Congress, Foreign Policy & Junkets

Posted By on April 24, 2011

Recently we have been inundated with stories in the media of Senator McCain’s trip to Libya to meet with the rebels fighting against Col. Qaddafi. Prior to this we heard of Speaker of the House Boehner’s trip to Iraq to meet with Prime Minister al-Maliki, he was accompanied by a delegation of other representatives. Every year we, the US, spends millions of dollars to fund junkets by members of Congress, Representatives and Senators alike, traveling to foreign countries to “investigate”, “research” and otherwise attempt to justify these attempts to justify their own sense of importance. This in spite of the fact they have NO Constitutional authority to conduct such activities.

One of the problems confronting the United States between 1782 and 1789 was each State had the ability to undertake treaties, or foreign alliances. This limited ability to negotiate with those same foreign countries, and diminished the external reputation of the United States. As a result, the Founding Fathers saw the importance of presenting a single voice, and a single face of the United States to foreign nations, and thus entrusted foreign relations as the responsibility of the Executive Branch of the federal government.

I’ve heard all, and I do mean ALL the arguments used to support and justify these un-Constitutional trips, and expenditures. “Congress needs to follow-up and determine whether or not the expenditures they have authorized are being spent properly.”  “Congress needs to investigate the requests of the President before authorizing the spending.” The list goes on and on. We are all aware of the failing of various administrations in the past, and currently when it comes to foreign policy. the media makes us painfully aware of the missteps, the mis-communications, the mixed messages and the double-talk; BUT the question before us here is does Congress inserting itself in the process help OR hurt?

Speaker Boehner you have taken an oath:

“I, John Boehner, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

Where are “the duties of the office” you have entered enumerated? As one of your first acts, you led the present members of the House of Representatives in reading the US Constitution before undertaking any other activities. You should be well aware, then, that your duties are enumerated in Article I of the Constitution, and NOT Article II. It does not matter to me if legislation has been passed granting you, and members of Congress additional powers. Why? If these additional powers have not been specifically enumerated by the Constitution, THEN according to the Tenth Amendment they are reserved to the States; OR you may present and pass an amendment to the Constitution listing the additional powers you seek and present that AMENDMENT to the States for RATIFICATION in accordance with Article VI of the Constitution in question.

In other words Congressman Boehner, Senator McCain, et al, keep the words of your sworn oath and limit your congressional actions to those entrusted to you by the Constitution you have sworn to uphold and defend. Limit your legislative actions to those provided within the Constitution which you have read. Limit your travel, and thus representation to those citizens of your respective districts and states. Support the Executive Branches actions in the foreign arena, OR defund them. You don’t like what the president has negotiated, THEN don’t ratify the treaty, or DON’T provide funding for it; BUT DON’T take it upon yourself, in your self-appointed sense of importance to VIOLATE and INVALIDATE your oath, your word and your bond, AND MOST importantly don’t belittle the Constitution with your feigned honor, your pretended respect AND your meaningless words of supposed adherence to it.

“Support and defend” the Constitution, or don’t. “Faithfully discharge” your enumerated duties, or don’t. Keep your oath, or don’t. BUT don’t sit there and say one thing with your mouth and do another with your actions. Return us, and OUR government to the Constitution, OR provide us with a viable alternative; one you things would better suit our contemporary needs. Start reversing the past century’s long list of Constitutional violations, usurpations, expansions and federal tyranny accomplished by legislative, executive and judicial fiat rather by Constitutional amendments. Return us to a true Constitutional Republic, rather than just an americanized version of European tyranny, socialism and autocratic rule.

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