The State of Our Government – Part 2

by Blogger on March 19, 2010 · 0 comments

I began this series back on March 15th by laying out a framework for how I think Government should resemble a corporation in terms of how it’s run.  Quite a bit has happened these last few days that lends credence to my idea, what with Nancy Pelosi trying to do an end run on the voting process with this Deem and Pass garbage.  This is in clear violation of Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution, which clearly states:

Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. [emphasis added]

The law states that a bill must be passed by both Houses of Congress in identical form before being sent to the President for signature.  Since the House is considering the Senate’s version of the Health Care bill, the Constitution mandates the vote be determined by Yeas and Nays, with a record of how each Representative voted.

What the House is doing is using the “Slaughter Solution”, named after Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), whereby Democrats would pass a rule that “deems” the Senate’s health-care bill to have passed the House, without the House actually voting on the bill. This enables Congress to vote on legislation that fixes flaws in the Senate health-care bill without facing a Senate filibuster, and without requiring House members to vote in favor of a Senate bill that is now political suicide.

One exception to Senate filibuster rules, adopted in 1974, is legislation that makes adjustments to spending or revenues to reconcile current law to a budget resolution that has passed Congress. These are called reconciliation bills, and they require only a majority vote. That is where reconciliation fits in. If the House passes the Senate bill and the president then signs it into law, reconciliation would permit Congress to pass new legislation making changes to that law. Reconciliation might not solve the abortion coverage problem or other non-budgetary issues, but it would allow Democrats to correct most of the features they find offensive in the Senate bill.

However, according to the Senate parliamentarian, reconciliation is permitted only for bills that amend existing law, not for amendments to bills that have yet to be enacted. So for the Senate to be able to avoid a filibuster, House Democrats first must vote for the identical bill that passed the Senate last Christmas Eve. They must vote Yea on the special deals, Yea on abortion coverage, and Yea on taxes for expensive health-insurance plans. Potential congressional candidates are salivating at the prospect of running against incumbents who vote for these provisions. Enter the Slaughter solution, which attempts to allow the House to pass the Senate bill, plus a bill amending it, with a single vote. The senators would then vote only on the bill containing the amendments.  Of course, no single bill will have passed both houses in the same form.

Each member of Congress (House and Senate) took the following Oath of Office:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same [emphasis added]; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

This begs the question:  Can initiation and implementation of the Slaughter Solution be considered a violation of the Congressional Oath of Office?  I think so.  According to Friends of the Article V Convention

:

Federal law regulating oath of office by government officials is divided into four parts along with an executive order which further defines the law for purposes of enforcement. 5 U.S.C. 3331

, provides the text of the actual oath of office members of Congress are required to take before assuming office. 5 U.S.C. 3333 requires members of Congress sign an affidavit that they have taken the oath of office required by 5 U.S.C. 3331 and have not or will not violate that oath of office during their tenure of office as defined by the third part of the law, 5 U.S.C. 7311 which explicitly makes it a federal criminal offense (and a violation of oath of office) for anyone employed in the United States Government (including members of Congress) to “advocate the overthrow of our constitutional form of government”. The fourth federal law, 18 U.S.C. 1918 provides penalties for violation of oath office described in 5 U.S.C. 7311 which include: (1) removal from office and; (2) confinement or a fine.

The definition of “advocate

” is further specified in Executive Order 10450 which for the purposes of enforcement supplements 5 U.S.C. 7311 . One provision of Executive Order 10450 specifies it is a violation of 5 U.S.C. 7311 for any person taking the oath of office to advocate “the alteration … of the form of the government of the United States by unconstitutional means.” Our form of government is defined by the Constitution of the United States. It can only be “altered” by constitutional amendment. Thus, according to Executive Order 10450 (and therefore 5 U.S. 7311 ) any act taken by government officials who have taken the oath of office prescribed by 5 U.S.C. 3331 which alters the form of government other by amendment, is a criminal violation of the 5 U.S.C. 7311 .

Congress has never altered the Article V Convention clause by constitutional amendment. Hence, the original language written in the law by the Framers and its original intent remains undisturbed and intact

. That law specifies a convention call is peremptory on Congress when the states have applied for a convention call and uses the word “shall ” to state this. The states have applied . When members of Congress disobey the law of the Constitution and refuse to issue a call for an Article V Convention when peremptorily required to do so by that law, they have asserted a veto power when none exists nor was ever intended to exist in that law. This veto alters the form of our government by removing one of the methods of amendment proposal the law of the Constitution creates. Such alteration without amendment is a criminal violation of 5 U.S.C. 7311 and 18 U.S.C. 1918 .

If your Representative and/or Senators voted against the Health Care legislation, and you think House Dems are shredding the constitution in their determination to get it passed, I urge you to contact them and demand they call an Article V Convention, proposing an Amendment to the Constitution to permit the Slaughter Solution methodology to become law.  Doing this will force House Dems to admit what they’re doing is unconstitutional, and will probably stop the Health Care legislation in its tracks.

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