Rep. Matheny: Is It Time For A Bilateral Session Of Congress? - And Response (2)

Thursday, October 10, 2013 - by Rep. Judd Matheny

In today's extraordinary Washington DC gridlock, what is the answer?  What can Tennesseans do to help break the log jam and set a leadership example for the nation? 

Do we need better communication between the state and federal systems of government?  Will better communication lead to a more responsive system that will lead to more accountability and protection of our besieged rights?  I believe the answer is a resounding yes.  Better communication and accountability always lead to positive conclusions.  Along this line of thought I would like to float an idea to my fellow citizens of Tennessee, regardless of party affiliation. 

How would you feel about Tennessee hosting a Bilateral Session of Congress?  The concept is simple.  Our Tennessee House and Senate members meet with our nine U.S. Representatives and two U.S. Senators in a public meeting to discuss the relevant issues facing us all.  This dialogue will leave both levels of government with a clear understanding of each other's needs and actions while rebuilding public confidence.

The issues we discuss could include everything from education, environment, healthcare, transportation, homeland security and probably the most critical of our time-state's rights and the liberties of individual citizens.  As you are painfully aware, our freedoms and sovereign powers are consistently infringed upon and threatened by massive overspending, voluminous Executive Orders and the whims of unelected boards and commissions.  Add to that the flagrant Constitutional violations of runaway federal agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service and the United States Department of Justice to name just two.   

I am not proposing we convene a half-hearted meeting with mediocre attendance or a private event just for the politically elite.  I believe we need one that is clearly deliberate and mandated by Tennessee's government leaders and citizens.

The Bilateral Session would be professional, bound by civilized rules and intended from the outset to be a productive relationship builder.  We would let those involved directly and indirectly know that we take the participation in such a meeting very seriously. 

According to the Tennessee State Archives, there has never been such a meeting in our 227 years.  Although our Republic’s problems face  many obstacles, one can’t help but imagine what possibilities are out  there if our state and federal levels begin overtly working in unison.

Tennesseans have the power, need, time and resources to easily accomplish a Bilateral Session in the very near future and make it an annual exercise in good government.  As a State of Tennessee legislator myself, I would reap great benefits from a comprehensive meeting such as this. Let your state and federal legislators know what your thoughts are on this idea.  If enough of us want to see this happen, then it will.  Every day we let pass is critical, as no one is going to reverse the trajectory of this country except the collective voices of the citizenry to its state, then the collective voices of the states to the federal government. 

* * * 

Stop grasping at straws and wasting time and money. Seriously, wouldn't it be easier for grown men and women to just act like adults instead of kindergarteners? Wouldn't it be easier to stop letting the extreme right-wing (in the minority) act as though they are the majority? Wouldn't it be easier to set aside hatred of the President and the Affordable Care Act? Wouldn't it be easier to compromise with the other side in order to get meaningful legislation passed?  

Would it be easier to do these things or would it be easier to seek actual gainful employment after your next election?  

Herb Montgomery
Chattanooga 

 * * * 

Herb,
If I read your comments correctly, it sounds like you think one side of the aisle should just cave-in and go along with the other side of the aisle.  It seems to me that one side has put forth several opportunities to fund necessary parts of our vast bureaucracy, and the other side has refused to vote on it.  I believe the phrase “dead on arrival” is their favorite talking point. 

Personally, I would be okay with the House caving on a solution that funded every useless part of the government machine except for the Department of Education.  I have never really understood why we needed a branch of the federal government dictating education mandates to local government.  It might not be a big reduction in government, but it would at least be a start. 

Department of the Interior could be the next target. 

Robert Harvey
Chattanooga


Hall Tax Reduction Is Right For Tennessee

In a move to make Tennessee more economically competitive and give relief to state of Tennessee taxpayers, the General Assembly passed major tax reform legislation this year by reducing the state’s Hall income tax and establishing a timeline for full repeal.  While Tennessee is always included in the list of nine states with no income tax, we often see an asterisk by our ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden In May

Back when we were kids this day’s battle cry was, “Hooray, hooray for the First of May! Outdoor swimming starts today! With temperatures in the high 80s and we dive in to a new month, our monthly walk in a garden heavy with spring time pollen looks promising … AN ORCHID for the movie “Rocky” on its 40 th anniversary: “Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t ... (click for more)

Grocery, Retail, Parking Lots, Multi-Family Proposed To Build Out Lifestyle Way Near Hamilton Place

A grocery store, restaurants, much additional retail, large parking areas, and apartments are planned for 62 acres of the Lifestyle Way development near Hamilton Place Mall. The project by developers Ken and Byron Defoor has long been in the works, and previously has featured an Embassy Suites Hotel and a Mellow Mushroom and office near Shallowford Road long with some retail ... (click for more)

Expansion By Developers Of McCallie Commons Would Raze 3 Old Houses On Oak Street

Developers of the McCallie Commons student housing at McCallie and Central are wanting to expand the project, but it would involve tearing down three old homes on Oak Street. The proposal from developer David Hudson would be an expansion of the four-story apartment building and separate parking garage with 300 parking spaces proposed that was approved earlier. The original ... (click for more)

Slegers, Lookouts Shutout Biscuits Sunday, 1-0

Less than 24 hours after steamrolling the Lookouts 12-0 on Saturday night, the Biscuits bats were silenced by Aaron Slegers (2-1), as the 6'10" right-hander shutout the Biscuits 1-0 on Sunday afternoon in Chattanooga.   Slegers eight inning performance was his longest in 11 career Double-A starts and was the longest outing by a Lookouts pitcher this year.  The right-hander ... (click for more)

Baylor Baseball Complex Dedicated to the Etters and Wyatt McMahan

It was the summer of 1961 and a 10-year-old boy and a college grad were starting their baseball journey – a journey which would eventually connect them for decades to come. While Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris were chasing the ghost of Babe Ruth and the then home run record of 60 round trippers, Wyatt McMahan was in his first year in Joe Engel’s Knothole League in White Oak ... (click for more)