Pelosi: Campaign Cash Ruling an ‘Existential Threat’ (Video)
Posted at 1:37 p.m. on April 3
(CQ Roll Call File Photo)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is one of the most prolific fundraisers in congressional history. But that doesn’t mean she’s a fan of Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling that struck down the aggregate limit on campaign contributions.
Pelosi told reporters Thursday that the court decision was “suffocating the voice of the many.”
The 5-4 McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission ruling overturned the overall limit on what an individual may collectively donate to parties, candidates and political action committees in one election. The limit used to be $123,200. While the Supreme Court didn’t touch so-called base limits — such as the $2,600 cap on contributions to candidates per election or the $74,600 limit for political parties per an election cycle — the ruling allows individuals to give the maximum amount to an unlimited number of candidates.
“The Supreme Court decided to pour even more money into our politics and our process,” Pelosi said.
The California Democrat added that she was not surprised by the ruling, given the Citizens United v. FEC case, but the McCutcheon ruling “adds great insult to terrible injury to our democracy.”
“This is a very existential threat to who we are and how we do our campaigning and our government — and it should be something that should be roundly rejected,” Pelosi said.
But, as one reporter pointed out, Democrats can take advantage of this ruling just as much as Republicans.
“It doesn’t make it right,” Pelosi responded.
Pelosi, who raises millions for congressional Democrats, said she wasn’t thinking politically about this. “I’m thinking about our democracy,” she said. “Is this just supposed to be a money war?”
Pelosi agreed that candidates have to raise money to win elections, but she characterized the ruling as “an unlimited, constant spigot of undisclosed, God-knows-from-where-and-from-whom supply of money into the system.”
“It’s just plain wrong,” she said.
Eliza Newlin Carney contributed to this report.