THU MAY 15, 2014 AT 10:39 AM PDT


Joan McCarterFollow

Thursday morning Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced his support for a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United and McCutcheon, the two Supreme Court decisions allowing big money nearly unlimited influence in politics. The core of his argument is this:
Every American should have the same ability to influence our political system. One American, one vote. That’s what the Constitution guarantees. The Constitution does not give corporations a vote.  And the Constitution does not give dollar bills a vote.  From what I’ve heard recently, my Republican colleagues seem to have a different view. Republicans seem to think that billionaires, corporations and special interests should be allowed to drown out the voices of Americans. That is wrong and it has to end.
Reid is not just making noise on the constitutional amendment; Sen. Patrick Leahy followed up by announcing that the Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing in June on the proposed amendment by Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO). Leahy acknowledges the uphill climb this will be, but says the issue is too critical to not fight for.
“I recognize that amending the Constitution will not be easy,” Leahy said. “Vermonters have been leading the nation on this issue, and many in our country took note that our Legislature was the first to call for a constitutional convention for the purpose of drafting a remedy. Like my fellow Vermonters, I strongly believe that something must be done to address the divisive and corrosive decisions by the Supreme Court that have dismantled nearly every reasonable protection against corruption and against unfettered spending in our political process.”
Reid will force votes on the amendment once it clears committee. As Greg Sargent writes, it's part of Reid's 2014 strategy of making this election about the Democrats' "fair shot" agenda, focusing on income inequality, economic opportunity and mobility. The Koch brothers' attempt to buy the Senate this year in order to push their own profit-maximizing agenda provides the perfect backdrop for this message, and the constitutional amendment is a good counter to it.