Lincoln Chafee on Government Reform
Former Republican Senator (RI, 1999-2007)
LAFFEY: Alito served for 15 years at the federal bench and did a great job. After looking at his record and watching him testify, I certainly would have approved him. The difference between Chafee and I on this issue is: 1) he has a litmus test for Supreme Court justices. I look at their character. Iíll look at their independence. Iíll look at their law school.. And 2) Chafee made himself completely irrelevant in the process. He was the 99th senator to make up his mind.
CHAFEE: I carefully followed the judiciary committee hearings to see how Alito answered some of these questions important to me and to the country, and then conferred with many experts of the interpretation of those answers in that committee. I think Iíve been vindicated. In the last vote on executive powers, Alito was in the expansion of those powers and on the commerce clause as it relates to the Clean Water Act and a Michigan case heard by the Supreme Court.
For example, I am a big fan of McDonald's. What about the kids working behind the counter? Would they be considered registered lobbyists because McDonald's has lobbyists? Would I not be able to go to lunch with my longtime friend who owns 12 McDonald's?
EXCERPTS OF BILL:
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs; Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar No. 369; never came to a vote.
The federal government must reduce its size and scope, and cede certain federally operated policies and services to the states and private sector that are better equipped to handle them. One way to accomplish this would be to limit growth of government spending at or even below the inflation rate. Long-term economic growth is dependent upon sustained federal discipline. We believe this is the time to carefully assess both our domestic discretionary and our military commitments. In both areas, we face a potential fiscal imbalance between our program commitments and our available resources. Perhaps neither the Congress nor the American people fully appreciate the impact of budget decisions in these areas. We owe it to the nation and its future to undertake an honest dialogue regarding the implications of these decisions on the state, local and private sectors.
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