Reid Says Constitution Can Be Ignored


You start getting into legal matters and before long you’re hip-deep in what are commonly called ‘technicalities’. If you get right down to it, it’s all ‘technicalities’. Like people who sneak into another country. Technically, they’re there illegally. Oh, bother - a mere ‘technicality’.

So-called Immigration Reform legislation has hit a potential snag because of one of these very same technicalities. **‘The long-fought Senate immigration bill that opponents say grants amnesty to 10 million illegal aliens is unconstitutional and appears headed for certain demise, Senate Republicans now say.’

‘A key feature of the Senate bill is that it would make illegals pay back taxes before applying for citizenship, a requirement that supporters say will raise billions of dollars in the next decade.’

‘There’s just one problem: The U.S. Constitution specifically prohibits revenue-raising legislation from originating in the Senate.’**

Section 7 of Article 1 of the US Constitution begins:

All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills.’

That’s the most relevant part, but I’m including the rest because it lays down other rules you may be more familiar with or even take for granted.

‘Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.’

‘Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.’

If congress decided to enact a law without the president’s signature or a two-thirds vote by the House and Senate, everyone would go apeshit, and rightfully so. The rules are spelled out and our representatives in government are expected to follow those rules. Think ‘Oath of Office’.

But there’s at least one way of enacting this law without violating the constitution. …Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist says he’s offered a simple solution. He wants to attach the immigration bill to a tax bill that has already passed the House. It would then proceed as planned to a «conference committee,» where negotiators from the House and Senate hammer out differences between the two chambers’ immigration bills.’

I don’t know if this is the best way of doing things, but it at least shows some concern for following the rules - as opposed to this reaction:

’…Minority Leader Harry Reid won’t go along with that fix. His office said yesterday that the concerns raised by Mr. Frist and House Republicans are «technical in nature» and can be ignored.

Who is Senator Reid to decide which parts of the constitution are important and which parts are mere technicalities that can be ignored? What other constitutional provisions are «technical in nature» and can be ignored?

This kind of thinking by our representatives isn’t even a slippery slope - it’s a cliff.