Friday, November 16, 2007

Fourteenth Amendment...Congress aiding enemies of the U.S.

The Los Angeles Times reported today, problems with Congress agreeing (I know, it's hard to believe) on an emergency spending bill for military operations in Iraq.

Noam Levey did a superb job of capturing the emotion, importance, and frustration of passing this bill in his article.,0,2402186.story?coll=la-home-center

It's time that the Senate (Upper House) and House of Representatives actually represent our country, instead of squabbling like a group of preschoolers.

Men and women are serving our country and are in need of a resolution so that they have the support and provisions they need and deserve.

Levey writes, "WASHINGTON -- Congress prepared to leave for its two-week Thanksgiving recess deadlocked over how to pay for the war in Iraq, as the Senate could not to agree today on an emergency spending bill to fund military operations there.

As they have all year, Senate Democrats failed to muster the votes to consider a proposal to condition a $50-billion war-spending bill on a timeline for withdrawing troops, which narrowly passed the House on Wednesday."

Who are the experts on the war?

Shouldn't the timeline be met according to the needs as seen by those who are experts and those who are really in Iraq...

...rather than those with Business and Law backgrounds and/or degrees, spending their time debating because of their own opinion, instead of because of facts from the field?

Does this issue fall under the Fourteenth Amendment?

"Furthermore, under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, any federal or state officer who takes the requisite oath to support the Constitution, but later engages in rebellion or aids the enemies of the United States, is disqualified from becoming a senator. "

"The House Democratic proposal, drawn up by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) and her lieutenants, would have allocated only enough money to fund the wars for about four more months. The Bush administration had sought nearly four times as much.", writes Levey,

Isn't it interesting that President Bush...

...has the advisers to tell him exactly what is needed in Iraq
...has the advantage of access to commanders on the ground in Iraq
...has the advantage of experts on the situation in Iraq

Isn't it interesting the Nancy Pelosi...

...does not have access to the advisers that the President of the United States has
...does not have authority to do things like say, go on a diplomatic mission to the Middle-East (just thought I'd throw that one in there)
...does not have the advantage of access to commanders on the ground in Iraq with the same clearance as the President of the U.S.

Studying the history regarding Congress and the forming of the responsibilities of the Speaker, I found that was extremely helpful, as always.

Here is a bit of the education I received.

"The Speaker does not normally personally preside over debates, instead delegating the duty to other members of Congress of the same political party. Aside from duties relating to heading the House and the majority political party, the Speaker also performs administrative and procedural functions, and remains the Representative of his or her congressional district."

"The Constitution does not spell out the political role of the Speaker. As the office has developed historically, however, it has taken on a clearly partisan cast, very different from the speakership of the British House of Commons, which is scrupulously non-partisan."

"The Speaker is responsible for ensuring that the House passes legislation supported by the majority party. In pursuing this goal, the Speaker may utilize his or her power to determine when each bill reaches the floor. He or she also chairs the majority party's House steering committee."

"When the Speaker and the President belong to the same party, the Speaker normally plays a less prominent role as the leader of the majority party.—For example, Speaker Dennis Hastert played a very low-key role during the presidency of fellow Republican George W. Bush. On the other hand, when the Speaker and the President belong to opposite parties, the public role and influence of the Speaker tend to increase. The Speaker is the highest-ranking member of the opposition party and is normally the chief public opponent of the President's agenda. "

If the U.S. is going to continue to enjoy its remaining constitutional values, Nancy Pelosi needs to bring the parties to a consensus on the importance of certain bills and their value to our society, as a whole.

One valuable power she has as the Speaker is that of the Chairman for the United States House Committee on Rules. Again, Wikipedia is such a valuable resource for this. Here is a brief description regarding the Committee on Rules.

"The Committee on Rules, or (more commonly) Rules Committee, is a committee of the United States House of Representatives. Rather than being responsible for a specific area of policy, as most other committees are, it is in charge of determining under what rule other bills will come to the floor. As such, it is one of the most powerful committees, and often described as "an arm of the leadership" and as the "traffic cop" of Congress. A rule is a simple resolution of the House of Representatives, usually reported by the Committee on Rules, to permit the immediate consideration of a legislative measure, notwithstanding the usual order of business, and to prescribe conditions for its debate and amendment"

It's time for Congress to come together, stop aiding the enemy, and pass a bill to provide our troops with their provisions.,0,2402186.story?coll=la-home-center

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