Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 29, 2007 / 10 Shevat, 5767

Getting their fair share without paying

By George Will


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states . . . ."

— Constitution of the United

States, Article I, Section 2

"What's the Constitution between friends?"

— Rep. Timothy Campbell, a Tammany Democrat, to Democratic President Grover Cleveland after Cleveland said that a bill Campbell favored was unconstitutional.

There they go again. House Democrats should at least provide variety in their venality. On Wednesday, fresh from legislating new ethics regarding relations with lobbyists, they demonstrated that there are worse forms of corruption than those involving martinis and money.

They again voted to give the delegates to the House from Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia, and the resident commissioner from Puerto Rico, the right to vote in the House when it is sitting as the Committee of the Whole, which is how it sits almost all the time. It is in that status that almost all debate about and amending of legislation occurs.

If these five votes decide the outcome of a vote in the Committee of the Whole, the matter at issue will be automatically revoted by the full House without those five participating. Still, these five faux members will have powers equal to those of real members on everything but final passage of bills, which often is more perfunctory than the process that leads to that. Almost always, all five delegates are Democrats. (Puerto Rico's current resident commissioner is the first Republican in 100 years.)

What part of the words "several states" do House Democrats not understand? Their cynical assumption is that "the people of the several states" will not notice this dilution of their representation in the House.

Members of Congress today represent, on average, 687,000 people. The population of Guam is 171,000; of American Samoa, 58,000; and of the Virgin Islands, 109,000. The 3.9 million Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens and have the right to vote for statehood, which they have rejected in three plebiscites (1967, 1993, 1998).

The 58,000 Samoans pay no federal income taxes, but their delegate will be able to participate in raising the taxes of, say, Montanans. Samoa's delegate will have virtually the same power as Rep. Denny Rehberg, who represents all 944,000 Montanans. Obviously the Democrats' reverence for the principle "one person, one vote" is, well, situational.


FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


January 1993 was the last time Democrats engaged in this cynical political alchemy, transmuting delegates from four island jurisdictions, and one from the seat of the federal government, into the functional equivalents of representatives selected by people of "the several states." In January 1993, two months after they lost 10 House seats, they counterfeited half that many votes — even though they had an 82-seat majority. One year later, such arrogance contributed to the Democrats' loss of their House majority.

In 1970, Democrats were contemplating allowing Puerto Rico's resident commissioner to serve with powers equal to those of real members, but only on standing committees. Rep. Tom Foley, a Washington Democrat then in his third term, told his colleagues that would be fine because those committees are created by the House, not the Constitution, and they "can be extinguished at will and created at will." Furthermore, service on committees involves only "preliminary advisory votes." But, he added, "it is very clear" that "a constitutional amendment would be required" to give a resident commissioner "a vote in the Committee of the Whole of the full House." By 1992, when Foley, then in his 14th term, was speaker and full of the sense of entitlement that deranged Democrats in the last years of their 40-year hold on the House, he supported what the next Democratic speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has now done. In 1994, Foley became the first speaker since 1862 to lose his congressional seat, and the new Republican majority undid what the Democrats had done.

For Speaker Pelosi, two questions about the possible scope of your majoritarian abuse: Given your disregard of the unambiguous language and clear intent of Article I, Section 2 — which uses the word "state" eight times to designate the only entity from which a member of the House may be chosen — do you acknowledge any impediment to using your majority to give "Committee of the Whole" voting power to a delegate from, say, the AFL-CIO?

Or, for that matter: Do you think that Article I, Section 5 ("Each house shall be the judge of the . . . qualifications of its own members") allows your majority to give such voting powers to your hairdresser? If not, why not?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

George Will's latest book is "With a Happy Eye but: America and the World, 1997-2002" to purchase a copy, click here. Comment on this column by clicking here.

Archives

© 2006 WPWG

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles