Friday, November 5, 2010

What the Tea Party REPS can contribute?

As far as I can discern the TEA PARTY has few if any elected positions where the individuals were registered as TEA PARTY as opposed to Republicans or Democrats. Whether of not that is accurate there are some responsible things that the TEA PARTY could contribute to the National Dialogue. Some of these are counterintuitive and I am not a TEA PARTY supporter although since about 1990 I have believed that the US is in an approximately 30 years realignment of its political parties and approaches to governance. I will also be publishing a short piece on both the DEMS and the GOP and what they should do. As always they all will be most skilled at doing what they cannot in fact accomplish and will be at their most destructive, often self-destructive, IMO.

I promise to get back to HS/EM shortly as this whole line of posts should be considered a deviation and just to place in context the political milieu that HS/EM will face over the rest of this decade.

So here is my TEA PARTY laundry list with which some may agree and many will disagree:

(1) Push for reorganization of the HOUSE committee structure, and push for a permanent JOINT CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE on federalism.
(2) Push to make a number of DOD organizations primarily civilian organizations reflecting reality. A hard look at USACOE would be a good start.
(3) A consolidated National Security Budget including DOE and DHS and the incorporation of the Military Construction appropriation and VA into this budget.
(4) Push the STATES to eliminate the weakest units of their local governments in order to strengthen STATE governments.
(5) Push for direct federal assistance to the public safety budgets of the largest [perhaps the 5-600 largest municipal entities) on a permanent basis.
(6) Requst GAO to produce a recommended consolidation and updating of all reports mandated by statute from the Executive Branch to Congress and eliminate one-time reports without specific approval of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in the Senate and the Government Reform and Oversight Committee in the HOUSE. But also specific reporting needs, and those on an emergency basis could be brough under a system to incorporate that effort into the standard reporting scheme.
(7) Request that a national security [including HS/EM]impact statement, an environmental impact statement, and a federalism impact statement, a science/tehnology impact statement, or justification for no such statement, accompany each bill when it reaches the floor before any floor vote. An emergency procedure could be utilized to deal with emergency needs.
(8) Rewrite the Stafford Act to allow the President to declare Catastrophic Disasters and Emergencies and vest authority in the Adminstrator of FEMA to declare all disasters below the level of a catastrophe, just as the Secretary of Agriculture has declaration authority, and the Small Businees Administrator. The Administrator FEMA would also prepare a one-time report on numbers of disaster and emergency declarations by STATE since 1950 ranked by number of declarations and also ranked by total outlays since the passage of Public Law 875 of the 81st Congress.
(9) Request each department and agency to prepare a list of all programs, functions, and activities authorized by appropriation act with no formal authorization language by any Committee of the Congress.
(10) Mandate the for each CRS or GAO report both of those entities prepare and appendix of their reports on the subject for the last decade on a rolling basis. Also an open recommendations of GAO on the same subject should be identified and status given.

Well that is it! Sounds simple but this would help the TEA PARTY IMO. Oddly beyond technical and administrative changes the votes are not yet there for the TEA PARTY to do more.