Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Constitutional Amendment Proposal

"We the People" need to propose a Constitutional Amendment in the wake of the politically charged ineffectiveness of our Congress to enact a budget before the beginning of the new fiscal year. Their ineptitude has resulted in a partial government shutdown which will likely have long term negative United States. 

I am amazed that our elected leaders can let a significant date pass without action. October 1st comes on the same day every year, and except when Congress changes the beginning of the fiscal year as they have done in the past, so does the fiscal new year. Many do not remember, but prior to 1976, the government fiscal year began on 1 July. I know that in the discharge of my duties, I have to meet deadlines.

Article 1 of the Constitution specifies the duties of the Congress, yet, there are no consequences for not faithfully discharging said duties as a body.

I propose that a Constitutional Amendment that provides for and holds Congress accountable, as a body, to well and faithfully discharge their duties especially in terms of establishing appropriations to continue running the government and providing for essential services. In the event that a budget is not passed--and I do not mean a continuing resolution, before the start of the fiscal year the Congress will be dissolved. We will immediately enter an election to elect every member of Congress and previously elected members will be eligible to run and get their jobs back. The elections will happen on the 1st Tuesday of November. 

As for the appropriations to fund the government? The President's budget will become the law of the land and once the the newly elected Congress is in session they will appropriate monies to fund the budget without debate. The amendment will further provide for an automatic continuing resolution to fund the government during the election and subsequent seating of the Congress.

Is my idea perfect? No. But maybe more constitutionally literate minds than mine can devise a scheme to help hold the Congress accountable. And, "We the People" can decide who in the congress needs to stay and who needs to leave in order to continue the business of governing our great republic!

Maybe cooler heads will prevail?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

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