Thursday, January 25, 2007

Am. Sam. in the Spotlight Again

First it was a battle over the federal minimum wage in Am. Sam. (click here for details). Now it is giving the "vote" to non-state delegates in the House of Representatives. I put votes in quotes because the newly passed bill only allows the five delegates a vote on amendments, not on the final passage of the legislation. Even the power to vote on amendments is restricted, because if the delegates' votes decide the outcome of the amendment, the vote is voided and the House votes again without the delegates' participation. The Republican House Minority leader John Boehner described it as "an outrageous grab of power by the majority, a breach of the trust of the members here." Wow. I would call it a cruel joke. I think saying you only have a vote in a limited situation, and if that vote counts for something, well, it doesn't count is worse then just not giving them a vote on the House floor. However, my favorite part of the entire episode is that Republican lawmakers created this sticker:They wore it during the House debate on the proposal to extend the "vote" to the delegates. Sometimes I really miss DC.

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