Tuesday, August 20, 2013
An End Run Around Legislation
A Republican congressman from New York told Fox News over the weekend that President Obama’s proposal to fund the introduction of high-speed internet into every classroom is an affront to Congress and, by extension, the American people.
The proposal would increase consumers’ annual cell phone bills by about $4 per year for the next three years, and would raise the $4 billion to $6 billion needed to fund ConnectEd, a nationwide initiative to install high-speed connectivity in nearly every classroom in the country. Because the new charge would come in the form of an increase to an existing fee levied by the Federal Communications Commission — a decision that would ultimately be made independently of the administration — Congressional action is not required.
That does not sit well with Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY):
“He has an agenda and he’s going to do whatever he has to do to pass that agenda, regardless of the Constitution,” Grimm said. “I mean, I think our founding fathers are turning over in the graves right now because he’s just so blatant in his— the administrators, the people he puts in charge of these agencies are bold and brazen about saying, ‘yes, we’re going to make an end run around Congress.’”
Universal service is an evolving level of telecommunications services that the Commission shall establish periodically under this section, taking into account advances in telecommunications and information technologies and services.
The Commission shall establish competitively neutral rules...to enhance, to the extent technically feasible and economically reasonable, access to advanced telecommunications and information services for all public and nonprofit elementary and secondary school classrooms, health care providers, and libraries...
All providers of telecommunications services should make an equitable and nondiscriminatory contribution to the preservation and advancement of universal service.
So, you know, Congress gave the FCC explicit responsibility to do the very thing it proposes. Not so much an "end run" as "exercising authority" per legislation. Or does Rep Grimm think the Framers didn't intend the Legislature to pass laws and stuff?
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There you go again, letting the law and the facts get in the way of the liberty to be stupid.
If I could find my copy of Failure to Quit by Howard Zinn I'd put the quote from, if I recall, an Indiana congressman in the 50s, railing against providing free library service because education leads to communism. Same thing, different state, different technology, same thing.
Posted by: Anthony McCarthy | Aug 20, 2013 10:45:08 AM