Insomnia Log

This is what keeps me awake at night???

Who needs sleep? (well you’re never gonna get it)
Who needs sleep? (tell me what’s that for)
Who needs sleep? (be happy with what you’re getting,
There’s a guy who’s been awake since the second world war)

-- words and music by Steven Page & Ed Robertson

Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States

Everything you need to know about me can be found in my posts

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Land of the Free Trade?

On Friday, the Colorado State Senate passed, on a strict party-line vote, a bill (HB06-1010) that would essentially give the state legislature veto power over international trade agreements. According to this bill, the state would not be bound to the procurement rules of any international trade agreement, unless approved by the governor and the legislature. 18 Democrats voted for this bill and 17 Republicans voted against it. It had previously been approved by the state house, and so it goes to Governor Owens for his signature (a veto is a real possibility). One other state (Maryland) passed a similar law last year, over their governor's veto, but there are not enough votes in Colorado to do the same if Owens nixes this.

On the basis of that vote, this is clearly a partisan issue. However, I'm not sure where this comes from. On the one hand every Republican voted against it. Yet, the bill clearly is asserting states rights, which is a core conservative ideal. Every Democrat voted for this bill. Yet, it is quite likely that our next President could be a Democrat and our next state legislature could be Republican, and this could easily come back to haunt them.

According to the US Constitution, the President has the authority to make treaties, with the approval of the US Senate. There is nothing in there about giving the states veto power over any aspect of this power. Our current and recent Presidents may have abused their constitutional authority in many ways, but this one seems clear to me. HB06-1010 is unconstitutional and should be vetoed. We should not waste any more taxpayer money on fighting this in court, which is where I assume it will be headed if passed.

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