Some pundits are stating that an outsider has the best chance of gaining a seat in the US Congress. They say that people are frustrated with the lack of progress in Congress. Congress has a poor rating among the people.
And I can’t blame the people for their anger and frustration. I understand why a bill ends up quadruple it’s size. Every member of Congress wants to add some benefit for his/her constituents. I wouldn’t mind this if their amendment was directly related to the bill and benefits most of the states. But the way things are is simply unacceptable.
The line item veto was a good suggestion, but I don’t think it would work. It would allow the President to decide whose pork should be included in a bill. It would not eliminate pork. Congress could pass a new law about pork. But that wouldn’t work any better than the ‘pay as you go’ rule. Most bills become exempt from the ‘pay as you go’ rule.
So how do we achieve our goal? Our goal is no pork. Do we flood email with millions of letters to our Congressmen from frustrated citizens? That is a possibility.
Do we use the powers of the states to force a change in the US Constitution? First, we must understand how pork came about. Pork is not allowed nor prohibited by public law. The US House of Representatives and the US Senate both have internal rules allowing unrelated amendments to be added to a bill. Allowing unrelated amendments to a bill is the tool used by our Congressmen to add pork to a bill. All the campaign rhetoric about reducing pork is empty rhetoric. Congress can reduce pork any time it wants to!
Let me digress for a moment . First, let me state that I do not recommend this. I think it is radical. But I wonder how many people realize that the states do have this power. No state has ever used this power since the US Constitution was ratified. The states can force a Constitutional convention to create and ratify amendments to the Constitution. Sounds scary? This method of amending the Constitution bypasses the US Congress. And it would cause hostilities between Congress and the states that ratified the amendment. I sincerely hope that the states never see cause to take this action.
Our Constitution provides other methods for amending it but I prefer the US Congress take action rather than the states forcing it.
If Congress refuses to change their internal rules than we have no choice but to add a new US Constitution amendment that restricts Congress from adding unrelated amendments to a bill. This would render the internal rules in the US House and Senate void.
Lets eliminate pork forever!