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OfflineThe_Red_Crayon
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Congress passes doomsday bill
    #3628960 - 01/14/05 05:26 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

http://news.bostonherald.com/politics/view.bg?articleid=62564

Quote:

WASHINGTON - With no fanfare, the U.S. House has passed a controversial doomsday provision that would allow a handful of lawmakers to run Congress if a terrorist attack or major disaster killed or incapacitated large numbers of congressmen.

``I think (the new rule) is terrible in a whole host of ways - first, I think it's unconstitutional,'' said Norm Ornstein, a counselor to the independent Continuity of Government Commission, a bipartisan panel created to study the issue. ``It's a very foolish thing to do, I believe, and the way in which it was done was more foolish.''

But supporters say the rule provides a stopgap measure to allow the government to continue functioning at a time of national crisis.

GOP House leaders pushed the provision as part of a larger rules package that drew attention instead for its proposed ethics changes, most of which were dropped.

Usually, 218 lawmakers - a majority of the 435 members of Congress - are required to conduct House business, such as passing laws or declaring war.

But under the new rule, a majority of living congressmen no longer will be needed to do business under ``catastrophic circumstances.''

Instead, a majority of the congressmen able to show up at the House would be enough to conduct business, conceivably a dozen lawmakers or less.

The House speaker would announce the number after a report by the House Sergeant at Arms. Any lawmaker unable to make it to the chamber would effectively not be counted as a congressman.

The circumstances include ``natural disaster, attack, contagion or similar calamity rendering Representatives incapable of attending the proceedings of the House.''

The House could be run by a small number of lawmakers for months, because House vacancies must be filled by special elections. Governors can make temporary appointments to the Senate.

Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.), one of few lawmakers active on the issue, argued the rule change contradicts the U.S. Constitution, which states that ``a majority of each (House) shall constitute a quorum to do business.

``Changing what constitutes a quorum in this way would allow less than a dozen lawmakers to declare war on another nation,'' Baird said.





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Offlinethirdeyeopen23
hydro expert,mushroom novice

Registered: 01/22/04
Posts: 29
Last seen: 11 years, 10 months
Re: Congress passes doomsday bill [Re: The_Red_Crayon]
    #3629176 - 01/14/05 06:19 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

just more bullshit from a bullshit administration.....


--------------------
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