Mr. SCHIFF. I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
I rise for two purposes: First, to oppose the rule, which institutes, again, the folly of spending taxpayer dollars to defend the unconstitutional, and that is DOMA. This was a poor waste of our resources in the last Congress. It will be an even worse utilization of scarce taxpayer dollars in this new session.
[Time: 15:50] Second, I rise to raise another issue debated fiercely, and that is campaign finance reform. Clearly, our democracy is broken, with billions of dollars of campaign spending by special interests, much of it anonymous, flooding the airwaves this fall. In the last Congress, I introduced an amendment drafted by constitutional scholar Larry Tribe that would address the central flaw in reasoning underlying many of the Supreme Court's decisions, and that is the artificial distinction between contributions, which may be regulated, and supposedly independent expenditures, which may not.
I don't support a constitutional amendment lightly and have found few that I would even entertain in my 12 years in Congress. Yes, unrestrained spending and the unmistakable tinge of corruption it creates demand action. Disclosure should come first. But the power to reasonably regulate both contributions and expenditures should follow. And that will require a constitutional amendment.
Madam Speaker, I urge the House to defeat the previous question and, in doing so, set the stage for a debate of a constitutional amendment to restore transparency and accountability to our campaign finance system.