Rep. Rich Jarvis, R-Meridian, pitched a resolution to House members Thursday calling on the federal government to pay off the national debt, balance the federal budget, and limit the activities of certain foreign entities within the borders of the United States, among other things.
House members voted 50-17 to approve the resolution on a party line vote, with Republicans supporting it and Democrats opposing it. The resolution now heads to the Senate.
The Jarvis resolution focused on seven main points:
Congress should adopt a balanced budget.
The public debt of the United States should be paid within 55 years.
There should be transparency in all affairs of government and all bills proposed by Congress should be posted for five days before being voted upon.
The English language should be the official language for the U.S. government and no business, government, or individual should suffer a penalty for requiring the use of the English language.
Foreign entities and courts, including the United Nations, should not have authority over activities within the United States.
Congress should prevent government ownership of private sector enterprises.
References to “God” shall be welcome in the public domain.
Jarvis said the debt situation in the United States is urgent and needs to have the foremost attention of federally elected officials. He noted that the U.S. would be required to pay$40 trillion to pay off the debt within 55 years at a 6 percent interest rate, but that figure is legitimate if Congress stops adding to the debt. Jarvis said that according to projections, Congress is expected to double the debt within 15 years.
Rep. Branden Durst, D-Boise, said the resolution is "like trying to pick your favorite child" because there are certain provisions contained in the text that he agrees with, but there are some that he isn't fond of. Durst said that the rhetoric of Jarvis' bill was concerning because he believes it to be divisive in a country that is supposed to be united.
Rep. Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise, echoed Durst's sentiments, saying that he likes many of the provisions in the bill, but said some of them don't go far enough. Burgoyne said he would like to see term limit language included in the bill, as well as wording providing support
"We are one nation," said Burgoyne. He urged lawmakers to vote against the resolution due to the English-only language because he feels it is also divisive. He told lawmakers he feels that the English-only language would do much harm to those immigrants coming to this country to gain citizenship by denying the federal government the ability to deal with immigrants in their own language.
"I also believe that we are also one nation, under God, indivisible," said Burgoyne.
"One language unites," said Rep. Pete Nielsen, R-Mountain Home. Nielsen said that his grandfather taught him English as a way to unite him and his family with the culture of America.
Rep. Lenore Hardy Barrett, R-Challis, requested a roll call vote, which is typically not held on resolutions. Rep. Mike Moyle, R-Star, acting as speaker of the House, granted Barrett's request.
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