Showing posts with label House of Representatives. Show all posts
Showing posts with label House of Representatives. Show all posts

Sunday, June 21, 2015

US Supreme Court on trial: Has it become too powerful for the good of the country?

This is the season of the United States Supreme Court. Its spell in the media sun doesn’t last long – just the two or three weeks before its judicial term ends on 30 June. But over that short period, on Mondays and Thursdays, the justices hand down their most keenly awaited rulings.
This year there are a couple of real blockbusters, which could be delivered as soon as Monday. One could turn gay marriage into a constitutional right, meaning that every state has to permit it. The other could rip the heart out of Barack Obama’s healthcare reform, the crowning achievement of his presidency.
The Supreme Court, enshrined as one of three “co-equal” branches of government, along with the Presidency and Congress, and embodied by its nine black-robed members, is the model for such institutions around the globe: supposedly impartial and unaligned, the guarantor of a constitution that binds America’s political system to the rule of law. But is it – or has it become too powerful for the good of the country?
In fact, the constitution gives the court relatively short shrift. By far its longest section is Article 1, enumerating the powers of Congress. Then comes the executive branch, the presidency, and finally the judiciary whose role is spelt out in four bare paragraphs. Congress was clearly intended by the Founding Fathers to be central political institution of the United States. But how times have changed.
Power has long been seeping out of Congress into the presidency, today indisputably first among the co-equals. But more recently, hyper-partisanship and general dysfunction on Capitol Hill have seen more of that power pass in practice to the court, now, just as indisputably, the second most influential branch of government.
If you don’t believe me, just consider this. Since 2010, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has voted nearly 60 times to abolish the detested Obamacare, but to no avail. Some time in the next eight days, the Supreme Court could do so with a single ruling, upholding a lower court decision that would deprive six million lower-income Americans of the federal subsidies that allow them to purchase health insurance. Indeed, it could have done so three years ago when only the surprise deciding vote of Chief Justice John Roberts – normally part of the court’s 5-4 conservative majority – prevented the law from being declared unconstitutional. Supporters of the law are praying the same happens this time. But there’s no guarantee it will.

Friday, June 12, 2015


A whopping 34 courageous conservative Republicans shocked the political world on Thursday by severely wounding—and nearly killing—Obamatrade on a purely procedural vote.

Most importantly about this is that the vote passed with less than a majority of the full House of Representatives. Speaker 
Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)
 was only able to — on a purely procedural vote — obtain 217, rather than the 218 votes for a majority, votes for the rule. It passed the House 217-212.

The vote, which nearly failed and would have ended Obamatrade right there, was a necessary procedural hurdle—a rule—that was must-pass for Obamatrade to make its way to the House floor for final consideration on Friday. What’s more, the nearly successful effort to kill Obamatrade—which has been lobbied heavily for by House GOP leadership, particularly the program’s chief architect Ways and Means Committee chairman 
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)
—means that there’s blood in the water around Obamatrade everywhere in the eleventh hour.

The 34 conservatives who stood up to the Washington establishment are: Reps. 
Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI)

Rep. Rod Blum (R-IA)
, Dave Brat (R-VA),
Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO)

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC)

Rep. John Fleming (R-LA)

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ)

Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ)

Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY)

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ)

Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA)

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD)

Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA)
Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC)

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH)

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID)

Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY)

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC)

Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV)

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC)

Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL)

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM)

Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA)

Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL)

Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA)

Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ)

Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ)

Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN)

Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL)

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL)

Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK)
Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL)

“Americans should be proud that 34 Republicans put their country before their political party today,” Americans for Limited Government president Rick Manning tells Breitbart News. “Their vote to stop Obamatrade dead in its tracks is one that sets the stage for tomorrow’s defeat of enabling him to fast track the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other treaties.  The nation owes these 34 heroes a debt of gratitude.”

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Vote for Trade Promotion Authority Is Not a Vote for Obama

Before presidential politics — the game of getting to 270 electoral votes — completely eclipses governing, there is the urgent task of getting to 217 votes in the House of Representatives to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). This would guarantee a vote without amendments on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Without TPA, any trade agreement will be nibbled to death in Congress by persons eager to do organized labor’s bidding. So, Republicans who oppose TPA are collaborating with those who oppose increasing the velocity and rationality of economic life.

TPA touches two challenging problems: one economic, one constitutional. Regarding both, conservatives have special responsibilities. 

The economic challenge is to generate economic growth sufficient to restore vigor and upward mobility to an underemployed America, sustaining national security and entitlements as, every day, another 10,000 baby boomers become eligible for Social Security and Medicare. The constitutional problem is how to restore institutional equilibrium by bringing the presidency back within the restraints the Founders devised with the separation of powers. 

Only conservatives can turn economic policy away from the self-defeating aim of redistribution, and toward growth. This goal would be advanced by the trade agreement among the twelve nations who together account for 37 percent of the world’s GDP and one-third of world trade. Defeating TPA, and thus the agreement, is a service most House Democrats will perform for a reactionary faction, organized labor. Defeat would, however, make economic dynamism even more elusive, punishing the nation without meaningfully disciplining the president.

 This vote comes in the turgid wake of a first quarter in which the economy shrank 0.7 percent — the third quarterly contraction during the anemic recovery that is slouching into its seventh year. The aging recovery began in June 2009; another recession may arrive without there having been a real recovery from the previous one. For Democrats devoted to policies of redistribution, economic growth is an afterthought. Only Republicans can make possible the freer trade that can combat the lingering stagnation that is Barack Obama’s painful legacy.

Via: National Review

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