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Republicans Forget About The 27th Amendment

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    It seems like the party that cares so much about the sanctity of the Constitution doesn't know much about it. Majority Leader Eric Cantor told reporters that the House Republicans were preparing to move forward with a three month extension of the debt ceiling with the caveat that congressional pay will be withheld if the Senate does not pass a budget. That populist rhetoric is interesting and might fan the flames of the Tea-Party base, but the problem is that it violates the 27th Amendment of our Constitution which states: No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.

    When the Republicans were informed of this discrepancy they responded that they were not changing the level of pay, but withholding it for a later date. Unfortunately, that is not what the text of the 27th Amendment says. One would have thought that the Republicans would have noticed this when they read the entirety of the Constitution on the House Floor.

    What worries me the most about the whole debt ceiling debate is that the Republicans seem to be ready to take our country over the brink to get their way. The fact that they so blatantly overlook our Constitution with this proposal just shows me that they aren't serious negotiators when it comes to the debt ceiling, but would much rather have the drama of showing that they won't cave.

    It's time for liberals and progressives to stand up and say they won't be had again. I sure hope that President Obama won't have a repeat of the 2011 negotiations and will keep his hard line that he is currently taking. I have a strong feeling that the country is on his side this go around.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    It is hard to understand the Republican tactics. They harp about the Constitution and some carry it around like a Bible, but very few have probably read it with true understanding of the words. They filter the meaning to something entirely different...the neurons in their brains react in an automatic unconscionable way. When they had the reading of it in the House, only 74 of the 435 members participated. Some could care less...after all it's just another tool to deceive their base...a rather ignorant base.

    They hold the Constitution up to be sacrosanct, but only when it serves their purpose...and they continually misrepresent what it says and what the lower courts have declared it to mean. Now a threat to withhold Congressional pay? Wow...this is what President Obama might call the start of "the silly season"...petty stupid stuff.

    Regarding the debt ceiling, I keep wondering how much of this is just playing to their base. I believe, perhaps naively, that they would not in the end do anything that would jeopardize the full faith and credit of the United States by not raising the debt ceiling. But hey, I could be wrong. However, forcing a government shutdown via non-approval of the Budget/Continuing Resolution is something that I think they might be serious about.

    The 113th House is indeed off to the silly season.