Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Republican Illogic—Again

The House Republicans have passed an unconstitutional bill to require the Democrats in the Senate to pass a non-binding and unnecessary piece of legislation.
Here is the back story as strange as it may seem.

The Republicans in the House are upset that the Democrats in the Senate have not passed a budget resolution in over four years.  Now, that sounds pretty bad unless you know what a budget resolution is and does.  It doesn’t dictate spending and it has NO legal authority.  It is not even a law.  It isn’t signed by the President even when it is passed.  A budget is nothing more than a statement of intent, a kind of wish list of the majority party.  It can’t be filibustered in the Senate but it has NO force.  The Senate sets spending by passing appropriation bills, individual pieces of legislation, almost all of which can be filibustered and thus require 60 votes to pass.  These appropriation bills, which have their origin in the House, not the Senate, must be approved by both houses of Congress and must be signed by the President in order to become law.  Bottom line:  It doesn’t matter whether the Senate passes a Budget Resolution or not.  Doesn’t affect spending.  Doesn’t affect the debt.  Doesn’t affect the deficit.  Doesn’t affect anything.

Now, because the House Republicans are upset that the Democrats in the Senate haven’t done something that doesn’t matter, they have engaged in a bit of petty spite.  The House Repubs added to the bill extending the debt limit for a few months a provision that the mean old Senators who were refusing to do something that doesn’t need to be done but that the Repubs want anyway will just not get paid until they do what the House Repubs want.  That’s right.  The House Repubs are going to put the Senators’ pay in escrow until they do what’s unimportant and unnecessary.
The problem is this.  Such an action is unconstitutional since if violates the 27th Amendment to the Constitution which says:

No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

Children.  Just children.  Can we order a sandbox for them to play in?
Read more about this here:

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