Congress Ethical Violations
There are very few members of Congress who have been charged withthe violation of ethics, house rules, or the federal laws. In therecent years, Rep. Charles Rangel is one of the members of Congresswho has been charged with the violation of ethical standards set inthe house. The 80-year-old veteran politician was convicted of 12counts of ethical violations in 2010 by the full House ethicscommittee (Kocieniewskinov, 2012). He was accused of soliciting orreceiving things of value that would affect the delivery of hisgovernment duties. Further, Charles was charged with using isfranking powers for the benefit of a charitable organization, whichis a violation of postal services law. It is also clear from researchthat the representative faced charges relating to the use of Houseresources such as books and employees for work related to Rangelcenter. He equally used the House letterhead for work related to theRangel center, and this was viewed as a violation of ethics. Inaddition, the Congressman was accused of using rent-stabilizedapartments for his campaigns and also lying about his income to evadetaxes from the Dominican Villa.
After the House committee had found Mr. Rangel guilty of thesecharges, the appropriate punishment arrived at was a censure.However, some representatives argued that the penalty was severeconsidering the violations that Mr. Rangel was accused of. Most ofthe former representatives who were given censure punishments werelargely charged with sexual offenses (Kocieniewskinov, 2012).However, censure is a less severe punishment than expulsion butharsher than a reprimand. Censure is a formal rebuke of unethicalactions by a member of Congress who stands in the “Well.” Thereis no concrete consequence of a censure apart from the shame that themember receives. However, this might have devastating effectsespecially on members who are seeking re-election.
Reasons why I agree with the verdict and the censure punishment
I totally agree with the verdict of the committee and the punishmentby the House. There is no doubt that Mr. Charles has agreed to thecharges and therefore, there are no questions regarding the verdictthe committee arrived at the right verdict. The abuse of officeprivileges and powers for personal gain is an unethical andunacceptable behavior. Furthermore, the representative failed to paytaxes to the government and used low-rent apartments for hiscampaigns. There is sufficient evidence that the long-servingrepresentative solicited for funds from donors to build a school inhis name using his office (Kocieniewskinov, 2012). It was alsoprudent for the House to punish Charles considering that the publicwas fast losing trust with the House over dealing with errantmembers. The verdict seemed to have little impact on the reputationof Charles since he was re-elected. Having witnessed such as an eventin the House, it is clear that I have lost much trust with members ofthe Congress. According to the numerous counts that the member wasaccused of, I expected a severe punishment such expulsion andprosecution by the federal government. It appears that the membersare lenient to each other and they overlook many ethical standards.
Failure by third-party candidates to win the presidentialelections
In the history of the United States, there has never been a thirdparty candidate winning the presidential election. American has cometo be known as the two-party system country due to the dominance ofthe Republican and the Democratic parties. The closest that a thirdparty candidate ever came to winning the presidential election was in1992 when Ross Perot of the Reform party got 18.9% of the popularvotes with 0 electoral votes. There are primary political reasons whythird parties can hardly win the presidential elections in the U.S.Most of the third parties tend to have very few supporters, and theynormally get dissolved soon after the elections. Parties such asConstitutional Union, Southern Democrat, and Whig-American were alldissolved after losing their respective elections. In other words,these parties hardly take the time to blossom owing to the lack ofresources and support from well-wishers (Green, 2012). The twolargest parties steal the ideas and visions of the small thirdparties and convince their supporters with them. This leaves thethird parties without any ideas to offer to the potential voters. Ithas also been argued that the nature of Congress where members areelected from districts with only one member with the highest numberof votes affects the progress of third parties and their consequentpotential to win the presidential elections. Prominent politiciansalign themselves with the two big parties to make sure that they winmembership into the Congress.
Impacts of third party win on the Republican and the DemocraticParties.
Both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party have ruled theUnited States since the 1800s. Nobody imagines a third party winningthe presidential election. However, if such a third party win everoccurs, there is no doubt that the two major parties will besignificantly affected. Research has shown that the small thirdparties tend to face issues head-on without fearing therepercussions. Issues such as slavery have always been avoided by theDemocrats and the Republicans (Green, 2012). The third party wouldcall upon the Democrats and the Republicans to demonstrate theirpositions on such issues. Further, the popularity of the two largestparties would significantly reduce. This would be the beginning of athree party system for of elections in America. Many members fromthese two major parties would shift their allegiance to join theruling party. Political analysts opine that the two primary partieswould support each other in questioning the third party government.
Current Issue facing U.S. today
Immigration of illegal people in the U.S. is one of the major issuesthat the country is dealing with. After the inauguration of PresidentTrump, the issue of illegal immigrants became apparent after hesigned various executive order barring immigrants from entering theUnited States. Further, some immigrants from Muslim countries such asSudan and Somalia were banned from entering the United States(Hessick & Chin, 2017). According to authorities, illegalimmigrants are a threat to the security of the United States, andthey deny local Americans jobs. The building of the wall along theMexican border by the Trump administration is aimed at stoppingillegal immigrants from Mexico.
Role of the federal government and the state authorities onimmigration
The federal and state governments have a role to play in regards toimmigrants. The federal government has the ultimate power todetermine the legality of the immigrants into the U.S. Howeverstates have the constitutional power to restrict immigrants intotheir territories. They can cite reasons such as criminals, drugtraffickers or former prisoners. Further, the Congress is tasked withthe responsibility of legislating and providing laws that govern thelegality or illegality of immigrants (Hessick & Chin, 2017).Immigration offices are given the powers by the constitution toimplement the laws passed by Congress or to apply executive orderspertaining to immigration. For example, an executive order byPresident Trump to deport illegal immigrants can be implemented bythe authorities without question. The U.S constitution, under ArticleI, Section 8, clause 4 has given the Congress powers over thedocumentation of immigrants. To this extent, the federal and stateresponses to the issue of immigration are limited to the decisionsmade by the Congress. Any implementation by the federal or the stategovernments must be passed by the Congress.
Green, D. J. (2012). Third-party matters: Politics,presidents, and third parties in American history.Santa Barbara, Calif: Praeger.
Hessick, C. B., & Chin, G. J. (2017). Strange neighbors:The role of states in immigration policy. New York: New York University Press.
Kocieniewskinov, D. (2012). House Panel Finds Rangel Guilty. TheNew York Times. Retrieved from:http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/17/nyregion/17rangel.html