Ignorance is no excuse
“We have to pass the bill to know what is in it.” These were the words uttered by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the debate on ObamaCare. Unfortunately, this appears to be the line of thinking of some of the most powerful people in federal government. In this case, administration heads prefer to criticize Arizona’s SB1070 (http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/sb1070s.pdf) without reading it.
PJ Crowley of the State Department has not read the bill. (Video)
Attorney General Eric Holder has not read the bill.
DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano has not read the bill. (Video)
President Obama has not read the bill.
Through a wave of US Senate hearings, Sunday news show appearances and various interviews, the American people are getting opinions from those ignorant of what they oppose. Attorney General Holder states he “is going by what he’s read in newspapers or seen on television.” Secretary Napolitano knows that she “wouldn’t sign it.” They posit that the bill encourages discrimination, racial profiling and that the police indiscriminately seizes people off the streets for no reason.
The line of logic used by the most powerful people in government is: I have not read what I don’t agree with but I know I don’t agree with it and these are the reasons why…
The statement to the American people is: We don’t respect you enough to become informed about the information we share with the public.
We don’t have that problem in Georgia. As legislators, we take our responsibilities very seriously and realize that more government and higher taxes place a burden on your daily lives. As your representative, it is my duty to read the legislation.
Enter the Georgia House Republican Study Committee.
During the most recent legislative session, the Committee met each morning at 8:30am to read and discuss legislation that made it out of the House committees and to the consideration calendar. We debated the bills, explored intended and unintended consequences of its passage and explored other implications of the bills passage.
After the debate, we score the legislation against conservative principles of smaller government, lower taxes, liberty & justice, proper role of government and individual responsibility. Those bills that do not promote conservative principles are scored lower.
On the House Floor, if a legislator votes in favor of a bill that has scored lower, he must return to the committee to explain the reason s/he voted in favor of the legislation.
Each representative has the freedom to vote how s/he desires on the legislation. The committee does not hamper that responsibility. The committee does; however, want the legislator to be aware of the implications of his/her vote.
While our federal officials prefer to take their legislative cues and opinions from television and newspapers, I prefer to actually read the legislation, discuss it and balance it against conservative principles.