Congress Passes Doomsday plan
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  1. #1

    Congress Passes Doomsday plan

    Congress passes `doomsday' plan
    By Noelle Straub
    Sunday, January 9, 2005

    WASHINGTON - With no fanfare, the U.S. House has passed a controversial doomsday provision that would allow a handful of lawmakers to run Congress if a terrorist attack or major disaster killed or incapacitated large numbers of congressmen.

    ``I think (the new rule) is terrible in a whole host of ways - first, I think it's unconstitutional,'' said Norm Ornstein, a counselor to the independent Continuity of Government Commission, a bipartisan panel created to study the issue. ``It's a very foolish thing to do, I believe, and the way in which it was done was more foolish.''



    But supporters say the rule provides a stopgap measure to allow the government to continue functioning at a time of national crisis.

    GOP House leaders pushed the provision as part of a larger rules package that drew attention instead for its proposed ethics changes, most of which were dropped.

    Usually, 218 lawmakers - a majority of the 435 members of Congress - are required to conduct House business, such as passing laws or declaring war.

    But under the new rule, a majority of living congressmen no longer will be needed to do business under ``catastrophic circumstances.''

    Instead, a majority of the congressmen able to show up at the House would be enough to conduct business, conceivably a dozen lawmakers or less.

    The House speaker would announce the number after a report by the House Sergeant at Arms. Any lawmaker unable to make it to the chamber would effectively not be counted as a congressman.

    The circumstances include ``natural disaster, attack, contagion or similar calamity rendering Representatives incapable of attending the proceedings of the House.''

    The House could be run by a small number of lawmakers for months, because House vacancies must be filled by special elections. Governors can make temporary appointments to the Senate.

    Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.), one of few lawmakers active on the issue, argued the rule change contradicts the U.S. Constitution, which states that ``a majority of each (House) shall constitute a quorum to do business.

    ``Changing what constitutes a quorum in this way would allow less than a dozen lawmakers to declare war on another nation,'' Baird said.


  2. #2
    now, what do YOU people think about that? I suppose it could be a good thing, but then again, if there are only twelve congressmen left to vote, would there really be much NEED to declare war? I think we'd pretty much already be in it, don't you?


  3. #3
    Marine Free Member LivinSoFree's Avatar
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    Not sure I'm thrilled with the implications of this one... it sets a dangerous precedent. I'm not a conspiracy nut or anything like that, but it's a short leap from "catastrophic conditions" to "state of emergency:... Thoughts?


  4. #4
    I'd have to agree with ya Livin. and no, I am no conspiracy nut either, haven't had one of those around since ol' eddief took off from this site


  5. #5
    Registered User Free Member JAG5150's Avatar
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    I don't like it, much like you guys, I'm no conspiracy freak but it does make you think.


  6. #6
    yellowwing
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    Its a great idea. We need a functioning government no matter what happens, otherwise they win.





  7. #7
    LMAO Yellowing. That had to be one of the WORST movies ever. i hope you are not serious obout it being a great idea though. then again, MAYBE it is, I would need to know more details before really passing judgment I guess


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    the key question is who gets to declare that the condition exists that warrant the "new quorum" rules.

    it that decision is left up to fuhrer bush, i'm scared.


  9. #9
    normaly, this would be where I jump all over Ivalis for his comments, but things are creeping ladies and gents, they are creeping.....................


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    Marine Free Member troop901's Avatar
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    OK,

    Lets see, only a handful of rep's able to show up, must mean we had been attacked and most are dead or are in hiding. Which means that most of us are probally dead too, so we wouldnt really care anyways. Dont read too much into it and IV, I must say, to compare Bush to Hitler is sort of, well, ridiculous. You can dislike the man but your putting him in a league with Hitler is beneath you. I respect your opinion, just dont happen to agree with it IV, take care of yerself and watch fer dem landmines out in yer yard lol.
    SF


  11. #11
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    hey troop, i usually just call him monkey boy.


  12. #12
    yellowwing
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    Either a smaller congressional quorum or have just one ruler from the executive branch? Seriously, I'd take the small quorum.

    (Mars Attacks was soooo bad its funny. But watch it only once a year kind of funny)


  13. #13
    Registered User Free Member Mr.Rod's Avatar
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    Since when did this govt. have 2 out of 3 branches of the govt. working? Didn't realize that they DID WORK, seems like all they do is give our money away and party all the time.


  14. #14
    gripe gripe gripe. all anyone ever does is gripe about the government. (sigh) I'm not much different I suppose, but here's the thing; if our government is SOOOOOO horrible, how come we all love our country so much?


  15. #15
    Good Question!!


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