We Must Continue to Fight to Protect the First Amendment

By June 26, 2013General

NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons warned of the assault on the business community’s right to advocate its priorities in his Member Focus column. A right guaranteed to all political actors by the First Amendment regardless of their point of view.

Last Friday Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell delivered a speech to the American Enterprise Institute about the growing threats against the First Amendment.  He warned specifically about government agencies’ attempts to prevent speech, “Right now, there’s an effort over at the FCC to get groups that buy campaign ads to disclose their supporters. This is utterly irrelevant to the mission of the FCC. We need to say so. The SEC is under pressure right now to force publicly-traded companies into disclosing all their political spending, even though it has no core interest in knowing what political causes companies support. This proposal doesn’t protect shareholders, and it doesn’t lead to better corporate governance.”

As Senator McConnell urged in his speech, we must continue to fight against and call out attacks on the First Amendment regardless of the target. Our nation is the strongest when all voices can be heard in the political process and none are singled out or discouraged.

The NAM will continue to work to protect the First Amendment rights of manufacturers and their ability to participate in the political process. Manufacturers have the right to weigh in and voice their concerns about policies impacting their businesses and their ability to create jobs. Continued efforts in Congress to weaken First Amendment protections will only hurt our democracy.


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