Censorship in Congress?
In the United States of America?
Censorship in Congress?
If someone told you that our elected Congressional representatives are being censored about what they're allowed to discuss on the House floor in our nation's capitol, would you believe that could be happening in the United States of America?
How is this possible in the country that was founded on freedom of speech, with the idea that all citizens should be free to express their opinions without fear of reprisals by the government? How can it be that anyone, even the Speaker of the House, thinks they have the right (or the authority) to impose censorship in Congress??
Those are our Representatives, elected to represent our interests, and by George, I want them to discuss whatever they think is necessary to fix all the things that need fixing in this country today! No one party has a lock on good ideas (which seem to be in woefully short supply in Washington these days anyway).
Apparently our current Speaker of the House, Madame Nancy Pelosi, doesn't believe that freedom should extend to members of the minority party in our House of Representatives. She and the Democrats voted to close the House of Representatives, in violation of the House's own Rules, in order to prevent members of the minority party from being allowed to speak on the House floor to criticize her actions and those of the Obama Administration!
I sincerely hope you are just as outraged over this censorship in Congress as I am. I hope it shocks you out of your complacency and helps you realize the battle that lies ahead for America, and the amount of work it's going to take to get her back on the right path -- the one laid out by her Founders more than 200 years ago.
And if you're not outraged, think about it this way: What would you have said if the Bush Administration did this?
If members of our government can be silenced to keep them from speaking out to criticize what they see as inappropriate actions by their colleagues, what chance do you and I have of being able to speak without fear of being silenced by "the government?"
If you're still sitting back, thinking you can just hold your breath till 2012, this report from Congressman John Carter of Texas should make you wake up and take notice. If Americans just sit silently till 2012, there may not be a country left for us to take back! It's time for the Silent Majority to be silent no more.
Sound the alarm! Forward this page to everyone you know who cares about the future of America.
Post it to Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, StumbleUpon and any other social media sites you use (buttons for some of those appear at the bottom of this page).
E-mail a link to this page to everyone in your address book who believes America should always remain the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
Most importantly, write your Congressional representatives and other officials and demand that they put a stop to this ridiculous notion of censorship in Congress! Tell them we take our freedom seriously, and demand that they uphold their oaths to protect and defend our Constitution (yes, they swear the exact same oath to support and defend the Constitution as do military officers)! And let them know that those who refuse to do so should start looking for a new job in 2010, regardless of their party affiliation.
Tell them --We're mad as hell,
and we're not gonna take it any more!
There are millions of Americans who have sacrificed their lives so that you and I could have the opportunity to live in the greatest, most freedom-loving country in the world. Don't let the Obama Administration and the Pelosi-Reid Democrats destroy everything our country has stood for, before you know what is happening.
Read this report, and decide to get off your couch and do something about it!
The following commentary was posted on Congressman Carter's official House office web site on July 16, 2009:
Censorship in Congress:
Last Monday night [July 13, 2009] Democrats voted to shut down the U.S. House Representatives rather than allow a handful of Republican Congressmen to speak on the floor.
What could have been so offensive or frightening about our discourse that Speaker Pelosi felt she had to protect her party by gagging free speech in the House?
In fact, we had planned to speak on the lack of transparency of the House since Democrats took control.
We had planned to criticize Speaker Pelosi for repeatedly denying Members, the media, and the public to right to read legislation before it was voted on.
We were set to discuss House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s statement last week that if his Members were required to read the Democrats’ healthcare reform package before it was voted on, it would fail. [Isn't that exactly why we want them to read it, so that it will fail if it should?]
So the Speaker obviously feels that if the public is truly aware of her party’s agenda, they will reject it. She is now making sure the public is kept in the dark by trampling the centuries-old democratic traditions of the House.
What are those traditions?
Every day that the House is in session, following the final vote of the day, Representatives are allowed the privilege of free speech on the House floor in what is known as "Special Orders." They may speak for one minute, five minutes, or one hour segments, and must request their time in advance. Time is allocated equally to both parties on a first-come basis.
Since the advent of live C-SPAN coverage of the House, this has provided a national televised outlet for both Republicans and Democrats to speak to the nation on topics they feel were not adequately addressed during regular order in the House, during which the [current] Democrat majority has the parliamentary ability to limit debate and speeches.
Special Orders therefore frequently serves as a political safety valve if the party in the majority becomes too dictatorial during debate, using their majority status to truly oppress the minority’s ability to debate and offer amendments.
That is now the case in the House, with the Democrat majority under Pelosi repeatedly rejecting House rules to ram a far-left agenda through before the public [or the Congress] has time to learn what is actually in the bills.
This is what we were committed to bring to public light.
House rules require a bill be publicly posted for three days before it can be voted on. That basic rule was written by none other than Thomas Jefferson as part of the original rules package of the House, as it is essential to the survival of representative democracy.
The House can waive that rule if it chooses on specific occasions. The Republican-controlled House chose to waive it when considering the Patriot Act in 2001 following the terror attacks of 9-11. They thought there was enough of a national defense emergency to just bring the bill to the floor for a vote.
But Nancy Pelosi and her House Democrats have chosen to ignore the rule on every major issue taken up by the House this year, including:
- The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - The Obama Stimulus -- This one just had to pass that very day because time was a-wastin’ in getting those new jobs coming. We couldn’t wait for Members to read it. But then the President waited four days to sign it into law while he spent the weekend in Chicago, and months later, none of the new jobs have come into existence.
- The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization (SCHIP) -- Speaker Pelosi couldn’t wait [three days] on this one either, although the deadline for reauthorization was still two months away.
- The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act -- Lilly was peddled as covering decades-old wage discrimination cases, but after waiting 20 years, Congress couldn’t wait one more day to let Members actually read the thing.
- The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 -- No excuses at all on this one. They just didn’t want the details known.
- The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 -- This one has been languishing since last October, but we suddenly had to pass it that day.
- The AIG Bonus Tax Act -- This had to get through right then, don’t mind the details, we just had to go after those bonuses. Only when we read what passed after the fact, the bill contained waivers for all of the same executives the bill was supposed to reign in, many with curiously close ties to Treasury Secretary and tax cheat Tim Geithner.
- The Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009 -- No rush whatever on this one time-wise, the Democrats just didn’t want people talking about the hundreds of billions given to foreign banks that should have gone to our troops.
- The American Clean Energy and Security Act/National Cap-and-Trade Energy Tax - No excuse was offered on this one. The Speaker obviously didn’t want anybody reading Henry Waxman’s 300 page amendment he sneaked in overnight before we were forced to vote. Three weeks later, the Senate shows no intention of taking up the bill before the opening day of dove season, if then. Somebody over there must have read it and warned the others.
There’s a reason all these bills are listed. The list constitutes every major policy bill undertaken by Congress this year.
House Democrats are not just waiving the three-day rule – they have destroyed it, and are intentionally pushing their agenda to the floor with blindfolds on the media and the public.
This constitutes an astonishing and chilling acceleration of the assault on representative democracy that began in earnest this January.
Representative democracy works when a U.S. Representative listens to the input of their constituents, and votes the way the majority of their district would vote. Only a Representative can’t listen if no one has ever seen the bill, or had time to provide input. They have to vote blind, which for too many, is voting the way their [party] leadership tells them.
This is what Republican House Members were going to the floor to say Monday night. We were set to decry the loss of openness in the House.
Instead, we were met with a slammed door by Democrats, who are now committed to burying truth along with democracy.
The Democrats are the majority – for now. They chose to silence debate on the floor by gagging House Republican Members from using their historical right to speak after the close of the day.
But they cannot stop us from speaking outside the halls of Congress and letting the American public know the truth about their ongoing attack against the very foundations of a free Republic.
Are you fed up yet? We want to hear what you think about this obvious attempt to silence dissent in the hallowed halls of Congress. Post your thoughts below.
Just a few guidelines: Keep it civil - this is a family-friendly site. And keep it intelligent. Comments like "They're all idiots" really aren't helpful, although they may make you feel better just to vent. Tell us why you think they're idiots, what they're doing wrong, what they should be doing instead. Make any constructive criticism or suggestion.
And as soon as you've finished posting your thoughts here, send them to your elected representatives. Tell them if they want a job in 2010, they'd better start reading legislation before they vote on it!
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