As a presidential candidate, Joe Biden pledged to pursue a constitutional amendment to require candidates for federal office to fund their campaigns entirely with public dollars.
This stance would go beyond what many campaign-finance advocates have supported, but it does not appear to be going anywhere.
The closest proposed constitutional amendments we could find that have been introduced in Congress would not go as far as Biden's promise.
One amendment, sponsored by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., would require federal, state, and local governments to regulate election contributions, including a candidate's own, and require that they be publicly disclosed.
The amendment has attracted 86 Democrats as co-sponsors, but it has not advanced in the House.
A second proposed amendment, sponsored by Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., would authorize Congress and the states to "set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections."
This amendment has attracted 89 co-sponsors, all but one of them Democrats, but has not advanced.
A third proposed amendment, sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., would let states "set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections."
It has attracted 26 co-sponsors, all of them Democrats or Democratic-caucusing independents, but has not advanced in the chamber.
A fourth proposed amendment, sponsored by Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., focuses on clarifying that constitutional rights for people cannot be applied to corporations, which has been a key element of past Supreme Court decisions protecting political spending as speech.
The amendment has not advanced after its introduction, and it has not attracted any co-sponsors.
Finally, a fifth proposed amendment, offered by Rep. Kurt Schader, D-Ore., would give Congress and states the power to regulate donations to candidates for public office and donations used for election-related media advertisements. The amendment has gone no further after being introduced, and it has not attracted any co-sponsors.
Even if a lawmaker were to introduce a constitutional amendment to eliminate all private money from elections — a more radical idea than any of these proposals — its chances of being enacted would be essentially zero. Only one constitutional amendment has been adopted in the past 50 years.
We rate this promise Stalled.