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Amash answers questions in Town Hall at library

Justin Amash discusses national debt, adhering to the Constitution, and partisan issues on Tuesday, January 10, 2012
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Interesting Facts About The Constitution

The Constitution does not set forth requirements for the right to vote. As a result, at the outset of the Union, only male property-owners could vote. African Americans were not considered citizens and women were excluded from the electoral process. Native Americans were not given the right to vote until 1924.


There was initially a question as to how to address the President. The Senate proposed that he be addressed as “His Highness the President of the United States of America and Protector of their Liberties.” Both the House of Representatives and the Senate compromised on the use of “President of the United States.”


The word “democracy” does not appear once in the Constitution.


/Nick Manes

Roughly one hundred people gathered at the Grand Rapids Public Library for the Tuesday evening town hall meeting with US Representative, Justin Amash (R-Cascade Township).

During the hour long question-and-answer-style meeting, Amash discussed his first year in Congress where he prides himself on being present and active in all 948 floor votes. He gave an explanation of each vote posted to his Facebook page. Recently, Amash voted against the Debt Ceiling Compromise and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) because, he said, they are more like "political deals than compromises."

Amash estimates his independent/non-partisan vote to be "about 75% Republican." In regard to Congress, he would like to see an end to the partisan deadlock, finding that amongst Congress "the most principled are the least partisaned."

He believes the national debt, which is presently equal to the gross domestic product, should be a non-partisan issue as well as the main priority of Congress. He proposes that cuts need to made to such programs as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and defense spending. Amash criticizes the US defense support of European and Asian countries, claiming it allows these countries a larger budget for socialistic programs because they spend nothing on defense.

Standing for smaller government and strict adherence to the Constitution, Amash believes "what occurs in our daily lives and private lives" should be left to state and local government to decide. This includes such decisions as gay marriage, which should be "left to the states to decide," and education, which was the only topic he was challenged on this evening for which he argued that "education is not found in the Constitution."

Amongst the Amash supporters in attendance, there were comments of praise calling Amash "a true statesman" and even one inquiry about possible future considerations of running for President, because "a president should never sign a law that violates the Constitution."

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Thanks for the update Julie! Did Rep. Amash talk about his position on SOPA?

You're welcome, George!  Rep Amash voted against SOPA.  He sees it as a "threat to open internet."