The Senate on Monday debated a measure that would require public filings with the Federal Election Commission by organizations that give $10,000 or more to sway the outcome of elections. Sen. Bernie Sanders urged the Senate to pass the legislation that was a response to the disastrous 5-4 Supreme Court Citizens United decision, which lifted limits on campaign spending by corporations and wealthy individuals. In remarks prepared for delivery in a Senate floor speech, Sanders said the ruling "moves us further and further away from our democratic traditions and closer and closer to becoming an oligarchic society in which virtually all wealth and power rest in the hands of a small number of extremely wealthy people.
"As a result of the Citizens United ruling that gutted campaign finance laws, the wealthiest Americans that already control the country's economic life are now spending hundreds of millions of dollars to buy candidates and elections. In other words, not content to own coal companies and oil companies and gambling casinos, they now want to fully own the United States government. We must not allow that to happen," Sanders added.
"We all remember Abraham Lincoln's wonderful remarks at Gettysburg in which he describes America as a country ‘of the people, by the people and for the people.' Well, with the Citizens United Supreme Court decision we are rapidly becoming a nation of the very rich, by the very rich and for the very rich. And that is a horrendous tragedy."