House Republicans to begin 112th Congress by reading the Constitution
“The goal, backers said, is to underscore the limited-government rules the Founders imposed on Congress – and to try to bring some of those principles back into everyday legislating.
“It stems from the debate that we’ve had for the last two years about things like the exercise of authority in a whole host of different areas by the EPA, we’ve had this debate in relation to the health care bill, the cap-and-trade legislation,” said Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte, Virginia Republican, who proposed the reading. “This Congress has been very aggressive in expanding the power of the federal government, and there’s been a big backlash to that.”
Setting aside time at the beginning of the congressional session for the reading is just one of the changes to House rules that Republicans say are designed to open up the legislative process. They say the new rules also will try to bring some restraints to lawmaking after decades in which both Republican and Democratic leaders whittled away opportunities for real legislative give-and-take.
The biggest changes would make it easier to cut spending and harder to create entitlement programs, while imposing restrictions that could keep leaders from jamming massive bills onto the House floor before lawmakers have had a chance to digest them.
This is all well and good, but reading the Constitution is one thing. Governing based on its principles is quite another.
Voters need to keep an eye on what our representatives do in Congress, as well as what they say. I’ve read that the Republican party is on probation in this Congress, and I agree with that.
The Tea Party is the proverbial tail trying to wag the Republican Party dog, not the other way around. And to paraphrase Bart Simpson, Washington D.C. is a hideous bitch goddess. Tea Partiers in Congress are only human after all (with the exception of Congressman-elect Allen West) , and are susceptible to its free-spending and corrupt ways. These things can happen in spite of the symbolism of reading the Constitution out loud.
That being said, I am as cynical as they come, and I would love to be proven wrong.
[Hat Tip: Hot Air Headlines]
UPDATE. When the House Republicans are done reading the Constitution, they may want to figure out how to fight and beat the Obama adminstration on political battles like this:
When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.
Under the new policy, outlined in a Medicare regulation, the government will pay doctors who advise patients on options for end-of-life care, which may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment.
Congressional supporters of the new policy, though pleased, have kept quiet. They fear provoking another furor like the one in 2009 when Republicans seized on the idea of end-of-life counseling to argue that the Democrats’ bill would allow the government to cut off care for the critically ill.
The final version of the health care legislation, signed into law by President Obama in March, authorized Medicare coverage of yearly physical examinations, or wellness visits. The new rule says Medicare will cover “voluntary advance care planning,” to discuss end-of-life treatment, as part of the annual visit.
More to the point of my original post, does the new House majority have the backbone to go to the mattresses on these issues?
Ed Morrissey writes:
This is just the opening gambit of a strategy Obama will use throughout the coming year in order to achieve through regulation what a Democrat-run Congress could not deliver through legislation. The new Republican House will have to use its power of the purse to stop this autocratic imposition of regulation, and remain vigilant in doing so on all fronts. Let’s hope the GOP gets used to fighting this process over the next two years.
Yes, let’s hope.