The “Super Congress”

03 Aug

Why aren’t more people having a problem with this? I see calls on a few websites to contact your Congress person to request that the Super Congress be transparent, or vow to put tax increases on the wealthy on the table, or other such stuff – but where is the general outrage about the whole damn concept?

A group of 4 (Pelosi, Reid, McConnell, and Boehner) gets to APPOINT a group of 12 to write legislation. Reid is adamant that the Super C. can write legislation on any issue whatsoever, not just deficit reduction, and Congress only gets an up or down vote – no amendments, no floor debates, no filibusters. This is a Gang of 4 creating a politburo. How is this Constitutional? They are dismantling the provisions which outline the functions of the two houses of Congress.

I have read several articles now which state that the President has veto power over any legislation the Super C. comes up with PRIOR to its being presented to the regular Congress. This gives him an ipso facto 13th vote on the Super C. – yet the President is not supposed to be able to vote on legislation in Congress, merely approve or veto after Congress presents it to him.

The Super C. gets to vote on its own level of transparency – only its first meeting has to be conducted openly via webcast; if they vote themselves the right to have closed meetings, we won’t have the right or ability to see what they are discussing from then on.

I thought that any legislation regarding spending had to originate in the House. Yet the Super C. will have members of both House and Senate in it. Furthermore, this Super C. has been authorized to create legislation regarding taxation – if only 12 people are making laws about tax increases, instead of the full House elected by and representing the people, isn’t this taxation without representation?

[Well, okay, we really aren’t “represented” by anyone in Washington any more, but for the sake of the argument, let’s at least pretend we still have a Constitution in place.]

The entire idea of Super Congress, making laws behind closed doors, with no input from the other members of Congress, much less from the people of the US – who will not even know any details of proposed legislation in advance and will therefore be barred from expressing their opinions to their members of Congress – makes meaningless any language in the Constitution regarding the powers of the legislative branch and representation of the people.

Cenk Uyger  (The Young Turks) points out that the House and Senate, having been elected by the people, are currently dominated by Republicans in the House and Democrats in the Senate; by creating a Super Congress which is evenly split Rep./Dem., they have erased the unequal distribution of the parties which the people of the US elected to office.

You may listen to Cenk’s comments on the Super Congress and the debt ceiling here:

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Posted by on August 3, 2011 in austerity, Congress, economy


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