Frank Bernheisel: The View From Here
Frank Bernheisel
Frank Bernheisel
Posted 09.21.13
Just Outside Washington


Dear Speaker Boehner,

Just to declare any potential conflicts; I was employed by the federal government as a student engineer for a summer and by the U.S. Army for two year. Also, I worked for a defense contractor in the 1960s.

The U.S. federal government is a $6 trillion enterprise that is supposed to be managed by the U.S. Congress and the President's administration. According to the Constitution, "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;". Further, the Constitution states the all bills to raise revenue must originate in the House of Representatives and historical custom has all appropriations bill also originating in the House.

As the Speaker of the House, you may be wondering why I have taken the time to spell out what should be self-evident. The reason is -- the House of Representatives is not performing its functions. Some specifics:

  • The U.S. Government fiscal year 2014 starts in twelve days. The house has not established the revenues and appropriations (budget) for the year.
  • The U.S. Government is on the verge of running out of money to pay its debts. Note: that the Constitution does not say Congress can pay the Debts if it feels like it.
  • The House of Representatives has not even reported for work half the time (113 scheduled session days in 2013). Fund raising and "work in District" do not qualify.
  • The House of Representatives has wasted what time it was in session in frivolous or grandstanding activities. Example: passing legislation which had no chance of becoming law 40 times.
At $6 trillion gross, the U.S. Government is 13 times larger than the world's largest corporation, WalMart. The Speaker of the House of Representative is one of three key elected managers under the Constitution for running this institution.

The action that the House of Representatives is proposing to take under your leadership is akin to deliberately running a corporation into bankruptcy. Your management performance is an abdication of responsibility under the Constitution and a violation of the oath you took.

I am appalled.