Senator Tom Udall Introduces 28th Amendment

This week Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) announced the introduction of the 28th Amendment in the Senate. Citizen action is poised to propel the issues of money in politics and government corruption forward in Congress and to the forefront as we head toward the 2020 election. 

This week Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) introduced the 28th Amendment in the U.S. Senate. Udall was joined on the steps of the Supreme Court by Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and other Senate Democrats. The bill is supported by the seven Senate Democrats currently seeking the presidential nomination: Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Michael Bennet (D-CO).

Read Jeff Clements’ op-ed on the amendment in Newsweek.

Introduced with bipartisan support in January in the U.S. House of Representatives, the 28th Amendment establishes that corporations do not have First Amendment rights and money is not speech, allowing Congress and the states to put limits on campaign spending.

Rapidly building momentum all over the country is driving the 28th Amendment forward in Congress, and making it a major talking point in the 2020 Democratic primaries and the 2020 presidential election. This success is the result of effective, citizen-led grassroots action across the nation, which has pushed democracy reform into the mainstream debate. More than 80% of Americans support an amendment to end the domination of big money in our democracy. 

If this issue is important to you, now is the time to call your elected officials and urge them to support the 28th Amendment!  

The only way to win the 28th Amendment and transform our political system, so it represents all of us, not just ultra-wealthy donors, corporations, unions and special interests, is through increasing pressure from citizens across the country, and it’s working.

A Cross-Partisan, Citizen-Led Movement

American Promise is leading the cross-partisan, grassroots movement for a 28th Amendment across the nation. Today 156 members of Congress have publicly announced their support for a constitutional amendment to get big money out of politics, along with 20 states and more than 800 towns that have passed resolutions calling for the amendment.

American Promise citizen leaders are also working with candidates and elected officials at all levels of government by asking them to sign the American Promise Candidate Pledge. The Pledge affirms that, if elected, the signer will use her office to advance the 28th Amendment. More than 250 candidates have signed the pledge since the 2018 midterm election cycle.

Thanks to the efforts of hundreds of thousands of Americans working together under the American Promise campaign, the amendment’s introduction in the House was the first time since Citizens United v. FEC that a constitutional amendment has been introduced with cross-partisan lead sponsors working together. This cross-partisan, national, grassroots support is the key to the amendment’s success. This citizen-led fight for a 28th Amendment moves us closer to reclaiming government of, by and for the People.

Call your representatives to tell them this issue is important to you. 

This is a turning point in the drive to win passage of the 28th Amendment, which will require
cross-partisan support of â…” of the Congress and ratification in Âľ of the states.

The 28th Amendment FAQs

Read answers to some of the most common questions about the DFA Amendment.

What does this amendment do? 

Like most Constitutional language, the Amendment’s simple words carry big meaning and impact. A few of its key components include:

  • Securing “political equality” for Americans—protecting the equal rights of all Americans to free speech, voting, representation, etc., and not giving undue influence to those with enough money to fund a Super-PAC. 
  • Protecting the “integrity of government and elections”—enabling Americans to end systemic corruption where powerful, wealthy interests defeat, undermine or buy federal, state and local laws to serve themselves at the cost of our country, our communities and our people.
  • Establishing that when it comes to regulating campaign finance, corporations do not have the inalienable, fundamental rights of human beings under the Constitution, and that Americans can enact election laws that distinguish between human beings and corporations.

    Read the full text of the
    28th Amendment here. 

Why is this amendment so important?

Constitutional amendments create the foundation for core American principles necessary for a healthy democracy and effective self-government. Amendments gave us the Bill of Rights, the end of slavery, equal protection of the laws, voting rights for women and all Americans of every race, term limits for presidents and so much more. Every generation of Americans has passed an amendment. 

Today an amendment will provide the foundation for urgently needed democracy reform. We cannot build successful republican government on a system where money, rather than citizenship, decides who has a political voice and who does not. The 28th Amendment locks in foundational principles for all time that provide the conditions for successful democracy: anti-corruption; equal rights; and representation of people, not monied interests.

Is this language for the 28th Amendment final?

No. This proposal is a strong and effective Constitutional amendment to address many of the problems created by the Supreme Court’s radical and misguided experiment in mandating unlimited money in elections. Other amendment approaches have been and will be proposed in Congress, and deliberation in Congress and across the nation will continue to make sure the best, most effective amendment language passes Congress and is promptly ratified in the states. To follow or get involved in this process, see American Promise’s Writing the 28th Amendment program.

What can I do to help?

Constitutional amendments only happen with the vocal support of American citizens all over the country. American Promise is empowering, organizing and unifying Americans in every state to win this historic reform now. Here are a few easy ways to help. 

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