John Wells on the Eagan Patch previews what is at stake in next November’s election by asking the no-brainer question :
Won’t it be nice to finally have a U.S. representative from our region who cares about quality education, who supports investment in our roads and other infrastructure, who believes we all should have affordable health care, and who realizes that we, as a nation, can no longer ignore the threat of climate change? Won’t it be refreshing to have a U.S. representative who cares about job creation enough to do something about it? And who actually listens to constituents and openly and honestly considers what they need?
The answer is YES … the Second District and the country needs that.
The Second District will not only elect a Representative but also impact education and workplace issues. John Kline has been Chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee and has announced that he wants an exemption to retain the gavel — and the Power to Obstruct.
Did you know that this term, the House has had three Discharge Petitions filed against Chairman Kline ? The petition, which requires the signature of a bare majority of the members of the House, is a measure that “discharges” the relevant House committees from their responsibility for marking up legislation, and brings a bill straight to the floor for a vote.
A Discharge Petition is rarely used practice … for example, it was a discharge petition in 2002, which finally allowed a vote when the House passed a campaign finance reform bill, commonly known as McCain-Feingold. Since then the Supreme Court has stepped into the campaign finance reform mess, thus allowing the powerful Committee Chairmen to once again stop various new campaign finance reform bills in their tracks.
As a country, do we want to allow this one man to hold up legislative proposals that so many deem important ?
We elect “representatives” to address the issues stated above, but Chairman Kline has taken obstructionism to a new level. Issues deserve to be debated and voted upon — approved or rejected — not held up by “a Lobbyists-Anointed” Chairman.
The Republicans promised that if they were returned to the majority that they offered a “Pledge to America” that they would operate under the “Pillars of a New Majority” where legislation would be actively debated at the committee level and then allowed a vote … as John Boehner said :
the truth is, much of the work of committees has been co-opted by the leadership. In too many instances, we no longer have legislators; we just have voters. In my view, if we want to make legislators legislate again, then we need to empower them at the committee level.
instead, the GOP has operated under a mode of obstruction and partisanship.
BTW, the discharge petitions filed against Chairman Kline are :
197 signatories for Discharge Petition #1 H.R. 377 Paycheck Fairness Act
196 signatories for Discharge Petition #2 H.R. 1595 Student Loan Relief Act of 2013
195 signatories for Discharge Petition #7 H.R. 1010 Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013
Our representatives should vote on legislation … not be obstructed by the interests of the Party Managers … so this November, remember to vote