Lake Erie Conservative

thoughtful discussion(s) about issue(s)

Posts Tagged ‘House’

… Elections 2013 [Virginia] …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Monday,November 11th,2013

.. well , Terry McAuliffe finally won a race .

.. Barely . He nearly blew it .

.. Ken Cuccinelli ran a crappy early race , got out – fundraised , and out – hustled . Yet , he was still in the race . He locked in

Ken Cuccinelli (R)

Ken Cuccinelli (R) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

on a “winning” message . Unfortunately , not soon enough . He ran out of time to bring the race home .

.. It does not mean that Ken Cuccinelli does not have a future . He most definitely does have one . He just has to do it differently , next time . Also , he needs to jump on things right out of the box , next time .

.. McAuliffe will do damage . A pretty fair bit of damage . But only so much . A chief executive can do a lot , but only so much . Especially in a state where the GOP controls the Virginia Supreme Court , and the Virginia House [the House of Delegates , that is] . The GOP has overwhelming control of the House of Delegates , by nearly 61 seats , to 39 . Ouch .

.. The DummyCraps technically control the Virginia Senate . the state Senate is tied 20-20 , but the tie is broken by the tie – breaking vote of the Lietenant – Governor , who will soon be a loonie leftie . The GOP should strike , and reach out to 1 or more of the moderate dems while the irons are hot .  The sooner the strike , the better .

.. In the next mid – term elections , courtesy of redistricting , the GOP is likely to pick up anywhere from 3 to 4 , to as many as 5 seats in the Virginia Senate . What happens after that , is anyone ‘ s guess …

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… I believe that Boehner has the Votes …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Monday,October 7th,2013

.. what am I saying ?

.. first , Pelosi does not have the votes . The DemoCraps only have about 200 members in the current House , and their numbers are unlikely to go up all that much . Then , you do figure that the Dems have about 25 to 30 moderates left in their caucus .

.. That many ? Yes , that many . I would be willing to bet as many as 10 to 15 of them will not vote for a CR , possibly 20 . That means (since 218 is a majority) , the DemoCraps need nearly 30 votes . Yes , nearly 30 votes . Why that many .

218 – (202 – 15) = 31 ; or 218 – 187 = 31

Official portrait of United States House Speak...

Official portrait of United States House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

;

.. 31 votes . It will take that many votes to make it . it is the votes of the moderates who vote against the CR , plus the votes to reach a majority , plus a 1 or 2 vote safety margin (considering the machinations a House majority can pull) ..

.. why ?

[-] there are not that many moderates in the House GOP anymore . There are some , but not many .

[-] they are loyal enough to Boehner to not cross him on a vote that is this important ,

[-] a number of them are or have been in leadership positions , such as subcommittee chairman or committee chairman . They want to be again , and realize crossing a sitting Speaker of the House is not a way to get back into that position . Especially since , these days , the Speaker appoints (with caucus approval , which is ususally a formality) the committee and subcommittee chairs .

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… Hilarious ! [Who to Negotiate With ?!] …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Sunday,October 6th,2013

this one is [h/t Legal Insurrection] , where Congressman Doug Lamborn [R-Co] is talking ] on the House floor . He talks about who POTUS will negotiate with (see the picture) , and who he will not …

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… The Power of the Purse [The House ‘ s Power on Spending Bills] …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Friday,October 4th,2013

LEC here — initially , I was skeptical of Andrew ‘ s arguments . I have been following the debate between him , Ed Whelan , and Matt Franck (the latter two in National Review ‘ s Bench – Memos) . Since I have read through this , plus the Constitutional debates , plus the Heritage Foundation position paper (always a dandy , but especially in this case) , I am now convinced of his

Elbridge Gerry (1744–1814), American statesman

Elbridge Gerry (1744–1814), American statesman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

argument .

.. I am a big Andrew McCarthy fan . I am very thankful for his service , especially for his work in the Department of Justice as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the initial World Trade Center Bombing trials .

.. You can also find Andrew at PJMedia . He writes a regular column there …

The Origins of the Origination ClauseThe House’s power of the purse includes spending bills.
By Andrew C. McCarthy
In a Bench Memos post, my friend Matt Franck objects to the contention in my column for last weekend that the Constitution’s Origination Clause (Art. I, Sec. 7) gives the House of Representatives primacy over spending as well as taxing. Matt claims that my interpretation is bereft of historical support, a defect I’m said to camouflage by an extravagant reading of an “at best . . . ambiguous” passage in Madison’s Federalist No. 58.
It is Matt’s history, though, that is incomplete. As Mark Steyn observes, there is a rich Anglo-American tradition of vesting authority over not merely taxing but also spending in the legislative body closest to the people. This tradition, stretching back nearly to the Magna Carta, inspired the Origination Clause. It also informed Madison, whose ruminations, besides being far from ambiguous on the House’s power of the purse, are entitled to great weight — not only because he was among the Constitution’s chief architects but also because his explication of the Framers’ design helped induce skeptics of centralized government and its tyrannical proclivities to adopt the Constitution.

Plainly, Matt is correct that the Origination Clause refers to “bills for raising revenue.” From the time it was debated at the

James Madison

James Madison (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Philadelphia convention, however, the concept at issue clearly referred to more than tax bills. It was about reposing in the people, through their most immediately accountable representatives, the power of the purse. Indeed, the term persistently used throughout the Framers’ debates was “money bills” — the phrase used by Elbridge Gerry, perhaps the principal advocate of the Origination Clause, when (as the debate records recount) he “moved to restrain the Senatorial branch from originating money bills. The other branch [i.e., the House] was more immediately the representatives of the people, and it was a maxim that the people ought to hold the purse-strings.”

Matt portrays my position as eccentric. Nevertheless, the belief that the Origination Clause conveys the House’s holding of the purse strings — i.e., that it refers to the output as well as the intake of government revenue — is hardly unique to me. The Heritage Foundation’s Guide to the Constitution, for example, notes that the clause was meant to be “consistent with the English requirement that money bills must commence in the House of Commons.” Traditionally, that requirement aggregated taxing with spending — the “power over the purse” — which the Framers sought to repose “with the legislative body closer to the people.”

Similarly, the Annenberg Institute for Civics, in its series on the Constitution, instructs students that the Clause means “the House of Representatives must begin the process when it comes to raising and spending money. It is the chamber where all taxing and spending bills start” (emphasis added). To be sure, the lesson goes on to state that “only the House may introduce a bill that involves taxes.” Yet this obviously would not suffice to explain the conclusion that the House must “begin the process” when “spending money” — as well as raising money — is involved. That conclusion, like Madison’s, draws on the fact that the Framers intended to mirror the venerable English tradition of vesting the all-important power of the purse in the people’s direct representatives.

Mark Steyn recounts the Westminster practice, since the mid-17th-century reign of Charles II, that the Commons would not permit the Lords to alter “money bills.” In tracing the practice back much further, I am indebted to Nicholas Schmitz, a Rhodes scholar and Marine veteran who has studied the ancient Anglo roots of the Origination Clause. From his work I’ve learned that it was already solidified custom by the reign of Richard II (1377–99) that “grants” were the province of Commons, albeit, back then, “with the assent of the Lords.”

“Grants” did not refer merely to the extraction of assets by taxation; the term is also concerned with the purpose to which these funds were to be put. England’s 1689 Bill of Rights thus specified that a “grant of Parliament” was a necessary precondition to “levying money for or to the use of the crown.” Such grants were, in essence, appropriations. As the process evolved, the House of Commons structured taxes strictly in accordance with the specific purposes cited by the crown. It was very much a two-sided ledger, with Commons jealously guarding its oversight of both money in and money out.

As a number of the Framers were admirers of Locke, it is also worth remembering Locke’s teaching that governments are formed to protect private property. The concept stems, in part, from the (by then) established understanding that the state could legitimately extract the citizen’s property only by the consent of the people’s representatives for a proper public purpose. That is the foundation of the Origination Clause.

Given these roots, it should come as no surprise that, at the time of the Founding, several of the state constitutions vested in their lower legislative houses the prerogative of, in the words of Georgia’s constitution, initiating “bills for raising revenue or appropriating moneys.” Indeed, in famously supporting colonial opposition to the Stamp Act in 1765, William Pitt observed, “The Commons of America, represented in their several assemblies, have ever been in possession of the exercise of this their constitutional right of giving and granting their own money. They would have been slaves if they had not enjoyed it” (emphasis added).

Maryland’s lower house, to take one example, was responsible for initiating “money bills,” which were defined as “every bill, assessing, levying, or applying taxes or supplies, for the support of government, or the current expenses of the State, or appropriating money in the treasury” (emphasis added). In Massachusetts, the home of Elbridge Gerry, colonial practice was that taxes and “money bills” were the privilege of the House of Representatives, with the upper house empowered only to concur or not concur. The Commonwealth’s 1780 constitution, adumbrating the federal Constitution’s Origination Clause, mandated that “money bills shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments, as on other bills.”

Let’s move directly to the 1787 convention in Philadelphia.

One of the major challenges confronting the delegates was to broker the competing claims of small and large states. As Franklin summarized, “If a proportional representation takes place, the small States contend that their liberties will be in danger. If an equality of votes is to be put in its place, the large States say their money will be in danger.” This resulted, of course, in the great compromise: equality among states in the Senate and proportional representation (by population) in the House. But this arrangement was inadequate to quell the large states’ fears; it was also necessary to tinker with the powers assigned to the two chambers.

As Franklin put it, the Senate would be restricted generally in all appropriations & dispositions of money to be drawn out of the General Treasury; and in all laws for supplying that Treasury, the Delegates of the several States shall have suffrage in aroportion to the Sums which their respective States do actually contribute to the Treasury [emphasis added].
When the Origination Clause was specifically taken up, a spirited debate ensued, with some delegates protesting against restrictions on the Senate. According to Madison’s records, however, what “generally prevailed” was the argument of George Mason:

The consideration which weighed with the Committee was that the 1st branch [i.e., the House of Representatives] would be the immediate representatives of the people, the 2nd [the Senate] would not. Should the latter have the power of giving away the people’s money, they might soon forget the source from whence they received it [emphasis added]. We might soon have an Aristocracy.

Mason’s concerns seem prescient in our era of mammoth national government presided over by an entrenched ruling class of professional politicians. He worried that the Senate is not like the H. of Representatives chosen frequently and obliged to return frequently among the people. They are chosen by the Sts for 6 years, will probably settle themselves at the seat of Government, will pursue schemes for their aggrandizement. . . . If the Senate can originate, they will in the recess of the Legislative Sessions, hatch their mischievous projects, for their own purposes, and have their money bills ready cut & dried, (to use a common phrase) for the meeting of the H. of Representatives. . . . The purse strings should be in the hands of the Representatives of the people.
Yes, the purse strings, not just the power to tax. Concededly, the Origination Clause speaks of bills “for raising revenue.” In selling the Constitution to the nation, though, it was portrayed as securing in the hands of the people’s representatives the power of the purse. It is an empty power if spending is not included.

The relevant paragraph in Madison’s Federalist No. 58 is worth quoting in full (all italics mine):
A constitutional and infallible resource still remains with the larger states by which they will be able at all times to accomplish their just purposes. The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose the supplies requisite for the support of government. They, in a word, hold the purse — that powerful instrument by which we behold, in the history of the British constitution, an infant and humble representation of the people gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance, and finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government. This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.

To my mind, what Madison describes unquestionably transcends taxing authority. I believe a “complete and effectual weapon . . . for obtaining a redress of every grievance” must give “the immediate representatives of the people” the power to block funding for a government takeover of health care that was enacted by fraud and strong-arming; that was adamantly represented not to be the tax that the Supreme Court later found it to be; and that is substantially opposed by the people, and has been since its enactment.
Matt begs to differ, relying on the text of the Origination Clause, the reductive construction of “revenue” as mere “taxation,” and Joseph Story’s Commentaries. This is reasonable, and — as Matt has emphasized — it certainly reflects conventional Washington wisdom. But I do not think it gets to the power of the purse that the Framers — and Madison, quite explicitly — were driving at.
In fact, Story’s conclusion that the origination power “has been confined to bills to levy taxes in the strict sense of the word,” and not to ordinary legislation “which may incidentally create revenue,” is an overly narrow interpretation of the clause’s meaning, arrived at by taking out of context a portion of the delegates’ debate that related to two tangential concerns about potential abuse of the origination power. Specifically, Madison worried that the Origination Clause could be read too broadly, thus hampering the Senate’s ability to originate any legislation — since most federal legislation would surely have some conceivable economic consequence. Relatedly, other delegates worried that the House could abuse its origination power by tacking non-revenue legislation onto money bills in order to frustrate the Senate’s ability to make amendments.
The Framers wanted to endow the House with the power of the purse, but did not want to open the door to such shenanigans. Thus the fleeting focus on “incidental” levies: The debates fleshed out the principle that the Origination Clause was intended to apply to bills the patent purpose of which involved public money. That hardly meant, as Story inferred, that the Clause would only ever apply to “bills to levy taxes in the strict sense.” It meant that, in the peculiar situation of ordinary legislation that only incidentally raised money, the Senate would not be impeded by the clause from either initiating or amending such a bill.
I would also note that constricting the House’s Origination Clause power to taxation would render it a nullity — which, admittedly, is how modern Washington treats it. If the Senate is freely permitted to originate appropriations that increase our already olympian debt through more borrowing, it is effectively originating taxation every bit as much as if it forthrightly branded as “taxation” the bills thus initiated.

Two final points. First, I have no illusions that, at this late hour, the Senate would passively accept the premise that the House holds the full power of the purse, or that somewhere down the road the courts would enforce this principle. But each component of our government has the power and, I’d submit, the duty to construe its own constitutional authority in good faith. I am saying that if Republicans truly want to make good on a pledge to reinvigorate originalism, the House should be guided by Madison in its dealings with the Senate. That would make for some contentious times (similar to what we are witnessing now), but so what? Our system is based on the expectation that officials will vigorously exercise their quite intentionally separate and competing powers. The resolution of the inevitable collisions should be more a political process guided by constitutional principles than a legal process determined by courts. The former is how compromise and consensus properly emerge.
Second, there is some very interesting Origination Clause litigation ongoing against Obamacare, and it involves a construction of the clause that both Matt and I would probably find legitimate. Representative Trent Franks (R., Ariz.) and other House conservatives claim that the so-called Affordable Care Act violates the clause because it was a tax-hiking bill (as the Supreme Court has held) that originated in the Senate.
There will be much more to say about this legal challenge. I believe it will be less abstract and less contentious than our debate over the theoretical extent to which the Origination Clause reposes in the House the power of the purse.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute. He is the author, most recently, of Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy.

… this [link] is to the heritage foundation guide to the constitution . It regards the debate regarding the origination clause …

… this [link] is to the Annenberg Classroom resources on the Constitutional debates …

… LEC here again — It remains to be seen how this shutdown will play out . However , I think the GOP has a fighting shot at winning this . Dingy Harry Reid ‘ s penchant for shooting his mouth off  , and sticking his foot in it in one thing . The other thing is POTUS . He is behaving like a petulant child , and Dingy Harry is no better …

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… So , POTUS will negotiate with Putin …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Sunday,September 22nd,2013

.. but , not with Congress ?

[link] — this ad issued by the GOP points that out …

.. Sorry , POTUS , it is not how our system of government works . POTUS stands for President , not for First Dictator . The DemoCraps do not control Crapitol Hill . The GOP is the majority in the House . And the Dems are scared to death of taking tough votes in the Senate , and Dingy Harry Reid knows it .

.. It is a strong possibility that the DemoCraps will lose control of the Senate next fall . They do not want to expose their vulnerable members to tough votes , no matter what the subject . Dingy Harry will try to protect his membership , but if he cannot control them , or protect them , he has big problems .

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… Obama ‘ s Ego is Getting Too Big for His Britches …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Monday,September 2nd,2013

Obama ‘ s ego is getting too big for his britches

Obama’s proposal seeks broad war power despite vow of limits

.. While President Barack Obama insists he wants only a limited air attack on Syria, his proposed authorization of force would

English: Barack Obama delivers a speech at the...

English: Barack Obama delivers a speech at the University of Southern California (Video of the speech) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

empower him to do much more than that. Congress is likely to impose tighter reins, as lawmakers have learned that presidents are prone to expand on powers once granted…
.. The substantive part of Obama’s proposed authorization of the use of military force, conveyed to congressional leaders over the weekend, contains 172 words. That’s significantly more than either the 1964 Tonkin Gulf Resolution authorizing the Vietnam War or the 2001 resolution authorizing retaliation for the 9/11 terror attacks, two measures that later became notorious for how aggressively presidents used them.

.. The proposed resolution gives Obama a go-ahead to use the military as he “determines to be necessary and appropriate in connection with the use of chemical weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in the conflict in Syria.” Specifically, the president could act to “prevent or deter the use or proliferation” of the weapons or to “protect the United States and its allies and partners” from the weapons.”

.. Obama’s proposed authorization would also allow military action to stop the “transfer to terrorist groups or other state or non-state actors” of the designated weapons. This includes actions involving weapons transfers “within, to or from Syria,” which potentially extends authority to act well outside Syria itself.

.. If it passed the House and Senate, the authorization would meet the domestic U.S. requirements of the War Powers Resolution, as well as give the Obama administration some political cover. It would not, however, necessarily address international legal requirements.

,, When political bodies do provide military authorizations, the resulting actions can grow beyond what some may have originally contemplated. Expect the final resolution to have a fair bit of limitations on it . Other presidents were trusted , whether they were liked or not . Obama is not trusted , and will not be given anything close to a blank check , as much as he might well want one .
.. Trust is earned , not given . Some political leaders earn trust , given their personal or political reputations . Obama is weak , and is a wuss . He is not trusted , and has not earned it . For him to earn it , he has to take actions to earn it . He has not done so , as of yet .

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… Ah , D.O.D. , What you are Doing is Circumventing State Law …

Posted by paulfromwloh on Wednesday,August 14th,2013

.. in the state in which a base is located .

.. In Ohio , where I am , a base of this size , where there is likely to be such a gay soldier / airman population is at Wright – Patterson Air Force Base . Wright – Pat (for short) is huge , with many thousands of officers and airmen and airwomen . It also has detachments from the other services . These folks , though , have a problem .

.. For them , they have wither to live on base , or within a reasonable distance of the base . That means about 30 to 40 miles . Down there (Wright – Pat is downstate , just northeast of the City of Dayton , actually in Fairborn) , that means those folks live entirely within the state of Ohio . Where , matter of fact , that so – called “Same Sex Marriage” is both illegal , as well as unconstitutional . Huge Oops !

.. Somehow , I do not think that even a significant chunk of the Senate (in Democratic hands , for now) , much less saying the House (which is GOP – controlled) are going to be too thrilled with such a stunt . Circumventing local laws , where marriage is governed , and allowed servicemen and servicewomen to abrogate those local laws is not going to go over very well .

.. You might think why I picked on Wright – Pat ? It is , by far , the largest military base in the state of Ohio . No other one is really in its size class . Also , one other factor . Guess in whose congressional district parts of the base are located ?

.. John Boehner . Yea , Speaker of the House John Boehner . Whoops .

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… What I think the House Could Do [One Possibility]…

Posted by paulfromwloh on Monday,July 15th,2013

What the House Should Do

.. Now that S.744 has passed the Senate, and the baton has been passed to the lower chamber, the House of Representatives has been afforded a significant opportunity to change the debate on immigration reform. It is imperative that it takes it.

.. The fundamental problem with the bill is what it does with legal immigration. Instead of reforming our Ted Kennedy-inspired, irrational 60s-era immigration regime, it perpetuates it and even makes it worse. Thus, the Bill authorizes somewhere between 30 million and 60 million new legal immigrants over the next ten years, 90% of them low-skill and low-wage.This is exactly what it does, once again eschewing merit-based immigration for a family-based system and privileging low-skilled immigration uber alles.

.. In responding to the Senate, the first thing that the House should do is to split up the issues. Republicans should insist that they are presented with one bill that deals with the border and the illegal population, and another bill (at  least) that covers legal reform. There is no reason whatsoever why advocates of amnesty should have to sign on to sweeping legal reform, and there is no reason whatsoever why those who want to change the legal system should have to acquiesce with border measures that they dislike. Immigration is a problem, but is not a crisis in the sense that the invasion of Pearl Harbor was a crisis. Contrary to the cries of some, America has the time to debate properly measures that will define who joins the polity over the next two decades and more. It should take that time.

If I had carte blanche, I would have the House start over on the legal side.

. There are a few good things in the Senate bill — the abolition of the Green Card lottery among them. But it fails to bring immigration law into line with what, in my experience, Americans think that immigration law is. And, worse, it builds on a 1965 law that was deeply unpopular at the time and that has done precisely what its advocates swore blind that it would not. The House should put together
a bill — or, better, a series of bills — that would, among other things, abolish the green card lottery, limit family-based immigration to spouses and children,  greatly increase high-skilled visas, institute a limited Bracero-style temporary worker  program, require English proficiency for permanent residency (not visas), and feature a modest version of the DREAM Act . Most important, it would invert the
balance between skills-based and family-based immigration in the favor of the  former. And it would make it clear that the total number of legal immigrants  should at the very least remain the same and should certainly not increase,  possibly drawing any amnesty visas granted to illegals from an overall total.

.. Having done these things, it should send the bill to the Senate for approval. If  the Senate refuses, so be it. The status quo is better than is S.744, and  Americans appear barely to care about the issue. Immigration reform is  neccesary, but not so necessary that anything will do. John Boehner will do well  if he remembers that.

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