Dems Seek GOP Support to Scale Back Supreme Court Ruling

The Supreme Court ruling granting corporations, unions and non-profit groups the right to spend unlimited funds supporting or opposing political candidates has divided politicians along ideological lines. While Republicans celebrate the decision, Democrats are exploring ways to counteract it.

"We're looking at ways that we can scale back the decision," Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) told CBS News' Nancy Cordes on Tuesday's "Washington Unplugged." "We should require that before corporations dump their shareholders' money into some of these campaigns that they should get approval from their shareholders. We should require that the CEOs take responsibility, have to stand up and say at the end of an ad, 'Hi. I'm CEO of X Corporation and I approve this ad."

Van Hollen added, "There's also a real danger… that you're going to have foreign-owned companies through their American subsidiaries spending millions of dollars to try and influence elections here in the United States."

Ultimately, Democrats and Republicans will need to work together, Van Hollen said.

"It should be a bipartisan issue," he said. "We're going to be calling on Sen. McCain and other Republicans to work in a bipartisan way to try to make sure that we don't empower these special interests."

Unions are also able to spend freely on political campaigns, and they heavily support Democratic candidates. According to Van Hollen, "the legislation that we pass will obviously treat unions and corporations the same. We would require unions to get support from their members before they spend money directly in political advertising."

CBS News Chief Legal Correspondent Jan Crawford weighed in after Cordes' interview with Van Hollen, "What we're going to see in the short term are some of these already established-groups coming in and being able to take more money from corporations or outside groups, and they'll be able to use that to be more effective and take over the airwaves in the days leading up to an election."

Crawford noted, however, "I don't think you're going to see Corporation X or Corporation Y saying, 'I want to defeat Jeff Sessions from Alabama or Chuck Schumer from New York."

Watch Tuesday's Washington Unplugged with DCCC Chairman Rep. Chris Van Hollen and CBS News Chief Legal Correspondent Jan Crawford in the video above.

"Washington Unplugged" appears live on CBSNews.com each weekday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.

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