What Republicans must do to restore good government

Since there remain very few civics classes in primary or secondary education, most Americans lack even the most basic understanding of our system of government.

Hillsdale.org points to a National Assessment of Education Progress report:

Just 23 percent of American eighth-graders are proficient in civics[.] ... That figure falls to nine percent and 12 percent for African American and Hispanic students, respectively. Eighth graders fare even worse in U.S. history, with just 18 percent scoring proficient on the most recent administration of the test. 

This civic illiteracy carries over into the adult years. The Annenberg Public Policy Center has found that just two in five Americans can name all three branches of government; one in five cannot name a single branch.

This is disturbing, especially in times where our federal government is seeking to control every aspect of our daily lives — where we can live, pray, and work; whether we can be forced to wear face masks or take an unproven "vaccine"; and what we can say in public or online.  Every one of our rights as Americans are under attack.

Even our right to vote in free and fair elections has been subverted.  Good news — 57% of likely voters suspect cheating in the 2020 elections.

As patriots, we may feel that the situation is hopeless.  To avoid catastrophe, we need to work to share the news of the excesses of the current administration and support all efforts of the Republicans in the House of Representatives to bring the corruption, unfairness, and dishonesty of the Executive Branch to light.

There are two problems.  First, the Republican hold on the House is tenuous at best.  The Republicans have 222 seats, and Democrats have 212, with one seat vacant.  There is a concerted effort to unseat New York's George Santos, possibly leaving the GOP with 221 members.

Second, any investigations done by the House can be effectively ignored by the Biden administration, including subpoenas for documents and demands for testimony.  If the House holds a witness in contempt, the administration can simply direct the Department of Justice to ignore the citation or tie everything up in court.

Mark Levin, from Fox News, has advocated one possible path to the truth, using the "inherent contempt power" of the House to actually arrest and detain a witness or government official until the documents are provided or the testimony is taken.

Cornell University explains:

Contempt of Congress is when an individual intentionally interferes with Congressional action. Congress has the power to restrain such individuals from interfering with its actions. It is a form of contempt, similar to contempt of court… although the Federal Constitution does not explicitly provide for Congressional power to hold individuals in contempt, such power is considered implied because without it, Congress could not effectively carry out its duties. ...

The U.S. Supreme Court in Watkins v. United States confirmed Congressional power to issue subpoenas, stating that all citizens have a duty to "cooperate with the Congress in its efforts to obtain the facts needed for intelligent legislative action," and that they must "respond to subpoenas [and] testify." ...

2 U.S.C. § 192 states that any person who is summoned before Congress who "willfully makes default, or who, having appeared, refuses to answer any question pertinent to the question under inquiry" shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and may be subject to a fine and imprisonment if convicted.

The matter under Congressional investigation, however, must be a subject over which Congress has legislative power before an uncooperative witness may be convicted of contempt."

According to the Government Publishing Office,

To supplement this inherent power, Congress in 1857 adopted an alternative statutory contempt procedure. Sec. 2, infra. Thus, the House may either (1) certify a recalcitrant witness to the appropriate United States Attorney for possible indictment under this statute or (2) exercise its inherent power to commit for contempt by detaining the witness in the custody of the Sergeant-at-Arms.

Option #1 is unlikely since the Biden administration controls the Department of Justice and U.S. attorneys.  Getting the entire GOP side of the House to vote together is also problematic because there will always be a few House RINOs willing to jump ship and avoid voting for a contempt citation.
But without successful action by the GOP-held Congress, the entire House will become irrelevant.
There's another interesting avenue that hasn't received much attention.  As often is the case, the Democrats, in their never-ending quest to grab power, have opened the door.
Remember the Democrat House Ways and Means Committee's efforts to embarrass President Trump by seeking his personal tax returns?  Just prior to turning over the House to the Republicans, the Democrats won a Supreme Court case that released his personal and business returns.  The information was leaked in record time.

CNBC summarized the story:

Federal law mandates that the Treasury Department and IRS deliver income tax returns when Ways and Means, or two other congressional committees that have oversight over tax issues, request them. But then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who was appointed by Trump, refused to comply with the request for his tax returns, saying that the committee lacked a legitimate legislative purpose. The committee then sued to force Treasury to turn over the returns.

After President Joe Biden, a Democrat, defeated Trump in the 2020 election, committee Chairman Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., renewed his request for the tax returns… [and] said that the committee, in addition to reviewing how tax laws apply to presidents, also would review potential conflicts of interest by a president.

The Treasury Department in mid-2021 said it would release the returns. …

Trump then countersued to block the returns from being turned over. ...

On Dec. 14, Washington federal court Judge Trevor McFadden ruled against Trump, saying the committee had a right to the returns. "A long line of Supreme Court cases requires great deference to facially valid congressional inquiries. ... "The committee need only state a valid legislative purpose," McFadden wrote. "It has done so."

The Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

So what will prevent the GOP-led House Way and Means Committee from demanding the Bidens' tax returns?  The Democrats opened the door.

If these subpoenas and legal requests by the GOP fail, their upcoming investigations and hearings may be the only leverage the House will have to expose the Biden corruption, dereliction of duty, and wrongdoing to the American public.  It is essential that these hearings be conducted quickly and carefully.  This cannot be perceived as payback from a disgruntled GOP, but investigations into issues that matter to everyday Americans.  They must be presented succinctly in a way that everyone can readily understand.

The House needs to conduct hearings into the causes of inflation and high energy prices, deaths from fentanyl, the harm caused by our wide open southern border, illegal activities by the DOJ and FBI, rampant inner-city crime, China corruption and economic warfare, and the origins of COVID and deaths from the vaccine, along with getting to the bottom of election loopholes that have led to rampant fraud.

As patriots, we will need to share the results of these hearings far and wide and explain to our clueless liberal friends why a balanced governmental system protects us all.

Jack Gleason is a conservative political writer.  For reprint requests on other websites, inside information for important issues, article requests, or comments, contact him at jackgleason9@protonmail.com.  Recent articles: https://www.americanthinker.com/author/jackgleason/ and https://canadafreepress.com/members/1/JackGleason/1249.

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