Rep. Greg Gianforte made his maiden speech in Congress yesterday, and it didn’t go over very well. He started talking about Congressional salaries, and how they should be suspended for failing to balance the budget. There were boos from the Republican side, and an audible buzz of disapproval.
He said he wanted a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, and term limits, and has signed on to be a sponsor. Those bills were dead when they were introduced. In this or any Congress, such bills are the stuff of dreamers. Gianforte is not one of those, and it won’t take him long to understand there is no chance of Congress reforming itself.
Rep. Ken Buck was on the floor, no doubt, to hear his new colleague. Maybe he’ll get a chance to have a frank conversation with Gianforte about life in the Swamp. It ain’t pretty.
Gianforte expects to serve just two terms before running for Governor of Montana in 2020. He won’t have time enough to have any real accomplishments in Congress. He’ll want to spend as much time back at home in Montana as possible. While he’s travelling the state he can talk about a balanced budget amendment to more effect than in the halls of Congress.
Avik Roy likes the Senate health care bill, so I think Cruz and Johnson can be convinced to vote for it. This stuff is so complicated that you rely on experts you trust. I trust Roy and James Capretta. Roy twittered, this would be “the greatest policy achievement by a GOP Congress in my lifetime.” (thanks, Instapundit).
If so, hats off to Mitch McConnell. He got the most conservative bill he could, and that’s as good as it’s going to get. Cruz and Johnson will figure that out soon enough. You can’t talk about doing something for seven years, and then get in power and not do it.
The Republicans really need to pass this bill. If they don’t, this Congress is going to hell in a hand basket. The worse it gets, the better it is for Article V, but I don’t want to lose the House.
At the actual Article V Convention, once the balanced budget amendment has been drafted and voted on, there will still be some business to conduct. A Committee of Correspondence of the former commissioners can be formed, with several purposes in mind.
The first will be to monitor the ratification process. After ratification, the Committee could continue in existence to monitor Congressional compliance with the BBA. If they felt it was not being properly done, they could issue a call for a Convention of States to discuss what remedy should be pursued.
Maybe calling it a Committee of Correspondence is too grandiose. They could call themselves the Assembly of States, or the Federal Assembly. Such a body could prove of lasting significance.