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Broken Government Essay

2811 words - 12 pages

ES 213 Macroeconomics
Broken Government
John W. Dean’s book, Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches, perfectly explains how today’s current state of government is in shambles. The blame cannot be harbored on the shoulders of one individual, rather the repeated actions of decades of GOP and ultra-conservative politicians. Their actions have questioned the relevance of the Constitution of the United States and the entire framework of the government system. Currently, the legislative branch is broken but under repair, the executive branch is broken and needs to be repaired, and judicial branch is nearing the breaking point. However, ...view middle of the document...

This was especially prevalent in the $2 billion mistake that the Republicans made and refused to fix. In short, the House and Senate passed different versions of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. The Act that was narrowly passed in the Senate gave patients thirty-six months payment for oxygen equipment and thirteen months payment for durable medical equipment like wheelchairs and hospital beds. The Act that was also passed, by the slightest of margins in the House where it was mistakenly written wrong, gave thirty-six months payment for all equipment to patients that needed it. When the mistake was recognized by the Senate pro tempore, he simply asked the Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, a stout, super-conservative Republican, to ratify what was supposed to be the correct version of the bill at thirteen months of payment. He agreed on the thirteen month limit and the two sent it along to the President who quickly stamped the bill into law (Dean 52). These differences in benefit limits resulted in a difference of $2 billion for Medicare patients. So this “law”, if one would like to call it that, which is now in place, was not approved by the House, a clear violation of the Constitution. It is clearly stated in Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution that both houses of Congress must agree on the same version of a bill for it to become law. This bill was not passed by the House of Representatives and many prominent law professors, from top of the line law schools, will verify that what is in place is most definitely not a law. No legal action was ever able to be taken against this because the decision would be upheld in conservative court rooms and higher conservative appellate courts.
Along with basic representation not being followed, the GOP controlled Congress was hardly ever in session. The Republicans favored a two day work week, allowing them to put a limit on the time bills were able to be debated. Representatives were only able to lobby for or against a bill for two minutes and that was it. After all of these short debate sessions were finished, they then allowed unlimited time to vote on the bills, instead of the mandated fifteen minutes. This allowed them to twist the arms and bribe people who were undecided or against their conservative policies into voting for them (Dean 37). This is not how bills are supposed to be proposed and approved in the legislative branch.
The legislative’s power to check and balance the President was also non-existent under Republican rule. They basically told the President that he was free to do whatever he wanted and Congress wouldn’t find any of his actions necessary for investigation. Prime instances of Presidential actions that should have warranted investigation were ignoring homeland security, allegations of torture, and the illegal surveillance of phone calls (Dean 41). Another instance would be when President Bush declared war on Iraq before going to Congress. Article 1 of the Constitution...

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