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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
Political opinion, usually from the right.
New proposed constitutional amendments
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About this blog
By William Dameron

Retired computer consultant.  Not totally happy with our present administration.

Author of historical and science fiction novels.  Author page at www.billdameron.com. ...

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Right-Perspective

Retired computer consultant.  Not totally happy with our present administration.

Author of historical and science fiction novels.  Author page at www.billdameron.com. 

To correct Lincoln somewhat, he should have said, \x34. . . that government of the people, by the politicians, and for the politicians shall not perish from the earth.

Government's view of the economy: If it moves, tax it.  If it keeps moving, regulate it.  And if it stops moving, subsidize it.  — Ronald Reagan

In the United States, the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own.
-- Alexis de Toqueville

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By William Dameron
May 28, 2013 12:01 a.m.



 

In the federal government, the Executive Branch has begun to dominate the Legislative.  The various inquiries into such matters as Benghazi, Fast and Furious, and the IRS malicious treatment of conservative individuals and groups, including donors to the Romney campaign, have been met with stonewalling and “I don’t know.”  Attorney General Eric Holder was found in contempt of Congress but they have no power to punish him

 

Congress needs more enforcement power.

 

My suggestion for an amendment is that either body of Congress may, by a two thirds or better majority, remove from office and terminate benefits of any member of the executive branch beneath cabinet level.    The amendment might also specify a lesser penalty: a 60% vote could censor and reduce the salary and benefits by an amount such as 10%.  That would provide flexibility.  The amendment should also give the congress power to impeach (in the House) and try and convict (in the Senate) a cabinet member as is possible for the President and Vice President now.  This is of course very difficult unless both parties want the official ousted.  As an example, Bill Clinton was impeached by the House but acquitted by the Senate.

 

The Congress has been gridlocked for a long time since Republicans took over control of the House.  The House has passed literally hundreds of bills since 2010 which were not taken up by the Senate

 

For that reason I’d like to propose an amendment that if one body of Congress passes a bill by a two thirds or better majority, the other body must take it up and consider it in committee within 120 days, or else it will be automatically “enrolled” – which means it is sent to the President, who can sign it into law or veto it.  The committee must vote whether or not to send it to the floor.  If voted down in committee, the bill is properly killed.

 

If the bill is voted down, at least the committee members would have to go on record, so I believe they would be more likely to send it to the floor and make the entire body go on record.  I think a two thirds majority of one body should not be completely ignored by the other, as it is now.

 

Of course, I favor other proposed constitutional amendments which aren’t moving along very fast:

 

An amendment requiring the federal budget to be balanced each year.  (Many states have such amendments in their constitutions.)

 

An amendment which would prohibit Congress from exempting its members from any laws which affect the general public.  (Example: the rest of the public is stuck with Obamacare – so should the members of Congress.  Older members of Congress should be under Medicare.)

 

An amendment which provides that if Congress fails to pass a federal budget by a certain date, their pay and benefits are reduced.  I’m not sure of the details of this one, such as when the deadline occurs and by how much their salaries and benefits would be cut.

 

 

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