Clueless in the Congress
Caller Dennis from Manchester asked Shea-Porter during a broadcast on WGIR radio, “I just wanted to know where it says in the Constitution that the Democratic Party, and the Republican Party for that matter, can pretty much do what they’re trying to do?”
“I would point out to you that in the Constitution it also does not say the government can build roads or should build roads,” Shea-Porter replied. “It also doesn’t say the government should make sure the drugs are safe. It doesn’t say the government should look at airplanes to make sure they are safe to get on. It doesn’t say we should have a police force in Manchester.”
“So, the Constitution did not cover everything,” Shea-Porter concluded.
Brilliant Rep. Shea-Porter. Just brilliant.
The Constitution wasn't designed to cover everything, you obtuse twit. Article I, Section 8 enumerates the powers of Congress. And anything that isn't covered there is covered by another aspect of the Constitution that is repeatedly overlooked or outright ignored:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
For the record, that's the Tenth Amendment which expressly states that anything not covered by the powers enumerated to the federal government lies in the purview of the States. In other words, where there isn't an explicit power given to the federal government then the federal government needs to keep it's damn nose out of it.
The argument she makes is foolish to begin with. We have had law enforcement in this nation since before the declaration of Independence was written, and long before the Constitution itself was written. We didn't need a Constitution to enable a city or town to establish law enforcement. The same goes for airplanes. (The Commerce Department, established by Congress, originally had this authority until the Department of Transportation was established in 1967, then authority of the FAA was transferred from Commerce to the DoT.) The FDA has had the authority to regulate drugs since the passage of the Food and Drug Act in 1906, signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt.
That's the point of the Congress's duties. They pass laws within the purview of their powers. But the constitutionality question was completely avoided by Rep. Shea-Porter. The point of the question can be reflected in the actions taken by Congress since last year, including the bailout of the banks (giving the federal government a stake in those banks), and the auto industry (again giving the federal government a much larger stake in GM and Chrysler to the point of near ownership). Nothing in the Constitution gives the federal government the power to seize or run a private business. Nor is there a provision that allows the federal government to enact this health care legislation which will surely force the private insurers out of business. (And should she argue that point, she's a fool. When confronted by a government-run plan that doesn't have to show a profit, and would be cheaper than most other plans, the private insurers will close their doors.)
It galls the Hell out of both of us when those in Congress can't even comprehend the very document they swore an oath to defend and uphold. This is another example of the disconnect those in Congress have not only with the people of this nation, but with the law itself. Since the inauguration of Barry and the convening of the 111th Congress (where Democrats have unfettered control of the Legislative Branch) the Democrats have run roughshod over the Constitution at nearly every turn; completely disregarding not only its limits on them, but also our freedoms that are guaranteed.
We would love to see those running for office to be compelled to take a civics test before they begin their campaigns. If they fail, they don't get a chance to run. Maybe this way we can begin to restore the proper role of government in this country.