While the bigger items on the congressional agenda – such as healthcare, for example – get all of the attention and play, the fact remains that Congress passes stuff all the time that the average American voter doesn’t have a clue about.
That’s not to suggest that voter wouldn’t understand what members of Congress are doing, but rather that they simply don’t know because it flies so far under the radar.
We’ve seen plenty of stunning examples through the years that make us all stop and think that we need to do our best to become even more aware of what’s happening behind closed doors on Capitol Hill.
Here’s another example that will make you feel that way.
Zero Hedge shares the news on a new bill that sailed through the House.
On the surface, House Joint Resolution 76 looks harmless. The title of the bill claims that its purpose is “Granting the consent and approval of Congress for the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State of Maryland, and the District of Columbia to enter into a compact relating to the establishment of the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission.”
“Whereas the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, an interstate compact agency of the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the State of Maryland, provides transportation services to millions of people each year, the safety of whom is paramount; Whereas an effective and safe Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority system is essential to the commerce and prosperity of the National Capital region; Whereas the Tri-State Oversight Committee, created by a memorandum of understanding amongst these 3 jurisdictions, has provided safety oversight of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.”
Sounds straightforward enough, but there’s a catch – and it’s one that may lead to further liberties being taken with basic rights further down the road.
However, there is one major red flag buried within the text of the bill that stems from the list of “powers” given to the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission, and it violates one of the basic tenets of the U.S. Constitution.
The text gives the Commission the authority to enter property near the Metro Rail System “without limitation” and without a warrant, for the purpose of “making inspections, investigations, examinations, and testing.”
This clearly goes against the Fourth Amendment, which states that Americans’ rights “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause.”
Alright, but if this mainly has to do with the DC metro area only, why should we get all worked up about it?
Because it completely sailed through without much of a fight, and that opens up the possibility that it can be easily expanded to include other parts of the country on a gradual basis.
If you give them an inch…
When the bill was brought to a vote in the House of Representatives, there were only five Congressmen who voted against it: Representatives Justin Amash, a Republican from Michigan; Walter Jones, a Republican from North Carolina; Thomas Massie, a Republican from Kentucky; Alex Mooney, a Republican from West Virginia; and Mark Sanford, a Republican from South Carolina.
Amash called out the hypocrisy surrounding the fact that even though this legislation is in clear violation of the Constitution, it was passed by Congress with overwhelming support. “Only 5 of us voted against bill allowing govt to enter/search private property in parts of VA, MD & DC w/o warrant,” He wrote on Twitter.
This is not the first time Congress has quietly passed a bill that will take away some of the most basic rights from law-abiding citizens in the U.S., and it won’t be the last. One of the most important things to remember about this legislation is that it was ignored by the media, and while it may only affect the Washington D.C. metro area now, it could be laying the blueprint for future legislation across the country.
It’s pretty frightening to imagine that only five members of Congress saw this as being some kind of a problem.
Where is the media coverage and outrage over this one?
If there’s even a whisper that something will happen with Obamacare or immigration, we’ll see an endless amount of commentary, stories, and reporting that breaks down the issue for voters.
Shouldn’t the same be happening when our personal liberties may be at stake?
Stay aware and stay informed folks, as it’s really hard to have warm and fuzzy feelings when Congress is left to implement resolutions such as this one on an unchecked basis.
Source: Zero Hedge