Tag Archives: Part Time Congress

Would Someone Please Hand Rick Perry a Copy of the United States Constitution?

Article. I, Section 4, Clause 2: The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

Article I, Section 5, Clause 4: Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Article II, Section 3: He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

By Gary P Jackson

Politicians continually make wild promises they have no intention of keeping, or no authority to make happen. I think it’s partly why almost half of the nation’s citizens neither follow politics, or participate in the political process. It’s one of the reasons people don’t trust politicians. The BS just turns them off.

This year we have the Republican candidates for president making all sorts of promises that will never come to pass. You’ve got Bachmann and Romney promising to write a bunch of Executive Orders to fix things. Newt Gingrich is promising some three hundred on his first day in office! Never mind an Executive Order isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, as Congress can override it with legislation, something Newt knows a lot about, and the next president can simply write an order of his or her own, rescinding it.

Rick Perry is not only offering up all kinds of policies, he’s actually talking about opening up the Constitution willy-nilly, to add amendments that, frankly will never come to pass.

One of the things Perry keeps talking about is making Congress part time. Not an unappealing thing, for sure. In fact, the notion brings a lot of applause from those that don’t grasp the consequences of this sort of thing.

Here in Texas, where Perry is Governor, we have a part time legislature, that only meets every two years. This works because of two important things. The Governor can call a special session of the legislature to work on a specific problem, or set of problems. Also, constitutionally, the Texas Governor is one of the weakest in our nation. Not totally impotent, but not much more than a figurehead. There’s not a whole lot of damage he can do when our legislature is in recess.

Nothing like Alaska, where it’s constitution makes the Governor very powerful, the second most powerful, in fact, and a true CEO. The one where the buck really does stop “here.”

One of the reasons why Texans have not been happy with Perry, and have worked hard attempting to oust him in the last two elections, is he’s tried many times, through Executive Orders, and other methods, to make an end run around the legislature. For the most part, once back in session, the legislature has taken actions to [thankfully] stop whatever nonsense Perry has been up to.

Now as much as I would love to see the United States Congress reigned in, unlike Texas, the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government are co-equals. Our founders wisely set up a set of checks and balances to make sure no one person, or persons is able to dominate the process of governing.

The problem with Perry’s idea, is the president is no more the boss of Congress, than Congress is the boss of him. Other than having the authority to call Congress back in session, and under extreme circumstances, adjourn their session, the president has no say whatsoever in what Congress does or doesn’t do.

As someone who wants smaller government, I would fear a part time Congress, and so should everyone else.

Now if we elected a strict constitutionalist as president, we might have something, but can you imagine Barack Obama with a part time Congress, able to create all sorts of new laws and regulations by executive fiat?

Without Congress watching over the president, any president, the chances of the Executive Branch turning into an imperial presidency, looking more like a dictatorship, rather than part of a Representative Republic, are high.

Congress needs a great many reforms. Sarah Palin’s latest editorial points to the massive corruption that many members of that august body absolutely wallow in daily. It will take legislation to cure this. In other words, it will be up to Congress, and no one else, to fix what is wrong with Congress. The president CAN push them to reform. He can stand at the bully pulpit and make his concerns known. He can get the American people on his side, and have them take on Congress. But for he or she, that’s as far as it goes.

One of the reasons Sarah Palin chose not to run for president, is she recognized she could never help bring about the reforms needed in Congress, while running for president, or even as president. Politics would get in the way of reform, and common sense.

It will be tough for Perry to embrace the reform mantle, as his own corruption and cronyism is well documented, and quite extensive, but if he wants to be president, he needs to stand beside Sarah Palin, Peter Schweizer, and others who are calling for sudden and RELENTLESS reform.

Sadly, Perry seems to be more comfortable making wild promises, than actually embracing common sense. Perry needs to get serious, or just come home.

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