Archive → November, 2011
The foreign policy debate held on Tuesday night at Constitution Hall in Washington gave the Republican presidential candidates an arena to express their views on Iran. The debate took place following the imposition of additional sanctions on Iran by several countries including the U.S., the UK, Canada, and France. The new sanctions are aimed at reducing the amount of capital the Islamic republic can draw on in order to further develop its nuclear weapon program.
Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry revealed on Tuesday that he would “build a smaller, more efficient federal government that puts the American people first.”
In his speech in Bettendorf, Iowa, the Texas governor told his audience that he wished to overhaul the way government operates. The changes proposed by Mr. Perry include creating a part-time Congress and cutting lawmakers’ pay and budgets in half, as well as the time they spend in Washington. The presidential hopeful is convinced that those changes can be implemented. “Texas is the thirteenth largest economy in the world. Our legislature only meets 114 days every other year. We manage to get our work done.” Mr. Perry also told his audience at the Schebler plant that he would block the hiring of additional federal workers and freeze the pay of those currently employed. Mr. Perry is a keen advocate of ‘decentralization’, where power is transferred from the federal government to state governments.
In addition, the Texas governor would overhaul the federal judiciary. He strongly believes that “too many federal judges rule with impunity from the bench, and those who legislate from the bench should not be entitled to lifetime abuse of their judicial authority.”
Although his proposals might be popular with the electorate, Paul Horwitz, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Alabama, is not convinced that those targeted by Mr. Perry’s cuts will actually agree to vote in favor of these cuts. “It would be the foxes nailing shut the henhouse door,” he said.
Professor Horwitz is also dubious that changes to the federal judiciary are possible. Indeed, the Constitution makes clear that “judges shall hold their offices during good behavior.” In other words, they remain in their posts until they resign, die, or are impeached.
The latest poll published by Bloomberg News shows that only 7 percent of Iowa caucus voters would currently choose Mr. Perry as their nominee. However, 60 percent acknowledge that, although they already have a favorite, they may still be swayed to vote for another candidate.
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Washington confirmed the constitutionality of President Barack Obama‘s Affordable Care Act on Tuesday and decided to uphold the individual mandate that requires all Americans to purchase health insurance. Of the four appellate courts requested to rule on ObamaCare in the past few months, this is the second one to uphold the legislation so far.
On Wednesday, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum hit a milestone when he visited the last of the 99 Iowa counties. He is the only Republican presidential candidate to have held meetings in all of the state’s districts.
Unfortunately for him, his efforts do no appear to have paid off. According to the latest Des Moines Register’s poll, Mr. Santorum only gets the backing of 5 percent of those intending to vote in the caucuses. This compares with 23 percent for Herman Cain, who only visited Iowa once, 22 percent for Mitt Romney, who set foot in the Hawkeye State a mere three times since the beginning of the year, and a disappointing 8 percent for Michele Bachmann, who initially pledged to focus her campaign on this state.