A Teleconference With Tom Price About House Resolution 78

Opening statement

I want to talk about House Resolution 78 which would, “allow delegates and non-members of the House–of which four of five are Democrats–to vote in the House of Representatives.

It’s a violation of process, policy, and the Constitution. It allows voting membership for 5 individuals who are not members of the House of Representatives — the delegates from Guam, District of Columbia, American Samoa, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

No amendments, no testimony, no discussion is being allowed — just an up and down vote.

#1) This is unconstitutional. It violates Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution. Also, Article 1, Section 5 clearly refers to members of Congress. The Democrats can’t just constitutionally seat anyone. If they can seat these delegates, then why not Howard Dean? He is every bit as legitimate as these delegates.

#2) This is a violation of one man, one vote. Some of these delegates have tiny districts, much smaller than the districts congressmen have.

#3) It would allow delegates that don’t pay taxes to vote on raising taxes on American citizens.

This went through before in 1993, but if it goes through, I think it should be appealed to the Supreme Court this time.

Q&A Session

Q From John Hawkins: If the votes from these delegates actually affect a vote, if say American Samoa is the deciding vote, do their votes count?

A: If their votes turn out to affect who wins and loses on a bill, their votes are invalidated. So, what difference does it make? What it does is allow the majority party to give their people a pass on those votes. If an issue wins by 5 or 6 votes, it allows particular Democrats to say, “Gee, I wasn’t the deciding vote.” Besides, if they can vote, why not let anyone vote and say, “Well gee, it doesn’t count if it affects the real vote?”

Q: How can we be most effective in stopping this?

A: Target the new Democratic members. I guarantee you that none of them ran on a platform of allowing delegates to vote. The first we heard about this was on Friday and it’s being voted on tomorrow.

Closing statement: In 1970 Tom Foley was quoted as saying that it was very clear that a Constitutional Amendment would be required to do this. It’s backhanded, duplicitous, and dishonest of the Democrats to bring this forward and it’s an attempt to try to get these delegates voting rights down the road.

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