In the next Congress, Republicans will require every bill to cite its specific constitutional authority, a reminder to color inside the lines drawn long ago by the Founding Fathers.
The rule is a mostly symbolic overture to the Tea Party, for which an animating cause was that much of the congressional agenda over the last two years, including the president’s health care law and the bailouts for Wall Street, has been unconstitutional.
But some House Democrats are steamed at the charge their agenda has gone beyond Congress’s constitutional authorities.
“It’s an air kiss they’re blowing to the Tea Party,” said Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Barney Frank about the rule. “Anything we’re doing that’s unconstitutional will be thrown out in court. Some of them interpret the constitution very differently, but no, that will not be a problem.”
Emphasis added. Jennifer Rubin (who alerted me to Barney’s petty petulance) quips, Congressmen “all do take an oath to uphold the Constitution, but I guess the Democrats consider this piffle.”
Poor Barney, that unhappy Congressman from Massachusetts, can’t be troubled to consider the constitutional authority allowing legislation before he votes on it, leaving it to courts to sort it out later. Guess that’s above the mean-spirited Democrat’s pay grade.
And I thought he was so smart! Guess he’s just not smart enough to determine the constitutionality of legislation he votes on.