At least when it’s not been approved by them. This Constitutional Amendment passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday on a straight party line vote:
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United
States relating to contributions and expenditures intended
to affect elections.
1 Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives
2 of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two
3 thirds of each House concurring therein), That the fol
4 lowing article is proposed as an amendment to the Con
5 stitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all
6 intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when
7 ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several
2 “SECTION 1. To advance the fundamental principle
3 of political equality for all, and to protect the integrity
4 of the legislative and electoral processes, Congress shall
5 have power to regulate the raising and spending of money
6 and in-kind equivalents with respect to Federal elections,
7 including through setting limits on—
8 “(1) the amount of contributions to candidates
9 for nomination for election to, or for election to,
10 Federal office; and
11 “(2) the amount of funds that may be spent by,
12 in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.
13 “SECTION 2. To advance the fundamental principle
14 of political equality for all, and to protect the integrity
15 of the legislative and electoral processes, each State shall
16 have power to regulate the raising and spending of money
17 and in-kind equivalents with respect to State elections, in
18 cluding through setting limits on—
19 “(1) the amount of contributions to candidates
20 for nomination for election to, or for election to,
21 State office; and
22 “(2) the amount of funds that may be spent by,
23 in support of, or in opposition to such candidates.
1 “SECTION 3. Nothing in this article shall be con
2 strued to grant Congress the power to abridge the freedom
3 of the press.
4 “SECTION 4. Congress and the States shall have
5 power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate
Sections 1 and 2 are identical other than Sect 1 addresses Congress’ power, and Sect 2 addresses States’ power. The key phrase is this: shall have power to regulate the raising and spending of money and in-kind equivalents with respect to Federal elections, including through setting limits on together with its applicability to limiting contributions. It’s open-ended. A party in the majority would be fully empowered by this Amendment, were it to pass, to set the limit at zero regarding candidates of the opposing party. Even were the limits found required to be applied equally to all candidates, the incumbents would have the critical advantage of already having, for instance, name recognition and the bully pulpits of their elected offices to spread their messages—advantages denied the other candidates by their inability to purchase air and newspaper time, or to stump.
This is a guaranteed incumbency amendment, and nothing else.