Republicans push bills through House
With Democrats in the minority, the GOP’s measures were passed with little or no debate.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
RICHMOND — In addition to meat-and-potatoes tasks such as trying to fix Virginia’s decaying transportation system, the state House of Delegates has found time to opine on national and international — some would say esoteric — topics.
Near the end of a marathon, nearly 12-hour session Monday, the House’s Republican super majority pushed through a series of declarative resolutions sure to please the GOP’s most conservative adherents.
The chamber’s minority Democrats could only look on helplessly as the measures sailed to passage on largely party-line votes with little or no debate.
Del. Scott Lingamfelter’s House Joint Resolution 654 takes aim at Agenda 21, a nonbinding plan for worldwide sustainable development adopted at a United Nations conference 20 years ago. The resolution brands Agenda 21 a “radical plan” that threatens “infringement on the American way of life and individual freedoms and ability to erode American sovereignty.”
Lingamfelter, R-Prince William County, is seeking the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor.
Agenda 21 has become a popular target for many on the right including talk-show host Glenn Beck, who has published a fictional book under that title. In the book, all citizens are confined to ubiquitous concrete cubicles; food, water and energy are strictly rationed; and babies are taken from their mothers at birth.
The House also OK’d Lingamfelter’s House Joint Resolution 653, asserting states’ rights under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution “in the face of a continuing assault on the rights of the people” by the federal government.
In addition, the chamber embraced Del. Bob Marshall’s measure (House Joint Resolution 590) authorizing a $17,440 study of whether Virginia should establish a “metallic-based” alternative currency in case the Federal Reserve system sustains a major meltdown.
But not all of the measures sailed through.
Marshall’s measure (House Bill 2340) aimed at undermining proposed new federal gun-control laws, which reached the House floor 10 days ago, appeared about to die a quiet death.
The bill would bar state agencies and employees from assisting federal authorities in enforcing any new restrictions on gun ownership or private sales.
Over the objections of Marshall, R-Prince William County, the measure was shunted to the Appropriations Committee by the House leadership, presumably for examination of its potential fiscal impact.
But that committee had no more meetings scheduled before Tuesday’s deadline for House action on House bills.
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