Congressional Republicans Declare They Won’t Do Their Jobs
The right-wing politicians in control of the 109th Congress had a job. It’s a duty they as members of Congress were charged with by the highest authority in the nation, the United States Constitution: as Article I Section 8 states, to “provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.” This is done through the appropriation of money to fund government programs, a task which the Congress must complete each year for the continued provision for the common defense and general welfare of the United States. To fail in this regard is for the Congress to fail in its Constitutional duty. To purposefully choose not to appropriate funding for government programs is a derogation of duty and a violation of members’ oath of office to support the Constitution.
Yes, the right-wing politicians in control of the 109th Congress had a job and a duty to pass appropriations bills. But they openly declared their intention in November of 2006 to let those appropriations bills go without being passed. Why? Because they didn’t want the Republican Party to be labeled as a party that spends money. As the spokesman for South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint puts it, “The last thing Republicans need is an end-of-Congress spending spree as our last parting shot as we walk out the door.” So, because they think it looks bad, they’re just not going to pass the spending bills at all.
Progressives believe that although government is not always a source of good, and that it can be a source of evil, it also can be a source of good. Progressives therefore strive to ensure that government is a source of good in the world, as a matter of constitutional duty as well as optimism and can-do spirit. Progressive members of Congress take their duty to provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States very seriously, and are therefore more inclined to take their Constitutional duties seriously. Put simply, progressives are more inclined to do their jobs, and to do them well.
We need in place a more progressive Congress that will do the hard work of good government rather than slack off and make excuses about the political expediency of inaction. But we also need a president who use the power of the bully pulpit to publicly hold Congress to account when it fails to complete its work. The current occupent of the Oval Office, George W. Bush, is not so inclined. And that’s reason #43 to elect a progressive President: we need a President who will shame Congress out of its right-wing slacker habits and make government work again. (Source: Associated Press, November 21, 2006).
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