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Never Too Old to Learn

Story ID:3087
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Lakewood Ohio USA
Year:2007
Person:Suzana
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I am probably the first to criticize Congress- saying they have a lot of perks -
the best health care, generous vacations, handsome salaries, etc. etc. and
then do as little work as possible!

Well, I was duly humbled when I checked into the aspects of an e-mail I
received re Immigration Bill S1348. I had to say that I gained some new healthy
respect for our legislators. IF they are conscientious about doing their "home
work," they probably deserve their pay and benefits.

This bill (1348) had to address many immigration issues, but when I started to
puruse it --I found at least 15 subtitles and over 150 SECTIONS. Wow, I thought.
Just looking at this table of contents made my head spin. I can see why our
Congresspeople need aides to help them sift through copious pages of bill verbiage
to make sense of the nuances of a bill. Shouldn't we find a way to "cut up" large
bills into smaller, easier manageable ones?

I thought I would share with any Our Echo readers who might be interested in
this because I received an e-mail re a part of Bill S1348. (At this juncture I had
to go back and find out whether it was a Senate or House version.) The e-mail
just referred it as Bill 1348 but when they mentioned the voting which was clearly
senate members, I should have surmised that it was a Senate Bill.

The e-mail in question stated that on June 6, 2007 --33 Senators voted against an
amendment to Immigration Bill 1348 WHICH WOULD MAKE ENGLISH AMERICA'S
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE. Well, this was probably on the news and I had forgotten.
But I wanted to make sure that it was credible. Imagine - almost 1/3 of the Senate
body didn't think English should be the official language of the US! I wonder what
our Founding Fathers would have thought. They were the ones who put everything
on the line- including their lives for this fledging new country.

THOMAS was the site where I was directed and I had to scroll way down to Sec. 765
entitled - English as National Language. Okay, this was part of S1348 --so now where
do I go to find the voting results? Probably the Congressional Record. Finally I clicked
onto June 6, 2007 of the CR but I didn't find any voting record for that day. Maybe it
occurred on another day. By now I am too tired to search further, so I will believe and
hope that the e-mail is credible re the vote.

Per the e-mail, these are the Senators who opposed the amendment making English
the officical language:

31 Democrats --Okaka, Bayh, Biden, Bingaman, Boxer, Cantwell, Clinton, Dayton, Dodd,
Durbin, Feingold, Feinstein, Harkin, Inouve, Kennedy, Kerry, Kohl, Lautenberg, Leahy,
Levin, Lieberman, Menendez, Mikulski, Murray, Obama, Reed, Reid, Salagar, Sarbanes,
Schumer, Stabenow (The sender notes that there are 4 presidential candidates among
them)

1 Republican - Domenici (He feels he cast this vote to try to save his seat)

1 Independent - Jeffords

You may find your Senator among these. You may be happy and you may not be. But
the important thing is for us to know all that we can re the people we send to Congress
or the people we want to make president. I find that I have been wholly inadequate in
the past in making these judgments. I am glad that because of the internet I am finding
information which at leasts makes me more knowledgeable. I am only sorry that
I can't share the e-mail with you which I received listing all the presidential candidates and
their views on Iraq, immigration, stem cell research, etc. I found the site illuminating.

Of course, these candidates will be whittled down to two. I still don't know the process,
but feel that most of us are completely out of the loop in this regard.