UNANIMOUS CONSENT REQUEST; Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 75
(Senate - April 21, 2020)

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[Page S2187]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                       UNANIMOUS CONSENT REQUEST

  Mr. PAUL. Mr. President, no virus, not even a plague, should cause us 
to forget that our freedom is the result of resisting the concentration 
of power in the hands of a few.
  Recently, there has been dangerous talk of the President adjourning 
Congress. I am reminded of the long English battle to forbid the King 
from dissolving Parliament. In fact, Charles I lost his head partly 
because he insisted on dissolving Parliament. In those days, Parliament 
did not take Charles' royal power grab laying down. When Charles I 
dissolved Parliament in 1629, members took matters into their own hands 
and descended on the speaker, John Finch, and sat on him. Since he 
could not rise, the Parliament could not close. While he squirmed and 
was held down, Parliament passed several motions, condemning the King's 
power grab.
  Ultimately, the English Parliament would change the Constitution to 
forbid the King from dissolving Parliament. Now, I am not suggesting we 
hold the President of the Senate down and commandeer the Senate--though 
the idea has crossed my mind.
  Whatever path of resistance we take, talk of the administration 
adjourning or temporarily dissolving Congress should loudly be resisted 
as if the Republic depended on it.
  Perhaps more alarming than allowing a President threatening to 
dissolve Congress is that Congress currently has allowed itself to 
become more of an oligarchy than an assembly. A few Members of the 
leadership are set to pass legislation, spending nearly a half a 
trillion dollars, without any recorded vote or debate. Shouldn't 
someone shout stop? Shouldn't someone point out the terrible precedent 
of having a few Members speak for all the Members?
  I, for one, believe that if there exists too much danger to have 
Congress meet--and if there exists too much danger to have Congress 
meet in person, we should allow emergency voting remotely.
  In that vein, I offer the following resolution. I ask unanimous 
consent that the Senate proceed to the consideration of my resolution 
at the desk; I further ask that the resolution be agreed to, the 
preamble agreed to, and that the motions to reconsider be considered 
made and laid upon the table without any intervening action or debate.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Is there objection?
  Mr. McCONNELL. I object.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Objection is heard.
  The majority leader.

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