April 21, 2020 - Issue: Vol. 166, No. 75 — Daily Edition116th Congress (2019 - 2020) - 2nd Session
UNANIMOUS CONSENT REQUEST; Congressional Record Vol. 166, No. 75
(Senate - April 21, 2020)
Text available as:
Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.
[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. ____________________