Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The constitution should be the basis for all federal laws and policies

Whether Congress is discussing a bill on health care, education, taxes, spending or another issue, the primary concern for any representative should be whether the proposed law is constitutional, former Mayor Frank Guinta told a Town Hall meeting crowd in Dover, N.H.

“When I was mayor, I had the charter. The first thing I would say is, ‘Is this a responsibility of city government?’,” Guinta said. “If it’s not, ‘Why are we doing it?’ If it is, ‘Are we doing it as effectively as we possibly can?’ That’s a very simple rule that I think legislators get away from.”

Guinta, a candidate for Congress in New Hampshire’s First District, carries a copy of the U.S. Constitution and The Federalist Papers around on his iPhone. He said members of Congress must read and respect their charter as the law of the land. If a bill is constitutional, representatives have a responsibility to make sure government is working as effectively as possible. If a bill is unconstitutional, Congress should immediately dismiss it, he said.

During the Town Hall meeting, Dover-area residents asked Guinta about the constitutionality of a national education curriculum and about the Obama-Pelosi-Reid plan to force citizens to buy health care.

Guinta noted that the constitution does not allow Congress to pass laws about what children are taught in school, and it doesn’t permit government to force people to buy a product, such as health insurance coverage. But as a father seeking the privilege of a public position, the congressional candidate would advocate for a traditional education that honors the nation’s founding fathers and the country they built.

“I am very much in favor of making sure that anything I do as an elected official is within the confines of the responsibilities outlined in that charter,” he said.