8/26/2019

Justin Amash Wants To Talk About Process and Love, but His Constituents Want To Talk About Gun Control

""When you go to Congress, you discover that all decisions are made by three people: the president, the speaker of the House and the Senate majority leader. That's it," Amash lamented. "All of you are essentially disenfranchised in this situation. You elect representatives to represent you, but representatives aren't actually allowed to amend things, aren't allowed to offer ideas. And what ends up happening is you have a system where outcomes are dictated to us rather than discovered through the process."

A broken process means no floor amendments for an entire congressional session—a first. It means disregarding the designs of the Constitution, which as Amash pointed out is a "process document." It means making political competition an ugly grab for punitive power, and it means replacing legislative deliberation with smashmouth scoreboard-politics, as when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.) refused to allow a vote on Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland during Barack Obama's final year in office. ("I wouldn't have supported that nominee, but he should have been allowed to have had a vote," Amash explained at a Grand Rapids coffee shop in the morning.)"