Republicans Want Feds To Give Local Governments More Power, Except…
When it comes to federal programs to educate children, protect people from pollution, provide medical care, and promote equality, Republicans object strongly, saying that state and local governments ought to have the freedom to deal with those matters as they choose. They say it’s a matter of principle, a core part of Republican Party philosophy to support local power…
…except when local governments want to do something that Republicans don’t like. When local and state governments started working to give equal marriage rights to heterosexual and homosexual couples, for example, Republicans started pushing for federal laws to make such local actions impossible.
This week, GOP hypocrisy on local government power showed its face again, but this time on the issue of immigration. The elected leaders of some local governments have chosen to fight crime and public health problems by placing a higher priority on those issues than on the punishment of violation of immigration regulations. So, for example, if people report crimes, or believe that they have a communicable disease, these city governments have laws that enable them to deal first with those problems, without having to first go through bureaucratic paperwork gathering information about people’s citizenship status.
The Republican Party opposes this kind of local anti-crime, pro-health law. So, it’s trying to force local governments to place another layer of bureaucracy between citizens and local services. This week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3009, legislation introduced by Duncan Hunter that enforces unfunded mandates that force local governments to demand people’s citizenship status before they can respond to calls for assistance from local law enforcement and public health agencies. Unless local governments pass the kind of laws on this subject that Republicans in federal government approve of, H.R. 3009 will take away funding for programs totally unrelated to immigration.
Whether you agree with the aim of that particular policy or not, it’s clear that, in this instance, the Republican Party is happy to use the power of the federal government to tell local governments how to run their own communities. All but 5 Republican members of the House of representatives voted in favor of H.R. 3009.
If Republicans are willing to use the power of federal government federal government to tell local governments what to do when it comes to immigration policy, how come they’re not willing to use the power of federal government to improve education, protect us from pollution, provide us with needed medication, and enforce the Fourteenth Amendment’s requirement of equality under the law?