House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., renewed her calls for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision Thursday during a speech at the 2012 Campus Progress National Conference in Washington.
The decision allows corporations and unions to spend unlimited amounts of money on elections.
“Amend the Constitution to overturn Citizens United,” Pelosi said. “Money is just suffocating the system.
“Elect reformers of any party who do whatever it takes to reduce the role of money in campaigns.”
Pelosi then went on to suggest that all donors should publicly disclose their donations and called for the public funding of campaigns, which she suggested would lead to “civility” in politics.
Although Pelosi did not mention Voter ID laws by name, she thanked the participants for their work opposing what she called “voter suppression” efforts by Republicans, a frequent liberal code term for Voter ID, noting that in her opinion such initiatives “suffocate” and “poison the debate.”
“The lower the turnout, the better they do,” Pelosi said. “We have to take back our system for the American people.”
The House minority leader suggested that supporters of Citizens United and Voter ID laws want a government of “the very wealthy” rather than a democracy run by the people.
Pelosi, who received the first annual Champion of Change award for her work in passing Obamacare, also praised Campus Progress participants for their activism in support of the law prior to its passage.
She attempted to cast Obamacare as an expansion of freedom because she said it allows people to not have to worry about being locked into a job just because it has health benefits.
“You can be creative and paint, do music, be a photographer. You could write. You could have your own business and be self-employed,” Pelosi said. “You or our economy would never be stifled again because of creativity and career choices would be dominated by health care benefits or lack thereof.”
Pelosi then mentioned the Obamacare provision allowing students to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26 to thunderous applause.