Editorial

Amash shows leadership in pursuit of transparency

August 16, 2013
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In the first week of the Congressional summer recess, U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, R-Cascade, has given most of his time to constituents and town hall meetings.

His constituents have been most focused on the Affordable Care Act and while that, too, has been top of the Amash agenda, he has honed in on what he believes to be one of the gravest threats to personal liberties and Constitutional rights: the National Security Agency amendment to the Patriot Act that provides funding to the U.S. government for “metadata” extraction from cell phone and other records.

The Business Journal supports Amash’s effort, especially in light of the government intrusion on the course of private business. But perhaps more troubling is the revelation of Republican power mongering that deliberately prevents most elected  members of the Grand Old Party from reading or learning about the amendment(s) they’ve been told to approve. The “trust” issues undermining whole Congressional class years are very obviously within the Republican Party.

It must be underscored that this process is an outright dismissal of inclusiveness and obstruction of elected officials, who then are browbeaten into accepting what some legislators secretly want to impose as law. Deliberately withholding information from elected representatives to the U.S. legislature is a direct assault on this nation’s form of governance.

The added character assassination for pointing out such faults is a bully’s game, a hallmark defining Ohio’s Rep. John Boehner, House majority leader. The obstruction and cover-up has been aided and abetted by Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Lansing, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

Barely three weeks ago, Amash showed skill in jumping through all the rule changes thrown at him, even while using precious little time to provide a representational debate on the NSA funding for the massive data collection program. Amash offered an amendment to curb the NSA program. It was narrowly defeated, 205-217, on July 27, as members were boarding planes and leaving for the summer recess.

In conversations with the Business Journal, Amash indicated he would continue to focus on the issue and expects to do so before year-end and the pre-election sitting-duck games begin. His supporters include veteran Republican leaders, Democrats, “and every age group” in the House, he said.

It appears that such action is far from obstructive, as Boehner portrays it, but perhaps provides some of the dynamite needed to address critical issues that allow imposition of law by a few, rather than a majority.

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