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Rand Paul and Mark Levin Are Right: Congress Is Failing You

Mark Levin and Rand Paul
The bloated $1.1 trillion, 1,532-page omnibus spending bill breezed through both the House and Senate last week. Yet its pork-barrel corpulence isn’t the only thing that doesn’t pass the conservatives’ smell test. It turns out that the bill’s 1,532 pages weren’t even read by Congress.

WMAL Radio host Larry O’Connor began his January 16 interview with Mark Levin by revealing that Democrat Chris Van Hollen claimed Democrats offered reductions in agriculture subsidies but Republicans rejected those cuts and instead opted to “stick it to the military pensions.” He went on to say, “Has the Republican Party completely lost it? There’s no reason for them to be there any more.”

Levin concurred, ripping into establishment Republicans who voted for the massive omnibus House spending bill and pointing out some very important points:

“RINO is a perfectly good term. These are what I call neo-statists and let me explain what I mean by that: no discernable standard or practical means to hem in the power of the federal government. And too often, they contribute to its expansion while clothing themselves in the nomenclature of conservatism. This has gone on and on.

This bill came out of the House. It’s over 1,500 pages long. Not a single Republican member has read it. Senator Tom Coburn said there’s not a single elected official on Capitol Hill who has read this bill. It’s been written by staffers. They pump stuff into this thing. They cheered when they passed it because, ‘Oh, we can’t shut down the government. You keep giving up the Holy Grail and keep saying that so everything’s going to go through Congress. This is why people are furious and this is why some people like me say we need a new Republican Party.

I know we have one half of one third of Congress but we have constitutional tools. Speak to the American people. Why wasn’t this massive bill put through the committee process? Because they don’t want [us] to know what’s in it.”

The Ryan-Murray spending bill (the companion piece to the omnibus bill) was full of ticking time bombs, including big cuts to U.S. military veteran pensions. But the public found out about them too late. Why? Your Congressman likely didn’t even read the bill before the vote.

This jam-it-through practice of passing bad, special interest-laden legislation is certainly not new, but it sets a disturbing trend that should outrage every voter.

Think about it. Are the representatives you sent to Washington truly representing you if they’re not even reading the legislation that directly impacts constituents? Is this negligence of duty? Certainly.

Sen. Rand Paul seems to agree that the Senate at least isn’t doing its job when and is breaking its own rules when it comes to voting on huge bills in extremely condensed timelines. Paul was spot-on in his June 2012 speech on the Senate floor, as seen in this video.

He introduced the “Read the Bill” Resolution (S. Res. 28:) in 2013. It requires Congress to read bills prior to voting on them. The legislation would allow Senators one day of review for every 20 pages being introduced.

A confusing 600-page bill that clumsily merged disparate topics such as transportation and student loans was an impetus for his resolution.

“Not one member of the Senate will read this bill before we vote on it,” Paul insisted. "For goodness sakes, this is a 600-page bill. I got it this morning.”

Paul suggested that lawmakers don’t have a fundamental grasp of the legislation they are elected to decide upon. Rule 28, Paragraph 9 of the Senate guidebook requires bills to be held and posted online for 48 hours before a vote. However, Paul said that provision isn’t being enforced.

“Congress has a 10 percent approval rating and one of the reasons is that we don’t even obey our own rules,” said the Senator. "Forty-eight hours is still a challenge to find out everything in here."

"In keeping with my pledge to increase transparency and accessibility in the U.S. Senate, I am proud to introduce this rule change today. Too often in Congress, legislation is shoved through without hearings, amendments or debate. If we are to answer to the American people, it is imperative we pay close attention to the legislation we consider to ensure it is in concert with the Constitution and purview of the Senate's authority,” he said.

A Senator suggesting that Congress actually do its job: there’s something you don’t see every day. Refreshing, isn’t it?

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Congressional staffers

Most of the "work" of Congress is actually done by staffers. That is why the Congress often votes on bills they have never reviewed themselves.
Unfortunately, staffers are semi-permanent; that is, they are mostly inherited from previous administrations. This is mainly because it is necessary to retain personnel who have experience in Congressional procedure. This is truly unfortunate, because if the staff has a different agenda than the newly elected official, they often find a way to get their way.
Couple this with pressure from lobbyists and money-flush entities in big business and unions and "We the People" don't have a chance no matter who we elect.
The only possible way to combat this problem is to clean house of all incumbents, and threaten to do so until Congress gets the message (if you violate your promises, you're coming home).

Congress

Congress has been failing us for a long time and so has the GOP, the party that is suoopsed to stand up for the people and people's rights and the Constitution. At this point, I would say to vote for Tea Party supported candidates and all other conservative true patriots. If we can successfully take over the Republican party, then we can actually begin to get positive things to happen. This next election is our next best chance. The Tea Party must do their part by providing and supporting good conservative candidates for us to vote for. If the candidates aren't there, we can't vote for them, and furnishing them is the Tea Partie's job. I will vote for any Tea Party candidate that I can.

Rand

I am interested in the candidates that support this bill. Ron Paul's son is the only one speaking up for the citizens of our great nation. Ron raised his kid O.K.