Congress – we don’t need it anymore.

I heard something on the news today that boiled my blood, and made my head want to explode.   And I have to share it.

Back in the State of the Union address, President Obama said this:

Some of what’s broken has to do with the way Congress does its business these days.  A simple majority is no longer enough to get anything -– even routine business –- passed through the Senate.  (Applause.)  Neither party has been blameless in these tactics.  Now both parties should put an end to it.  (Applause.)  For starters, I ask the Senate to pass a simple rule that all judicial and public service nominations receive a simple up or down vote within 90 days.  (Applause.)

The executive branch also needs to change.  Too often, it’s inefficient, outdated and remote.  (Applause.)  That’s why I’ve asked this Congress to grant me the authority to consolidate the federal bureaucracy, so that our government is leaner, quicker, and more responsive to the needs of the American people.  (Applause.) [Source]

Here is one example of what he means by “grant me the authority”.  Every one has heard about the “No Child Left Behind Law“.   Her is the skinny of it.  The Law was passed by Congress (both the house and the senate) and then signed by the President.   Well, Obama currently has what he calls the “Elementary and Secondary Education Act“, that his Administration is currently trying to push through Congress.   (My point is not if NCLB is good, or if ESEA is better.)  But the problem is this, he thinks it is taking to long for our elected STATE officials to take action on the law.  So what does he do?  You guessed it, he implements the new Act before Congress makes it law.  How does he do this?  He gives 10 states WAIVERS to the law because he thinks that they would be given those waivers by the ESED. [Source]

“After waiting far too long for Congress to reform No Child Left Behind, my Administration is giving states the opportunity to set higher, more honest standards in exchange for more flexibility,”  said President Obama. “Today, we’re giving 10 states the green light to continue making reforms that are best for them.  Because if we’re serious about helping our children reach their potential, the best ideas aren’t going to come from Washington alone.  Our job is to harness those ideas, and to hold states and schools accountable for making them work.” [Source]

Sounds nice and fluffy, but the real threat is this.  “After waiting far to long for Congress to reform…  My Administration is giving…”   In other words, because I don’t like what Congress is doing, I will do what I want, and bypass them and give these 10 states an exception to the LAW (that was passed by the representation of the states) that other states have to follow.   REALLY????   This is CRAP!  All HAIL THE KING….  He thinks he knows better than the officials we ELECTED and sent to represent us.

He has done this type of thing on other occasions as well.   And don’t think I am saying this just because it is a Liberal President that is doing it.  I think it is wrong no matter what side of the political spectrum the President sits on.  There is this little piece of paper call “THE CONSTITUTION” that defines how laws are made, and this paper makes it so that ALL STATES have a say on what laws get passed.  By him giving these WAIVERS to a select hand full of states, he is bypassing the entire process setup by “THE CONSTITUTION”.  Last time I looked, Utah did not vote him into office, the majority of Utah voted for the other guy.   We voted people into the Senate and House that we felt would have our interests in mind, but he is bypassing those elected officials.

This is what he means by “That’s why I’ve asked this Congress to grant me the authority to consolidate the federal bureaucracy, so that our government is leaner, quicker, and more responsive to the needs of the American people.”   He is not doing it for the American people, he wants this additional power so he can bypass Congress, and our state elected officials to enact law are policy.  (Which HE thinks are best for the entire population of the United States.)  There is a reason why it takes time to pass laws, there is a reason why there are so many stages to passing a law.  It is to make sure that we don’t have a King in place that can dictate his will on the people without our representation.

If you don’t think he has done this before, go look at Whitehouse.gov.  You can look at his Executive Orders, Presidential Memorandum, and Proclamations.

One Example, this week he blocked (just a different word for seized) all the assets of the Central Bank of Iran that are within US borders. (Executive Order 12957)  The constitution puts that ability under the powers of Congress.  “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;” (Article I section 8)  He also did the same thing in Aug 2011 to Syria.  (Executive Order 13582).

Yes, I know, he says that he can do this because of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as well as the National Emergencies Act.  But this goes back to my point.  We are giving the President way to much power.  We are now writing laws that allow him to bypass congress and the constitution because he sees it as an Emergency.  I have not read the laws, but I sure hope it is defined what an Emergency is.  Or we may see a lot more of this stuff going on.

Bottom line is this.  We have given to much power to one Man or group of Men.  The constitution is being bypassed and then laws being passed to make it OK for it to happen.  Remember, the US has a history of power shifts in Congress and the Presidency.  You may like the power that your President may have right now, but when the shift in power moves to the other side of the spectrum, you will not like what we allowed to happen, and the power that new President now has.

I just hope that at some point, the President and Congress don’t achieve the ability to stop the power shift, but to grab the pendulum and hold it so that the balance of power does not shift again.    If that happens, we will be in a world of hurt, no matter what side gets the final say.  America needs to have both sides, and it also needs to have a government that is responsible to both sides.  If we EVER give someone power to totally bypass the constitution and enact laws without having both sides represented, then we will loose what makes America great.  The voice of the people will be lost and we might as well make our national anthem “God save the King!’

 

Comments

  • Kathryn says:

    Mike,
    Well said.

  • Aimee says:

    Agree! The current shift in the way government is doing business is alarming.I long for a return to a government where all three branches truly follow the Constitution…
    Thank you Mike for your courage.
    Aimee

  • Grant Guymon says:

    This sounds a little to much like a story written by George Lucas.
    An evil man was elected into office and was called Senator Palpatine. He was then deceitful and was voted as
    Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. Now we are at this stage of the story where he gets rid of whats left of democracy and becomes The Emperor.
    It would make a good movie don’t you think?

    • dadzoo says:

      Reminds me of when Padmé Amidala said… “So this is how liberty dies…with thunderous applause.”

      And now re-read the first quote from the state of the union and see how many times he had to stop for applause.

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