This headline in the LA Times is wrong: House Republicans pass Government Shutdown Prevention Act.
It should say House Republicans pass unconstitutional budget bill.
The first problem is visible right near the top of the story — although the reporter seems not aware of it.
A portion of the bill sought to ensure that lawmakers and the president have their paychecks cutoff, just like other federal employees, if the two sides failed to reach a budget deal before an April 8 deadline. The provision was similar to one that already passed the Senate.
The rest of the bill was less conventional.
WRONG. It seems our reporter — and the House GOP — has never read the US Constitution. Article I, sect 1, para. 7 states:
The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.
So the statute is unconstitutional right there. But it gets worse.
Another section tried to revive a House spending plan that was killed by the Senate last month. Under the resolution passed Friday, the dead bill would come back to life and become law, without the president’s signature, if the Senate does not pass a bill funding the government for the rest of the 2011. The Senate would need to act by Wednesday.
Hello? Bicameralism? Presentment? Chadha anyone?
Every Republican in the House voted for this monstrosity.
Every Republican in the House violated his or her “Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution”. As required by Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution. It goes:
“I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.
Voting for something that is clearly unconstitutional is a violation of this promise. I don’t see what else it can be.
But no one cares. We are now so debased as a Republic that no one bats an eye. What’s left, a Tea Party Senate candidate named Incitatus? (Look it up.)
At least some people knew enough to react with ridicule:
Democrats used the bill as an invitation to mock Republicans’ creative legislative process. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) brought to the House floor a copy of “House Mouse, Senate Mouse,” a children’s book on how a bill becomes a law that is sold in the House gift shop.
Outrage would be better.
(It doesn’t help that the President committed acts of war on Libya without Congressional permission. While the act was legal under international law as it was authorized by the Security Council, the military action’s conformity to US domestic law rests entirely on the War Powers Act, and only shakily on that. The next Gibbon will have a field day with all this.)