United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- Congress, of course, doesn’t just pass legislation. According to the Constitution of the United States, it carries several other crucial powers. These powers are useful for Second Amendment supporters to understand – after all, we never know when we might have need of their proper use to protect our rights.
One of those powers, under Article I, is the impeachment of those holding offices in the executive branch and judicial branch. We’ve seen this happen twice in recent years. The House of Representatives can issue that impeachment with a majority vote. Once that takes place, the Senate then ends up holding a trial to determine whether or not the impeached official should be removed from office. The Senate can also disqualify a person from ever holding office again. Conviction in the Senate requires a two-thirds vote.
Moving along from that nuclear option among congressional powers, there is also confirmation.
That is one held by the Senate alone. When the president is picking his team, he doesn’t get carte blanche – the Senate has to confirm the appointees. While not unheard of, rejections can happen, like that of John Tower as Secretary of Defense in 1989, which led to the rise of Dick Cheney (Cheney did have a strong pro-Second Amendment record as a Representative).
Senate control can matter a lot here. When the Republicans controlled the Senate after the 2014 election, Mitch McConnell held the nomination of Merrick Garland up and enabled the replacement of Antonin Scalia with a pro-Second Amendment justice. From 2001 to 2003 and 2007 to 2009, Democrats bottled up George W. Bush’s judicial nominees when they had control.
Congress also has control over the funding of various agencies.
This also centers from Article I, which states in Section 9 that “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by law.”
This means that Congress can halt enforcement of certain laws by telling ATF it can’t spend money to say, re-define an AR-15 pistol with a shoulder brace as a short-barreled rifle. ATF’s “relief from disability” program has been placed on ice by a similar prohibition.
Coming with the spending power is oversight – Congress can call the people at the federal agencies (who ultimately work for we the people) to explain just what they are doing. All too often, this oversight has become toothless in terms of addressing abuses – see the lack of accountability over Operation Chokepoint or Operation Fast and Furious.
With Chuck Schumer as Senate Majority Leader, these powers will be wielded in an effort to unjustly punish us for crimes and acts of madness we did not commit. But we are not helpless. You can always contact your Representative and Senators to urge them to oppose anti-Second Amendment legislation and anti-Second Amendment extremists that will be nominated by Joe Biden to the courts and to executive branch positions. Then be sure to support the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action and Political Victory Fund to improve our odds in the next Congress and to ensure that the Biden-Harris regime is a one-term wonder.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.