The current fight over the COVID recovery bill should be a wake-up call for the Republic. Having allowed Congress to set its own rules for how it operates has resulted in a situation where billions of dollars are unwisely spent on projects not necessary for the greater good of the nation. We see this in every spending billing that passes through Congress, 50 million here, 200 million there. Projects in foreign countries that have little to do with the well-being or national security of the people of our Republic. Congresspeople seem to think that the money will magically appear out of the Cornucopia that the American workforce has become for them. Just reach in and take out money for this project or that country.
It is time for a constitutional amendment that sets rules for how Congress conducts its business. Rules like, no business may be addressed by either house of Congress until they have passed, and the President has signed, a budget for the next two years. That is, no business including politically motivated committee hearings on other subjects. Rules like, Congress may not exempt itself or its staff from laws it passes, or every expenditure Congress authorizes must be voted on independently, no omnibus bills are allowed. If you need a bridge funded by the Federal Government in your district then write a bill and submit it. Rules like, Congresspeople may not conduct foreign policy meetings with members of foreign governments for that is the purview of the Executive Branch.
And while we’re at it how about putting into an amendment a line item veto for the President. This will preclude entire bills being held up because the administration has problems with one item like that bridge in Alaska. The President strikes the item from the bill and signs the bill into law and if the bridge is so important to Congress they can revote and pass it over the President’s veto. Why hold up those things that are agreed upon in order to argue over other things while the Republic slides downhill.
It’s time the people of the Republic got control of the business of their representatives. It’s also time we explained to those representatives that the people of the Republic are not a cornucopia of endless anythings.