New Hampshire’s State House approved HCR 2, a resolution calling for a cosntitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, with overwhelming, bi-partisan support last month.

Yet the State Senate is refusing even to bring the bill up for consideration. The Senate instituted a rule earlier this year requiring a 2/3 supermajority vote simply to begin consideration of any resolution originating in the House.

This is profoundly at odds with America’s principles of democracy, and will be the focus of efforts by Free Speech For People and allies in New Hampshire over the weeks ahead.

Below is a press release from the State Senate Democratic leader on this issue.

Senator Larsen Disappointed with Senate Majority Blocking House Resolutions

CONCORD – Senate Democratic Leader Sylvia Larsen released the following statement after the Republican Senate Majority refused to allow the introduction of 3 House Resolutions.

“It’s an outrage to the citizens of New Hampshire that the Senate Republican Majority today blocked the introduction of HCR 1, HCR 2, and HJR 1,” said Senator Larsen. “It sets a bad precedent for the Senate to refuse House Resolutions, regardless of their subject matter. On every bill and resolution passed by the House, the Senate should be holding a public hearing and then vote as a whole on matters passed by our 400 member House of Representatives.

Earlier this year, despite the objections of Senate Democratic members, the Republican Senate voted to establish a new rule requiring a 2/3rd vote to introduce or hear certain resolutions. This is the first time in the history of the NH Senate that a super majority is required before bills go through the regular process. Three House Resolutions have been caught in this super-majority limbo.

“Today was a sad day in the New Hampshire Senate. These Washington-style tactics are what we have come to expect from Congress, where they regularly block pieces of legislation before they can even get an up or down vote,” said Senator Larsen. “But here in New Hampshire, the voters of our state were counting on us in the Senate to debate such important issues as Veteran’s Health Care and a popularly supported reversal of the Citizens United decision. Because of this gag rule, we cannot address Congress on some of the most important issues of our day,” Larsen concluded.

“We were elected to debate the issues before us and we cannot do that if we have a Senate Rule that blocks certain pieces of legislation from being heard unless there is a super-majority vote.”
Below are the titles of the House Resolutions:

  • HCR 1 – urging Congress to fund the development and implementation of a comprehensive health care delivery system to enhance the level of specialty care for New Hampshire’s veterans.
  • HCR 2 – requesting Congress to begin the process for a constitutional amendment establishing that human beings, not corporations, are entitled to constitutional rights.
  • HJR 1 – directing the joint legislative historical committee to acquire and display a portrait of suffragist Marilla Marks Ricker.