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Political Hurry – essay 2

Congressional Recess
How long does it take to pass a law in the United States? Depends on how important it is to political careers.

“Terri’s Law” was written and passed into law in less than one week. Terri Schiavo, a brain damaged woman “living” with feeding tube support for 15 years in Florida, truly this example of a personal matter that garnered world attention is a great example. After failing to have a feeding tube reinserted through the court system enough members of the House and the Senate showed up to work on a Saturday the President even cut short one of his many vacations to ensure the measure passed into law. A bitter family struggle fought for years in the court system, instantly gained enough importance, through the spectacle of media, to interfere with the legislative branch of government. They used the federal government to pass a law for ONE individual. That’s certainly an example of “We the People”. Will there be an individual law written for your benefit also?

Looking at the Patriot Act, a measure passed almost immediately following the events of September 11th, you’ll see transgressions that laugh in the face of freedom. At the time political careers rose and fell to those who did or didn’t sign, if you didn’t sign you were “unpatriotic”. In Michael Moore’s controversial documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 a member of congress readily admits “we don’t read these bills”. Was this one they should have found time to read?

Hurricane Katrina path of destruction left countless without homes, health care, food and security, in this instance congress feels it can take a break, Senator Vitter [R – LA] said he supported everything on Landrieu’s [D – LA] “wish list,” but did not believe it can be enacted before Congress left for its recess. Does this make the hundreds of thousand victims of Katrina less important that one woman in a vegetative state?

What about universal health care for all American’s? How about laws to drive down the cost of malpractice insurance? Basic needs across the country have yet to be met: helping the poor, the unemployed, the homeless. Can our government use its time to find alternative energy sources in response to the every increasing cost of oil? Or should the government be focused on individuals?

It’s time for the country to decide what is important enough for our lawmakers to spend extra time on.

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