

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