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December 12, 2012

Senator Jeff Sessions: Here's A Crazy Idea, Maybe We Should Follow Constitutional Procedures And Not Backroom Deals To Handle The Fiscal Cliff

Longtime AoS favorite, Senator Jeff Sessions has an idea that is so crazy it just might work...stop acting like a neo-autocracy and utilize the structure of our constitutional republic to deal with our fiscal issues.

This is the exact opposite of the hidden negotiations to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. Washington has become possessed by the idea that a small group of negotiators, meeting in secret, can solve the deep, painful and systemic problems plaguing this country with a single "grand bargain," produced at the 59th minute of the 11th hour. This is a siren song.


Instead, we have seen an endless series of secret conclaves: gangs of six, committees of 12, meetings at the White House, at Blair House, in the Capitol's labyrinth of hallways and hideaways. Meetings everywhere but in the committee room and the open air of the Senate floor.


What we need is more distinction, not less. On these great issues of the economy and debt, the voters have sent Washington mixed signals and a divided Congress. It is thus all the more critical that the facts and choices be clarified. The Senate is the perfect institution—created for just such a time as this—to provide that clarity and consensus.

Proposals should be worked up in committee, where senators appointed by their colleagues have developed expertise in the issues that come before them. Amendments should be offered as part of an open process to modify and perfect legislation. The debate should be brought to the Senate floor.

It may take dozens of votes, even scores, to reach a consensus. But the American people need to be in on the process and have the opportunity to voice their opinion on concrete proposals. Have we forgotten that it is their future that is at stake?

Yes. A thousand times yes.

The President is not part of the legislative branch in our system. Why the hell is he being allowed to drive the agenda like this? Yes, he has to sign, veto, or ignore a bill but that's it.

Obama wasn't very interested in being a legislator when he was in the Illinois and US Senate but now he wants to be Legislator in Chief.

This is where I think Boehner is an idiot. Why is he letting Senate Democrats off the hook in this process? You know why Harry Reid didn't pass Obama's opening offer? Because he doesn't have enough votes. Big, blue state Democrats like Shumer, Gillibrand, Durbin, Nelson, Boxer and Feinstein aren't going to vote for a tax increase on "the rich" if "the rich" is defined as $200,000/$250,000. It would capture far too many people in those high cost of living states that are "middle class" in reality.

But Boehner lets them off the hook by negotiating against himself with Obama. Let the House pass it's own plan and then let the Senate pass theirs. Make Reid carry Obama's dirty water for awhile.

Right now the game is rigged against the House Republicans. It's absolute stupidity to keep playing when you know the dealer is dealing from the bottom of the deck. Either you get up or change the dealer.

Boehner doesn't have to invent a new game, there's one with rules already written down and everything. Try playing by that for a while, we might get a better outcome.

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posted by DrewM. at 10:00 AM

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