Congressmen

Monty -

While your argument is rigourous, I doubt it will win out. First of all, I don’t see anyone seriously challenging the inviting of delegates to Congress from non-state territories. Second, the House has a pretty strong argument that delegates are not members of the House and therefore their presence does not violate the Constitution. Third, saying that the role delegates play in the House is unconstitutional would call into question the role of any staff member, lobbyist, contributor, or any other private citizen who is not a U.S. representative plays in the formulation of legislation and policy.

Monty -

While your argument is rigourous, I doubt it will win out. First of all, I don’t see anyone seriously challenging the inviting of delegates to Congress from non-state territories. Second, the House has a pretty strong argument that delegates are not members of the House and therefore their presence does not violate the Constitution. Third, saying that the role delegates play in the House is unconstitutional would call into question the role of any staff member, lobbyist, contributor, or any other private citizen who is not a U.S. representative plays in the formulation of legislation and policy.

Monty -

While your argument is rigourous, I doubt it will win out. First of all, I don’t see anyone seriously challenging the inviting of delegates to Congress from non-state territories. Second, the House has a pretty strong argument that delegates are not members of the House and therefore their presence does not violate the Constitution. Third, saying that the role delegates play in the House is unconstitutional would call into question the role of any staff member, lobbyist, contributor, or any other private citizen who is not a U.S. representative plays in the formulation of legislation and policy.

acsenray -

I heard you the first time. :wink:

Anyway, those other individual you mention aren’t granted votes in committees of the Congress. So long as the delegates get paid by the people of the territories for which they’re delegates, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. But, again IINM, they’re paid from the federal tax rolls. Of course, if they’re voting, even in committee, they’re taking on the role of a Representative or Senator.

Any argument that the delegates aren’t, in practice, members of the House or Senate isn’t really looking at what they do. After all, the delegates get to ponti…er, participate in debates on the floor, don’t they?

Also, the privileges granted the territorial delegates are provided solely by internal House Rules. Earlier in the 90s they were expanded, then contracted again – their prerrogatives are more “courtesies” than rights.

The original statute that created the Resident Commissioner’s post made him out to be sort of an elected über-lobbyist/intergovernment liaison that would be in charge of speaking for PR before any part of the Federal Government and finding out what’s up that affects us – even to the point of “presenting credentials” at the State Department, like diplomats do. It said nothing about sitting in Congress. House Rules were adopted some years after that, granting the RC the ability to sit and speak in the floor of the House and be a member of the committees, as the most efficient way to perform his function before Congress.

What with all the territories having gone on since to electing their own chief executives, usually associated to one of the mainland parties, who can budget for expensive DC lobbyists and in most cases have created “Federal Affairs Offices” that respond directly to them to handle exec-to-exec relations, the situation arises where the only place the delegates still really have work, is the US House of Representatives. The exception: the “Resident Representative” of the Northern Mariana Islands Commonwealth, who was NOT extended recognition by the House as a delegate upon creation c. 1980, and has retained much of the “ambassadorial” role of liaising with the executive branch.

While we could do that, we don’t. For example, in November I’ll vote for Rep. John Larson and State Rep. Andy Fleischmann. If I said Congressman John Larson and Representative Andy Fleischmann it’d just be confusing. Of note, every state has State Senators, even Nebraska, which has a unicameral legislature, but in the 49 lower houses there are Representatives, Assemblymen and Delegates.

You don’t. I’ve worked in both the Connecticut House and the Massachusetts House, and in both places, we routinely referred to the members of the (state) house as representatives. If we were talking about Federal representatives, we often used the term “Congressman” to avoid confusion.