Constitutionally speaking, as author and former member of the House of Representatives John Hostettler* points out, Congress is the most important branch of government. It is tasked with making the laws of the land—and we are to be a nation governed by laws. The Framers of the Constitution did not intend us to be governed by one man (the president), or even a small group of men and women (the Supreme Court).
How can we turn America back to its constitutional foundations and reinstate Congress in its constitutionally designed role as the branch that, as James Madison said in Federalist #51, “necessarily predominates”?
Such a task cannot be accomplished quickly. However, this booklet identifies one step that would make great strides in breaking the gridlock we see all too often in Congress when the House of Representatives passes significant legislation—only to see it die in the Senate. The constitutional role of the Vice President of the United States as President of the Senate must be revived. A vice president who exercises his constitutional duties would have greater power than either the Majority or the Minority Leaders of the Senate, and could be one of the instruments created by the Constitution’s Framers to save our more perfect union.
*The Hon. John Hostettler was a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 2007. Portions of this booklet are excerpted with permission from his book, Ordained and Established: A Statesman-Citizen’s Guide to the United States Constitution.
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