Friday, February 15, 2008

Emergency Act Requires Emergency Might or All is an Act

House to recess; no vote on intel bill
Published: Feb. 15, 2008 at 8:38 AM

The House adjourned pursuant to H. Con. Res. 293. The next meeting is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on February 19, 2008...

So what else languishes in the House of Representatives during this recess?

H.R.5036 Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act of 2008
To direct the Administrator of General Services to reimburse certain jurisdictions for the costs of obtaining paper ballot voting systems for the general elections for Federal office to be held in November 2008, to reimburse jurisdictions for the costs incurred in conducting audits or hand counting of the results of the general elections for Federal office to be held in November 2008, and for other purposes...

I believe the Discharge Petitition route will be the only way one to hold the representatives accountable - the sponsor, Rush Holt, and co-sponsors - 47 of them to date - who obviously believe the Emergency Assistance for Secure Elections Act of 2008 is an emergency.

If it's such an emergency, why are they going along with a recess?

House to recess; no vote on intel bill Published: Feb. 15, 2008 at 8:38 AM

So now they're back home, they can face us and claim they are doing all they can to ensure secure elections this time around. Holt's bill isn't out of the two committees yet. They'll leave it at that.

In the House, if a committee does not report a bill within 30 days after the measure is referred to it, any member may file a discharge motion. Once offered, the motion is treated as a petition needing the signatures of a majority of members (218 if there are no vacancies).

This emergency legislation has a deadline fast approaching or it is moot, and if that deadline approaches without the localities having any hope of opting in then whose fault is it. It's the fault of the same people who introduced and co-sponsored the emergency measure because they would not have done all they could possibly do. And that includes any avenue necessary to get the measure to a vote in front of the entire House.

As the emergency bill was introduced Jan. 17, and the gang's all back in their home districts for 2 weeks, what are they saying when asked about the "emergency" they will still face when they return to DC? They're doing all they can do? They're leaving it up to the people in other districts to pressure their representatives to add names to the co-sponsorship list?

In a couple of days, the 30 days since the bill's introduction will have passed. How much longer should things linger if this is an emergency piece of legislation to meet a date-certain deadline?

What is the primary sponsor going to do and what are the co-sponsors going to do in the event this doesn't get out of the two committees by Monday? Continue to let the bill languish there another two weeks and counting? They can claim it's all out of their hands and they've done all they can do?

Well, it's absolutely not out of their hands. It's an "emergency" measure, requiring quick and decisive action. Its application is to one of the most fundamental rights we have in this nation, the right to vote.

All it really takes is one Representative. Just one, to put forth the discharge petition. Rush Holt himself, or any one of the co-sponsors could present the discharge petition if it's still not out one of the two committees.

I'm feeling that to try to get more co-sponsors is wasted effort at this point. It's not as if they don't know what the issue is about. They read about the importance of these presidential primaries every single day, and a single vote in a single district may be the one that puts delegates in one candidate's column over another.

The discharge petition is no longer "done in secret" and it's not only just the number of signatures acquired that's public - signers become public information immediately.

Under a Rules change in the 103rd Congress, signatures on a discharge petition must be made available to the public on a daily basis by the Clerk. The names of new signatories are printed in the Congressional Record on the last legislative day of each week.

Originally, signatories to a discharge petition were secret. Only once the petition acquired a majority would the clerk announce who signed. In 1993, the procedure was changed to make it public at every step of the process, with signers published in the Congressional Record. This change was spearheaded by Jim Inhofe (R-OK).

So when no other representative than Rush Holt steps forth to sign the petition, it'll be like the shot heard round the nation.

This measure is supposed to be an "emergency" measure to be opted in long before the end of this 2008 presidential election of such importance.

What is the rep going to say to constituents who don't see his/her name on the discharge petition?

Sorry, I don't want to step on anybody else's toes. Such action would be an affront to the committee process? Let's just let this run its course, wink wink.

According to Congressman Holt:

While the House has not acted on our legislation to require paper ballots and audits for all votes in all states in time for 2008, there is still time to take action to protect the accuracy, integrity, and security of the 2008 general elections. This plan provides an incentive for state or localities that want to do the right thing.
How about letting this emergency situation - which you propose a measure you say is a way to protect the accuracy, integrity and security of the 2008 general election - continue one more day beyond February 17, 2008 and onward during this crucial presidential election is an affront to those who elected you to office.

Upon your return to duty, how about you present a discharge petition, immediately, if no action has been taken by the committee process.

(Net the Truth Online)


Sunday, February 10, 2008
Change We Can Believe In: But What If Your Vote Doesn't Count?
Right now, the Holt Bill has been referred to the Subcomittee on Technology and Innovation. This is not good enough: We need to Call and Petition Congress beginning today and continuing every day to demand passage of the Holt Bill. And that's just for starters.

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