Tag Archive for: Congressional Oversight

Senate Standing Guard

Congress has possibly the lowest approval rating in history, even lower than possibly the worst President in history. Perhaps it is because of the apparent disconnect from reality that becomes obvious when listening to some of them. In a recent email to one of my radio show listeners, Marco Rubio, a Senator who is alleged to really “get it” and is a “rising star” in the GOP, made the following statement:

“I take my role as a U.S. Senator very seriously and I will continue to provide important oversight of these government agencies. Should anyone attempt to restrict our freedom or liberty, I will hold them accountable. Furthermore, I will continue to support and defend the principles and liberties in the U.S. Constitution.”

Seriously? “CONTINUE to provide and important oversight”?? When and where is that happening from Congress, Mr. Rubio? “Should anyone attempt to restrict our freedom or liberty”?!!? Is Mr. Rubio asserting that it hasn’t happened yet, but when it does we should rest assured that he will be RIGHT THERE supporting and defending the Constitution? FYI, it’s happening every day. Someone needs to pump some fresh air in Washington DC because I am seeing significant signs of asphyxiational delusion displayed by the majority of its residents.

Just in case some Senators are unclear about what might restrict our freedom or liberty, here are just a few things going on that could use some oversight and accountability:

1. Obamacare is a massive tool to restrict our freedom and liberty. It is a mandate that requires citizens to purchase the healthcare the government deems appropriate and penalizes anyone from working outside the confines of government control. It gives the federal government the power to not only mandate healthcare but creates a “significant governmental interest” in matters of our health giving the government potential control over every aspect of our lives. A small case in point is the measure popularly known as the “Medicine Cabinet Tax,” contained in pages 1,957 to 1,959 of a law that runs more than 2,400 pages. This provision FORBIDS AMERICANS from using their health savings account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement account (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase nonprescription medicines. (

Sunshine State News, Eric Guinta)—Did you hear that Mr. Rubio…the Federal Government is FORBIDDING AMERICANS from using their own money to buy Tylenol! Surely THAT is a restriction on our freedom or liberty…Where is the oversight?

2. In the midst of “government shut down” over budget issues, the Obama administration is set to hire TENS OF THOUSANDS of health care professionals, union workers and community activists (ACORN? Planned Parenthood?) as “navigators” to help Americans choose Obamacare options. Their starting pay as of Oct. 1 will be anywhere from $20 to $48 an HOUR, according to new regulations issued Wednesday. (The Examiner, Paul Bedard) What will these “navigators” do? They will be translating Obamacare into foreign languages to encourage the use of Obamacare by non-English speaking people. Multilingual statism, beautiful! Is this an example of that oversight Mr. Rubio mentioned?

3. The Senate Budget Committee just recently voted to CONTINUE working with Mexican government to increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps (a program started by George W.). Exporting government dependency, fantastic! That gives new meaning to the phrase “Made In America.” Apparently our own government isn’t doing enough to spend us into oblivion, we will now have the assistance of Mexico in enslaving our children in debt and national bankruptcy. The PARTNERSHIP, alone, will cost us MILLIONS, not to mention the cost of the Food Stamps (FoxNews.com) (Daily Caller, Caroline May) Senate oversight in the works, perhaps? No, this is probably just “immigration reform,” a.k.a. Democrat voter drive.

4. Congress “quietly” passes the Farmer Assurance Provision. Apparently, throwing the farmers’ legal recourse against negligent corporations into the hands of the FDA. What is the justification for this unconstitutional support of special interest? Law suits are costing the FDA too much money. (multiple media sources) Perhaps this is actually what oversight means… making sure the special interest and lobbyist groups are protected!

5. Immigration “reform” is in the works, being pushed through by the unconstitutional establishment of the “thugs of 8”. The last clause of Article 5 of the Constitution requires “equal suffrage” in the Senate for ALL senators…not just 8! Who have the thugs of 8 “hired” to write their “immigration reform”? The AFL-CIO. AMAZING degree of oversight…again ensuring that the lobbyists get their way. (ABC News, Arlette Saenz) Not only that but the GOP has issued a statement that a loophole in this program will allow for TRILLIONS of dollars of welfare assistance to be given to illegal aliens…and the absurdity continues. (Breitbart, Matthew Boyle)

6. “Law enforcement intelligence-processing fusion centers” admit to spying on US Citizens…but don’t worry! They are only spying on “groups that are anti-government.” Our local law enforcement PARTNERING with DHS to spy on our own citizens. Our 4th Amendment is being openly and transparently shredded and WHERE is that defense of our Constitution that
Mr. Rubio was talking about?…crickets. (RT.com)

7. Joe Biden says on a conference call to Mayors Against Guns: “And lastly, but not least, the Assault Weapons ban and the limitation on the size of magazines, let me say this as clearly as I can: this is just the beginning.” Obama said in his last State of the Union Address, “if Congress won’t act soon… I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future.” The Executive branch has openly and transparently DEFIED its constitutional limitation, taking more and more power from Congress, destroying the Constitution its tyrannical wake…Again I ask, where is the oversight?

8. Because Washington claims to be having budget problems…our defense budget is being cut. Our Marines are being told to conserve bullets and gas. (WND, Garth Kant) The Blue Angels were just grounded because of budget constraints. (CNN, GejJones) Civilian DOD employees are being furloughed, losing 14 day’s pay. (US DOD) The White House has canceled tours, even to our school kids in spite of promises otherwise. (Fox News, Chad Pergram)

*MEANWHILE* back in Washington…Our government sends $250 Million to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (The Blaze, Madeleine Morgenstern)…The White House throws a STAR STUDDED concert, inviting Al Green, Ben Harper, Queen Latifah, Cyndi Lauper and Justin Timberlake, among many others (FoxNews.com)… Obama FAMILY finds the cash to take lavish vacations, bought and paid for by the tax-payers (The Alexandrian, Lee Hernley)…Biden spends over $585,000 for ONE NIGHT in a Hotel in Paris, spending almost $1million in total tax-payer dollars for that trip (The Huffington Post, Ryan Grenoble)

Is THIS what our Congress considers oversight? Is this what our Congress considers defending our Constitution, our Freedom, our Liberty? Every day in DC seems like April Fools meets Groundhog Day. I am not quite sure what some of these Senators are looking at, but it’d be easier to see Russia from my backyard than see oversight and Constitutional defense in Congress.

Executive Orders And The New American Sovyet

May 17, 2012

Dear Mr. Boehner, Mr. McConnell, et. al;

Our federal government is out of control.  It is not the role of the federal government to regulate the daily lives of the citizens.   It is not the role of the federal government to regulate domestic commerce.  It is not the role of the federal government to tell farmers what to grow, nor tell people what to eat.  It is not the role of the federal government to dictate the education of our children.  It is not the job of the federal government to trespass into state criminal investigations.

It is not the role of the federal government to control our rural or municipal affairs; yet, the President has now established federal councils for both rural affairs (Executive Order 13575—Establishment of the White House Rural Council June 9, 2011) and municipal affairs (Executive Order — Establishing a White House Council on Strong Cities, Strong Communities May 1, 2012).  Russia called these councils the “sovyet” and they are the final building blocks to communism.  It is not the role of the Federal government to be the people’s nanny.

It’s not the role of the Federal government to spend this nation into oblivion.  Pardon me if I do not get excited about your current budget debate.  That drama has outlived itself, and I say let the government shut down for a while; we might buy a few more days of life for our Constitution.   I am also not impressed by your resolution on foreign affairs, encouraging “democracies” in foreign nations, while our republic is being actively destroyed by its own government.

It is your role, Congress, to stop the Executive encroachment into the Legislature and it is your duty to stop the Federal encroachment upon individual Liberty. Our founders took great care when creating a federal government that would be limited and always in submission to the states and the people.  WHEN is Congress going to take a real stand against the destruction of the rights and privileges of this people? Will you wait until it’s too late? Mere “outrage” doesn’t get the job done.  This Congress is pushing the nation to a point of turmoil it has not seen for 150 years.  And make no mistake; each and every one of you will be personally responsible for what will occur.  Are you prepared to live with that responsibility and those consequences?  It will not fall on the shoulders of the President alone and the blame game will not alleviate the suffering of our children when they are so grievously affected.  Yet, we can avoid repeating the mistakes of our history.  But we must act now. We must act decisively.  If not, we will regret our neglect.  We have the opportunity now, but have no guarantee it will be available much longer.

Does Congress truly understand WHY people fled communist nations to come to the greatest nation in the world?  Do you truly know the cost of such sacrifice and what you are supposed to be defending?  You are fooling yourselves if you think one more election is going to fix it.  You don’t have that kind of time.  The blocks are in place, and you have provided the mortar. Take a stand now.  Not a political stand, but a stand that involves integrity, courage, and resolve.  No more petitions asking the president to stop stealing legislative power.  No more demands that Eric Holder resign.  YOU must do your job and YOU must defend this nation and it’s Constitution from these enemies, both foreign and domestic.  You must:

  1. Put an end to the executive order madness.  Exercise your constitutionally given power, as provided through the checks and balances and separation of powers.  Show this nation that you understand that Legislative power is not to be shared and it is definitely NOT to be taken.
  2. We are not subjects of the United Nations and never intend to be.  Get them out of our business.
  3. If you are unwilling to impeach, defund any person appointed by the executive branch outside Congressional and Constitutional authority.  (i.e. all the Christmas appointments and Czars)
  4. Pick up your Congressional oversight responsibility and shut down these executive regulatory agencies whose only purpose is to “harass our people, and eat out their substance.”
  5. Get control of the immigration in this nation.  We don’t want to see GAO reports telling us that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the State Department cannot agree on the degree of terrorist association a visa applicant must have to render the applicant ineligible.
  6. It is time to indict Eric Holder for the criminal that he is. No more whining, no more demanding for resignations, INDICT him and then FIRE him.
  7. Impeach Elena Kagan.  She is obviously incapable of using the appropriate professional ethic and judgment needed to be a Supreme Court Justice.  Learn from this mistake and actually involve yourselves in the confirmation process.  Your employers are sick to death of political games.
  8. Repeal The Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act.  Now. You are supposed to be protecting the rights of the people, not violating them.
  9. End the 4th amendment violations permitted in the Patriot Act.  Now.
  10. Repeal sections 1021 & 1022 of NDAA 2012. It’s not only about habeas corpus, it’s about
    1. unilateral power given to the president by congress to determine who is a terrorist and then detain them in secret with no probable cause;
    2. unilateral power given to the president by congress to invoke the laws of war during a “hostility”;
    3. unilateral power given to the president by congress to transfer the power under the laws of war to “domestic agencies fighting terrorists”
  11. Get the IRS out of the passport business.
  12. Don’t just read the Constitution, study it.  Not how you studied it in law school, that wasn’t the Constitution, that was Constitutional Law, there is a huge difference.  Those of you who went to Harvard, we understand if you don’t know what the Constitution is, it hasn’t been studied there in years.  May I suggest a course that I know will teach you the truth and is so simple a Congressman can understand it.  I happen to know the teacher personally and I am sure that she would come teach it at her own expense and sacrifice.

These are some of the demands of your employers; we demand you do your job. These are the requirements of our founders; they have entrusted us with the Liberty purchased with their lives. These are the duties imposed upon you by the Constitution of the United States, and your obligations consistent with the oaths you took.  And, these are the times that try men’s souls. How will history remember us? The generation that participated in death of Liberty or the generation that gave our last breath to prosper it? I have made my choice. How will you choose?


KrisAnne Hall


Do your Job, Congress!

On November 19, 2001, Congress passed The Aviation and Transportation Act, (ATSA), as a reaction to the September 11 attacks.  Reactionary legislation is never a good solution to any problem.  However, even with reactionary legislation, proper checks are in place to detect and prevent poor administration, waste, abuse, arbitrary and capricious behavior, or illegal and unconstitutional conduct.  Congressional Oversight is the “check and balance” that must apply here. So why isn’t Congress doing their job?  If we want to require Congress to do their job and not fall prey to their excuses, we must understand the very power of oversight that they hold.

Congressional oversight refers to the review, monitoring, and supervision of federal agencies, programs, activities, and policy implementation.  Congressional Oversight is a “derived power” and even the Congressional Research Service refers to it as an “integral part of the American system of checks and balances”.  (CRS Report for Congress 97-936, p. 2 2001)

Our founders spent a great deal of time discussing separation of powers and believed that such separation was essential to the protection of our liberty.  Our Founders also believed that a certain amount “blending” of these departments was necessary to prevent one Branch from usurping the power over the other.  In Federalist Paper 47, Madison discusses this very issue.

Quoting Montesquieu, James Madison relates that, “There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person or body of magistrates,” nor “if the power of judging be not separate from the legislative and executive powers.” Madison reasons that the departments are not intended to be so separated that they have no partial agency in, or no control over each other. (Fed. 47)  Montesquieu was concerned with the “whole” power of one department exercised in the hands of another department.  Madison assures the Constitutional critics that the current Constitution provides safeguards against such encroachment and abuse of liberty.

Madison demonstrates this principle of checks and balances by pointing out the very existence of them in the several state constitutions that existed at the time of the writing of the proposed Constitution.  He points out that nearly all of the constitutions blend these powers, not for the purpose of usurping, but for the purpose of partial agency and control. For example, the Senate, which is a branch of legislative department, is also a judicial tribunal for the trial of impeachments.  Finally, in response to the proponents of ABSOLUTE separation, Madison explains that the very cause of liberty for which they fight is only obtained through proper blending of power to achieve control and oversight:

It was shown in the last paper that the political apothegm there examined does not require that the legislative, executive, and judiciary departments should be wholly unconnected with each other.  I shall undertake, in the next place, to show that unless these departments be so far connected and blended as to give each a constitutional control over the others, the degree of separation which the maxim requires, as essential to a free government, can never in practice be duly maintained. (Fed. 48)

In summary, what Madison was saying is if you truly want liberty, separation of powers along with mutual checks is vital.  Madison understood that simply enumerating powers and identifying boundaries on paper would be an insufficient barrier “to the encroaching spirit of power.”  Liberty cannot be preserved unless you allow for departmental oversight.

In light of the founder’s perspective and the truth behind separation of powers and each branch’s responsibility to check the power of the other and maintain oversight, we must ask, where is our current congressional oversight even within the same Branch? We see statement after statement of how appalled or outraged our Senators are at the gross display of authority by the Transportation and Safety Administration (Incidentally they make the same statements about executive overreach and do nothing about it). They demand everything from control to dissolution of the TSA.  What is with all the posturing?  THEY created the TSA in 2001.  THEY passed an Act that allowed for privatization of airports after two years.  How can the TSA turn around and tell Congress that it will not privatize. Congress has oversight over TSA, not TSA over Congress.

Congress needs to be reminded that the Congressional Research Service stated in 2001 their job in Congressional oversight is to:

  • improve the efficiency, economy, and effectiveness of governmental operations;
  • evaluate programs and performance;
  • detect and prevent poor administration, waste, abuse, arbitrary and capricious behavior, or illegal and unconstitutional conduct;
  • protect civil liberties and constitutional rights;
  • inform the general public and ensure that executive policies reflect the public interest;
  • gather information to develop new legislative proposals or to amend existing statutes;
  • ensure administrative compliance with legislative intent; and
  • prevent executive encroachment on legislative authority and prerogatives.

As we see a 95-year-old cancer patient strip-searched and 6-year-old girls groped and other outrages on a daily basis by the Transportation Security Agency, must we be reminded that we are a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people?”  When a Nigerian immigrant can fly coast-to-coast with an expired, stolen boarding pass and passport is too much to ask that Congress step up and DO THEIR JOB?  Hey Congress YOU WORK FOR US.  Your job descriptions are clearly identified in the law, in the Constitution and in the “operator’s manual” written by those who wrote the Constitution.  Do your job or be fired!  We don’t accept your “outrage,” stop flapping your gums and making excuses and start doing the job you’ve been tasked to do.