Rand Paul: No one is above the law — but Congress

“Hill lawmakers must live by the same rules they impose on others”

 

From the Washington Times:

Washington politicians are unbelievably arrogant. They think of themselves as the center of the universe while simultaneously thinking they should be above the laws they create for everyone else.

Martin Luther King Jr. described accurately that a law is unjust if a group compels it on others without making it binding to itself. Congress has given us all too many examples of this type of unjust law, with Obamacare being the most recent example.

I have introduced a constitutional amendment stating: “Congress shall make no law applicable to a citizen of the United States that is not equally applicable to Congress.” This amendment also contains two provisions that apply that same principle to the executive branch and judicial branch of the federal government.

Under this amendment, Congress, federal judges and even the White House will no longer be able to exempt themselves from the laws they create, uphold or sign — as they all regularly do now in a plethora of ways. If congressional staffers are still allowed to receive subsidies for Obamacare, Americans will also be able to receive similar support from their employers should both parties desire such an arrangement.

Obviously, amending the Constitution is no small task. It requires a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate and must be ratified by at least 38 states. However, which politician will now publicly say he truly thinks Washington should be exempt from the laws it makes for the rest of us? What possible excuse will members of either party come up with for not supporting this amendment?

How arrogant will they dare to be?

My constitutional amendment proposal is but one reform among many our federal government desperately needs. When Obamacare was first being promoted, Nancy Pelosi as House speaker said, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Americans are now finding out what’s in it, and most don’t like it one bit.

I have proposed a “Read the Bills” resolution that would forbid voting on legislation until each bill is posted online and the Senate has been in session for at least one day for each 20 pages. If a bill is 40 pages, this means it couldn’t be voted on until at least two session days had passed. It makes perfect sense to give lawmakers adequate time to understand the legislation they are voting on.

As Obamacare is teaching us, there’s no excuse, and much danger, in passing bills that no one has read. Mrs. Pelosi had it exactly backwards: It is our responsibility and duty to read the bills and understand what’s in them before we pass them.

Perhaps one of the most important reforms Washington needs is recycling the people who run government. The time for term limits has come, and in fact, is long overdue. Most of the outlandish laws foisted upon us — like Obamacare — are concocted by people who’ve spent so much time in government they’ve become completely out of touch with the rest of the country. Add the influence of lobbyists and other special-interest groups that play such an influential role in Washington decision making, and the need to limit congressmen’s and senators’ terms becomes even more apparent.

In my three years in Washington, I’ve seen what kind of damage it does to even lawmakers with the best of intentions. Imagine what it does to those who’ve been here for decades.

When Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. was the deciding vote to uphold Obamacare in 2012, I decided that if he liked the plan so much, he, too, should be subject to its regulations and provisions.

Lawmakers are not above the law. They should have to read the bills they pass. They should not be in government forever. All of them should be subject to the laws they expect the rest of us to obey and endure. Anything less would be hypocritical and immoral.

Welcome to Washington.

—oo—

I think Senator Paul nailed it.  

Senator, while you’re at it… include an amendment for term limits too.  We’re not supposed to have a nobility in this country.  We fought a war against that sort of thing 200+ years ago.

~ Hardnox

About Hardnox

Constitutional Conservative that Lefties love to hate.
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30 Responses to Rand Paul: No one is above the law — but Congress

  1. Bill Baldwin says:

    It’s a shame that we would even need an amendment.

    • Hardnox says:

      Indeed it is Bill. Who would have ever thought they would pass laws that did not include the elite? I’m sure our founders never even entertained the thought.

  2. Buck says:

    In my opinion we do not. I hope Brian weighs in but it would seem passing a law exempting one group or class from a law that pertains to other groups or class would in itself be unconstitutional…
    We just don’t have enough folks with enough money to fight them….

    • Hardnox says:

      Agreed. It would seem to me that suits should have been filed by now. If not, why not? There are plenty that have deep pockets to do this.

    • BrianR says:

      Hi, guys. Thanks for the kind words, Buck.

      I understand what Paul’s trying to do. His head’s in the right place, and this certainly would have populist appeal. The problem is, I don’t think he’s accomplishing much of anything.

      He writes: “If congressional staffers are still allowed to receive subsidies for Obamacare, Americans will also be able to receive similar support from their employers should both parties desire such an arrangement.”

      But there’s nothing in the law that prohibits that now. If a private sector employer wants to provide such subsidies to his employees, he’s perfectly free to do so, and any prospective employee is perfectly free to negotiate for such subsidies if so wishes.

      Obviously, in a free market, particularly when jobs are at such a premium, few if any employers are going to actually pay for something like that when they don’t have to in order to hire someone. But there’s no law forbidding it.

      So frankly, I see this as a solution in search of a problem.

      • Mrs AL says:

        Clarification needed for me, BrianR. It is my understanding that when it comes to the subsides, the insurance company’s receive some type of compensation from the national government. Is that true?

        • BrianR says:

          I don’t know. I can’t even lift that law, let alone read it all.

          But my point is that there’s nothing in the law that prohibits private employers from providing whatever type of health insurance they want.

          Clearly, they’re choosing not to, and cutting what they make available in many cases, but that’s a business decision, not a government mandate.

          • Mrs AL says:

            But didn’t the government ‘mandate’ aka ACA aka obamacare directly impact that decision? I’m not dense, Brian. I am asking for a reason. Thanx in advance for your patience.

            • BrianR says:

              No “patience” required, MrsAL.

              It certainly “impacted” any private sector decisions, but there’s a difference between “impacted” and “outlawed”.

              There are a lot of things that affect how we conduct ourselves, but actual laws MANDATE certain conduct. There is no such mandate or restriction in Obamacare.

              So, with that in mind, that’s why I called this a solution in search of a problem.

  3. Clyde says:

    Watch for the RNC leadership to call Rand a bomb-thrower in 3…2…1. He puts out there EXACTLY what is needed.

  4. Kathy says:

    The senator has an excellent idea, but wouldn’t it have to be retroactive in order to include o’care, since it’s the ‘law of the land’? If they do go retro with it, then are they eligible for SS and Medicare benefits?

    This could get complicated, if it ever makes it off Harry Reid’s desk.

  5. garnet92 says:

    Agreed ‘Nox, Senator Paul is, in my opinion, correctly representing the sentiment of most of America’s citizens (at least those who are awake).

    The ONE thing that his amendment and resolution simply MUST HAVE is PUBLICITY. When his proposals are exposed to the public, I believe that there will be massive public support for: Congress, et al to live by the same laws, be required to read any bill they vote on, and accept term limits.

    I can’t even imagine much liberal fight against his common sense solutions – it would certainly make anyone taking a position against his measures look bad.

    • Hardnox says:

      Agreed on the publicity. This needs to be circulated far and wide.

      If people knew that Congress exempted themselves there would be public outcry. It’s up to the media to broadcast it. I have little hope that they will.

  6. myfoxmystere says:

    We The People have a nasty fight ahead of us to get 0bamacare banned and repealed. Rand Paul is right in that we must get this amendment passed, yet we must be careful in what steps we take to remove 0bamascare. We need to take steps to make sure it’s not some kind of unconstitutional ex post facto law.

  7. BrianR says:

    An easier route to eliminate the healthcare program for federal employees would be to do so legislatively. In other words, enact a law that eliminates the program, throwing them into the commercial open market like everyone else. We all know how difficult, if not impossible, that would be with the Dems controlling the Senate and White House.

    With that in mind, how does Paul think it would somehow be EASIER to amend the Constitution to try to do that, when the bar’s MUCH higher for amendments than for simple legislation?

    This strikes me as basically a publicity stunt.

    • Hardnox says:

      Publicity stunt or not. Now is a good time for such a move. An Amendment might be easier than getting rid of the ACA. Plus 35 states have not set up exchanges. Several have flat out refused to participate.

      • BrianR says:

        How could an amendment possibly be easier? There are much higher requirements for enactment.

        • Hardnox says:

          It’s not but it’s doable. It certainly won’t get done legislatively. Certainly not with this Congress and likely not the next either, or the next….

          • BrianR says:

            And exactly the same barriers exist for an amendment, except they’re even much HIGHER.

            That’s why this makes absolutely zero sense to me, other than as a populist publicity stunt.

  8. Mrs AL says:

    How far have we strayed that someone would even think about amending the U.S. Constitution to “enforce” honor and honest dealings. Good grief. Appreciate the post, Hardnox!