Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker of the House John Boehner are proposing to appoint six Senators and six Representatives from the House to meet in behind-closed-doors, non-transparent sessions, to agree to budget and program cuts for the next ten years that will affect all Americans. From Sunday night through today, details have emerged for what some are dubbing the “Super Congress,” otherwise known as the “Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.”
This small, unrepresentative group will decide on these cuts, outside of the normal order of procedures of both Chambers, and the results can neither be amended nor filibustered.
This FDL post and its comments describe what Reid and Boehner propose.
This undemocratic “Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction” is deliberately designed to block the input of every Representative and Senator in Congress other than the 12 members who would be selected by Party leadership to propose changes in any and every category they choose.
We are numbed and appalled at this development. It is an abrogation of the premise of elected representation. We understand that the Constitution clearly says Congress may make rules for itself. We vehemently disagree that representation of citizens should be diminished by such rule making. We find no such holding in the Constitution, and in fact, by disenfranchising 94 Senators and 429 Representatives from the regular legislative process, this may violate Article V of the Constitution, because some states may not have consented to unequal suffrage in the Senate.
Further, we believe this is a trans-partisan/non-partisan problem, because both major parties and their Leadership currently participate in this travesty as introduced by amendments by Senator Reid (D) via Senate Amendment SA 581 on Senate Bill S. 1323, and Speaker Boehner (R) Budget Control Act of 2011. We believe each and every American citizen and voter, regardless of political inclination or affiliation, has a stake in this developing situation, and we call for the following:
*** Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Boehner must immediately withdraw this proposed legislation from their respective bodies.
*** Each Representative, of either body, must immediately and unequivocally speak out in opposition to such legislation, positively affirm their duty of representation, and pledge to their constituents to support only the regular order of legislation of their respective chambers
*** The Executive Branch (President Obama) must immediately call for the foregoing actions, and explicitly disavow support for a “Super Congress.” The President must state categorically that he will veto any such legislation.
There is a genius in the Constitution which demands accountability by each legislative body, by means of transparency and the concept of “one citizen, one vote.” It is our firm belief that all Americans of any political affiliation share this view of that shrewd genius. Attempts by our elected representatives to derogate responsibility to a narrow few are acts of political cowardice in the face of trying times. We order them to stand and literally be counted.
The undersigned is a group formed at Firedoglake to create a Congressional Scorecard two months ago. During the regular course of our research and study of what the current 112th Congress has produced, we were perturbed by a lackluster and lackadaisical Congressional response to the pressing needs of America today. These new developments, frankly, alarm us even more. We raise our heads from our task with this new information and an urgent call for immediate action! The time to push back against this plan is NOW, before they sneak it past the American people, and before it gains momentum in Congress!
Call or fax your elected Senators and Representative(s):
Call or FAX the White House (Comments: 202-456-1111, Switchboard: 202-456-1414, FAX: 202-456-2461) or at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
Share this post with others, on blogs, via Twitter, email lists, Facebook. Urge your organizations to alert members to this possibly unconstitutional proposal. Demand that Congress put aside partisan conflict and agree to pass a clean bill to raise the debt ceiling for at least 18 months, to ensure confidence in the full faith and credit of the United States both at home and abroad. Once the immediate debt ceiling deadline is past, Congress can embark on a more deliberate and transparent process, without the need for a “Super Congress.” THE TIME TO PUSH BACK AGAINST THIS PLAN IS NOW!
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