Like many Pennsylvanians, ten days ago I became aware that a crisis in the United States financial system threatened to send our country into a full scale depression unless a $700 billion bailout bill was enacted quickly. Subsequent news revealed that certain Members of Congress had been warned of the impending disaster years earlier, but either denied the existence of a problem or spent tens of billions of tax dollars treating symptoms without addressing root causes.
I believe this negligence is as reprehensible as if Congress had been given specific intelligence of the 9/11 attacks to include the terrorists’ names and passport numbers, the buildings targeted, and the flights to be hijacked, but did not take action until the first plane hit the World Trade Center simply because the exact date of Al Qaeda’s plans was unknown.
In recent years Members of Congress have staged televised hearings to chastise the baseball Commissioner because players were taking steroids and to point fingers at network executives because Janet Jackson had a “wardrobe malfunction” during the Super Bowl half-time show. Because of the severity of the financial situation and the urgency with which taxpayers were implored to support an expensive and complicated rescue package, I think it is high time for someone to call our Senators and Representatives out on the carpet for the consequences of their inaction. Election Day is a month away, and some may argue that voting gives Americans the opportunity to remove the guilty from office; however, I disagree. Because many incumbents enjoy insurmountable advantages in their reelection campaigns and Congressional term limits have been rejected, there seems to be no effective way to hold our national legislative bodies responsible for dereliction of duty and to curb the abuses of power resulting from that lack of accountability.
In my opinion, the only remaining redress is for our state legislatures to reassert their position over the federal government as our Founding Fathers intended. I respectfully request that you begin a movement for the Pennsylvania Legislature to hold hearings to determine whether our House and Senate delegations have fulfilled their obligations to the Commonwealth and to vote for a recall of any member who has not. At the very least, the people of Pennsylvania deserve a performance review of Representative Paul Kanjorski, who chairs the House subcommittee directly responsible for the financial mess.
Pennsylvania’s greatest statesman Benjamin Franklin said, “No man’s life, liberty or fortune is safe while our legislature is in session,” and “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.” I ask you to heed his wisdom and take the long overdue steps necessary to reign in a Congress that has usurped power from the states and used it irresponsibly.
Thank you for your attention and your continued service to the people of our district.