The New Congressional Emphasis on the U.S. Constitution by Gregory Hilton

Liberals are now complaining because they claim it cost $1.1 million to read the Constitution on the House floor yesterday. The $1.1 million figure comes from Peter Keating, the co-author of “The Cost of No” and Vanity Fair’s resident expert on Congressional wastefulness. Basically he computed the fixed cost of the House being in session on a minute by minute basis. What he also doesn’t mention is that in the 1,461 days Nancy Pelosi served as 52nd Speaker of the House, the national debt increased by a total of $5.343 trillion, or $3.66 billion per day, according to official debt numbers published by the U.S. Treasury. She amassed more debt than the first 49 Speakers combined.
The GOP will now vote every week to cut spending. We could save that $1.1 million and far more by cutting off debate, but the Pelosi days are over.
We are not going to treat Democrats they way they treated us. This time there will be open rules. Now amendments will be allowed. The time allotted for debate will increase significantly.
The back room deals cut by the Speaker, and the favor factory are gone. For the first time in history, the House Rules Committee was televised today on C-Span.
It will cost more to keep Congress in session, but it is money well spent. The end result is that we are headed back to 2008 spending levels.
The 112th Congress will stay in session far longer than the 111th Congress. We will have to pay for the lights, utilities, and the printing of the Congressional Record. These are the costs involved in returning democracy to the People’s House and ending the Pelosi dictatorship.
Before making any claims on spending we should first look at the overall spending record of the 111th and the new 112th Congress. The comparison will be vivid.
Furthermore. all House legislation will now have to state its constitutional basis. This is not a small issue, and Courts look at the Congressional intent when determining the Constitutional authority of Congress in passing a law.
Most previous Congresses have said their authority for passing various laws came from the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. Many people have forgotten that Congress has enumerated powers, not unlimited powers. The federal government is made up of semi-sovereign states and people with individual rights. Congress makes the laws and they are enacted when the President signs them and if they are within the enumerated powers of Congress to pass them.
There is no such thing as a broad, catch all “General Welfare” clause. The general police powers of the federal government are found within the commerce clause and are not unlimited. In fact, the Supreme Court has not found Congress has broad power to pass laws under the so called “General Welfare” clause as that clause is seen to apply to the states–not to individuals.
Finally, a President has to bear part of the responsibility for the appropriations bills and budgets he signs into law. However, the Congress spends not the President. Congress is where spending policies and priorities are made, not the executive branch. The nation cannot have fiscal discipline unless it is originated in the Congress. This was the first time in 224 years that the Constitution was read on the House floor, and I believe it was well over due.

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