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Forum Post: Outside Allegiances of Congress

Posted 2 years ago on Oct. 11, 2011, 7:45 p.m. EST by trentondouglas (48)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

What really bothers me is that politicians can sign allegiances to individuals or special interest organizations like Grover Norquist's that they don't even represent. This sort of thing should be banned. Our representatives should not be able to sign allegiances to any special interest that will affect their voting in congress. They should only represent the people based in their districts.

16 Comments

16 Comments


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[-] 1 points by dankpoet (425) 2 years ago

I respectfully disagree, Banning them from signing wouldn't change their loyalties it would just make it less obvious to whom they are beholden. Of course I agree that its deplorable.

[-] 1 points by trentondouglas (48) 2 years ago

These kinds of oaths prevent politicians from compromising. It also allows them to blame their choices on someone else. I think you can at least prevent politicians from binding themselves to a special interest in such a public and definitive manner. This would allow them at least the possibility of making proper decisions and representing their constituencies.

[-] 1 points by dankpoet (425) 2 years ago

They have that possibility.. They just don't use it. I don't see the advantage of it not being public knowledge; however, perhaps there's something to the blame argument.

[-] 1 points by trentondouglas (48) 2 years ago

Most politicians, like most people, are not necessarily brave enough to take a stand. I think these kinds of documents are used to pressure politicians to hold to an ideological line. Without the Norquist pledge, individual lawmakers might have had more opportunity to break ranks and worked out a compromise on the debt debate this past summer. I'm not sure if there will be any issue as dramatic as the debt, but I think we will see these types of pledges come into play again. There are a number of them out there.

[-] 1 points by dankpoet (425) 2 years ago

Thoughts about an OWS pledge...

[-] 1 points by trentondouglas (48) 2 years ago

Even if I can agree with the principles of OWS, I wouldn't ask politicians to sign a pledge - except maybe a pledge not to sign a pledge pandering to special interests.

[-] 1 points by DirtyHippie (200) 2 years ago

This is a common sense idea that shouldn't be overlooked. Our representatives took an oath of office. They're bound by the Constitution. The Constitution says that budgetary measures must originate in the House. House members who signed the pledge delegated their authority away to an external entity. It's unconstitutional and a violation of their oath of office.

[-] 1 points by dankpoet (425) 2 years ago

Congress routinely delegates its authority away to committee, to agencies, etc. I don't see this legal argument carrying the day. Even if it should.

[-] 1 points by DirtyHippie (200) 2 years ago

Examples?

[-] 1 points by dankpoet (425) 2 years ago

IRS

[-] 1 points by DirtyHippie (200) 2 years ago

You're not making sense.

[-] 1 points by dankpoet (425) 2 years ago

Sorry, I'll try again. The Constitution says only Congress can declare war, regulate commerce, raise taxes. Congress through legislation delegates authority away War Powers Act, establishing legislation for OSHA, IRS, etc.. The agency created exercises (the Congresses) authority. In some instances this isn't established by legislation as in the process of judicial review.

[-] 1 points by trentondouglas (48) 2 years ago

They may delegate authority, but they should not delegate their power of decision!

[-] 1 points by trentondouglas (48) 2 years ago

Thanks. I'm surprised that no one has even made an issue of this.

[-] 1 points by DirtyHippie (200) 2 years ago

it's funny you should mention that. Because Rep Frank Wolf (R-VA) did make an issue of the pledge a week ago in a speech he gave on the floor of the House. He didn't talk about breaking the oath but he did raise lots of issues with the effect of the pledge on the political process. You can see the text of his speech and the statement that was placed in the Congressional record on the House's own website: http://wolf.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=34&itemid=1805 How this was ignored by the media is a question. Especially when you look at some of the real inflammatory stuff buried about 2/3 down the page at the link.

[-] 1 points by trentondouglas (48) 2 years ago

I didn't hear about that. I'm glad that someone is saying something. I hope we see more than that.