Real Congressional Reform We Can Believe In

Feeding the Tree of Liberty

I propose the following Freedom provisions to be enacted and adopted by all Members of Congress, whether Democrat or Republican, and be subject to Constitutional Amendment process, if required.

 “Young Guns” are drafting a new Congressional Contract.  I understand there is a reluctance of Member of Congress to sign such a compact like our Declaration of Independence which ended with:

And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor. 

To the list of items they are crafting, I suggest the following:

·         Truth in Legislation:

o   All legislation must be written and/or placed into the record by Member(s) of Congress.   All legislation, shall record and maintain the author at all times, so as to be searchable by Members and public alike.  Members and agents of the Executive or Judicial Branches are prohibited from drafting legislation.

o   All legislation considered for floor vote and final approval may not take place for a minimum of 90 days after the legislation is drafted and ready for vote, and made available to the public for review and comment through either free electronic search or request from the Government Printing Office for fee.

·         Congress shall immediately reduce the size of all staff and committees by 50%, or to levels then in existence in 1960.  This shall apply to staff headcount, not salaries.  There are too many people doing the people’s business and costing all too much.

·         The Department of Defense should be renamed the War Department.  All foreign military operations involving hostile fire and significant engagement of armed forces for more than 60 days, shall require a declaration of war, whether against a foreign power of organizations that advocate for destruction of the United States or one of its allies. 

·         Further, DoD or its successor, shall not be subject to social engineering legislation where it relates to manpower or acquisition.  Our nation’s fighting force should be wonderful and fearful alike.  All members must meet minimum levels of education upon accession  and maintain ongoing expected levels of military knowledge relative to their position.  Each service member, regardless of gender, must meet the same exacting physical requirements for their age.  There must be no accounting for differences based on gender.   The military is there to protect the United States.  We should also protect our service men and women from predatory sexual overtures, whether from male or female.  Inappropriate displays of public affection or illicit sexual acts aboard any base or ship, whether or not between consenting adults, may be grounds for courts martial and dismissal.

·         Further, the Department of Homeland Security shall be abolished with the included organizations returning to their historical governance structure.  Border security shall become a primary duty of the federal government as it is one of its enumerated responsibilities.  States, cities, municipalities and other government organizations are hereby called to aid in the defense of our borders and the immigration laws that protect our borders.

·         No immigration laws shall be passed that provide any amnesty or benefit to persons who are in the United States, its possessions or State Department locations around the world, without a valid visa that would provide access to such benefits as enjoyed by a United States citizen. Persons who are in locations above that have arrived without proper authorization and identification, shall be permanently barred from any benefit of being a citizen of the United States, unless such person has properly applied and gone through the proscribed immigration process.  They will not enjoy any “Head of the Line” privileges.  Children born in the United States, its possessions or State Department locations around the world, of persons who are not citizens, shall not be entitled to United States citizenship.  Their place of birth shall be registered with the notation that the Registration of Live Birth does not confer or confirm US Citizenship.  They are free to apply for citizenship under the immigration rules.

·         Permanent legal amnesty granted to non US citizens must be severely limited, and not just be provided on a blanket basis with approvals due to region of the world, political or humanitarian purposes.  Each case must be heard by competent authorities and sponsor must be identified that is responsible for their care. Such recipients of amnesty are not entitled to US Citizenship based on their situation.  AS above, they and their children may apply for US Citizenship, as appropriate.  Until such citizenship is attained, they do not enjoy the same benefits as a US Citizen.

·         Our elected officials were never supposed to be career politicians; it was supposed to be a part time, seasonal position with their primary home in their city, county and state of residence.  We need to return to limited terms of office.  While one can always state they have the right to elect whomever they want to for as long as they want to is simply wrong.  The first such limitation came with Amendment XVII, the popular election of US Senators, and most notably, Amendment XX, relative to Presidential and Vice President Terms of Office.  It is proposed that no single person may hold US Federal elective office for more than 12 years on a cumulative basis, including service as a Member of Congress, as US Senator, or President or Vice President.

·         The Federal Government must allocate at least 80% of funds in support of their limited enumerated powers as provided for in the US Constitution.  The balance of federal funds can be spent on such programs that have the approval of three quarters of the states.  Funding of departments, program and other activities beyond what is expressly approved in the US Constitution as a federal responsibility, shall be left to individual states to approve and fund as they so desire.

·         The United States Government, and more importantly the Citizens of the United States, shall not be bound by any Treaty of Agreement by and between a foreign government, non-governmental agency, the United Nations or UN committee, unless properly and legally ratified as provided for in the US Constitution.  Further, should that proposed Treaty or Agreement limit or restrict the freedoms US Citizens enjoy within the United States, such Treaty or Agreement must also pass both legislatures and the Governors of three-quarters of the United States before any enforcement by the US Government or its agencies.

Jim Murphy
Constitution Day, 2010