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Victory over COG.

On June 2, the House of Representatives defeated, by a vote of 63-353, a proposed constitutional amendment (House Joint Resolution 83) that would provide for the appointment of congressmen to fill vacant seats in the event of a national emergency. The scheme was proposed by the Continuity Of Government (COG) Commission, whose members, noted Kent Snyder of The Liberty Committee, composed "a 'Who's Who' of the political elite in this country."

In a speech opposing the resolution, Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas) pointed out that "during a time of crisis it is all the more important to have representatives accountable to the people making the laws. Otherwise, the citizenry has no check on the inevitable tendency of government to infringe on the people's liberties at such a time."

While the possibility of a catastrophic terrorist event is real, continued Rep. Paul, "this country has faced threats to the continuity of this body several times throughout our history, yet no one suggested removing the people's right to vote for members of the House of Representatives. For example, when the British attacked the city of Washington during the War of 1812, nobody suggested the states could not address the lack of a quorum in the House of Representatives through elections."

Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution "already provides the framework for Congress to function after a catastrophic event," he observed, by permitting state governors "to hold special elections to fill vacancies in the House of Representatives. Article I, Section 4 gives Congress the authority to designate the time, manner, and place of such special elections if states should fail to act expeditiously following a national emergency."

Under that provision the House recently passed H.R. 2844, "requiring the holding of special elections within 45 days after the Speaker or acting Speaker declares 100 or more members of the House have been killed." This provides for continuity of the legislative branch under dire circumstances--without subverting the mechanism of electoral accountability, as the COG elitists sought to do.
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Title Annotation:Insider Report
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 28, 2004
Words:334
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