Welcome to THE SPEAKER'S WORD: The Official Journal of the eUSA Congress.
Dateline: Wednesday, March 7th, 2018 (Day 3760)
Location: 123rd eUS Congress
Editor: dmjohnston, Speaker of the House
Greetings, eAmerica. This month marks my 7th term as the Speaker of the House. In my tenure as a Congressman, a Deputy Speaker, a Speaker, and a Congressional Librarian, one thing I have noticed is that many of our citizens, and even some of our Congressmen, do not have a strong understanding of the laws under which we operate here in the eUS. To alleviate this, I will be discussing the Constitution and Code of the eUS in a series of articles, beginning in this article with a primer on the eUS Constitution.
With less than 400 words, the eUS Constitution is not an extensive document. It serves as the cornerstone for the way our government operates, but allows the Code to do the heavy lifting. It is simple in its approach at outlining the basic operational structure of our government in a mere four articles.
We begin with the definition of the two portions of our government: the Executive and Congress. The Constitution mandates that these two branches “conduct themselves based on how they and the Code define their internal and external procedures.” This single statement establishes the Code of the eUS as the law of the land, providing the specific procedures to be followed by each branch, as well as allowing these branches to self-govern their processes.
Our second article tackles what the framers likely considered to be the three most important aspects of Congress:
1. “Congress shall organize itself as it sees fit.” No line of the Constitution is quoted quite as often as this one. It serves as the basis for virtually any decision made by Congress to alter its existing processes.
2. Congress is responsible for the money of our nation, with input from the Executive. All funding approvals must come through Congress.
3. In the situation where the eUS is wiped from the map and denied an in-game Congress, a “shadow Congress” shall be established to maintain continuity of order and maintain control of the money.
SCI, or the Select Committee on Intelligence, is the approval path for much of the spending that occurs in the eUS. Some have called into question how this approach adheres to the second point described here, from Article II, section 2.
While the SCI is staffed by the President, it is filled with Congressmen and Congress shall organize itself as it sees fit, meaning that the establishment of SCI as a funding channel for classified needs was an expression of Article II, section 1, and therefore adheres to the Constitutional principles outlined here. We will explore this in more depth in a later article.
Roughly half of this article was made obsolete by the elimination of the United States Armed Forces, but the phrasing remains as there is no necessity to remove it.
The remaining portions of the text that are important to understand establish some key responsibilities of the Executive. The first is that all programs not explicitly controlled by Congress or the Military are Executive programs. While Congress approves funding for said programs, the operation of the programs is an Executive mandate.
Congress can establish new programs, which are passed to the Executive for adminstration upon approval of the Speaker. The most recent occurrence of this type of program creation was the Operation Retread Program, which was closed after three months without being transitioned to the Executive.
The other important power granted by this section allows the President to make proposals to Congress “which fall under his responsibilities as head of state, chief diplomat, Commander-in-Chief, and eUSA country president.” This typically refers to Mutual Protection Pacts, Wars, Natural Enemy proposals, etc. These proposals generally occur in Private Congressional Proceedings and do not follow the same protocol as normal proposals before going to a vote.
Section 5 of Article III was added during the time of the Defensive Dictatorship, wherein the eUS used the newly introduced dictator mechanic to actively prevent any attempt of a foreign coup. When the eRepublik admins introduced maintenance costs for the dictatorship, Congress voted to strike this portion of the Constitution and eliminated the various laws that described its operation.
This final article describes the organization of the official military of the eUS. As we no longer have an official military unit, it is now defunct. The referenced appendix, which mandated certain reporting in order to receive funding from Congress, was repealed in February 2017 to make it easier for various military units to receive funding from Congress in situations where it may be prudent, without the undue requirements of the Amendment, which was designed to apply to official units and avoid repeats of historical drama.
While the Code of the eUS requires a simple majority vote to alter, the Constitution requires a ⅔ majority. The simple principles outlined in this document were intended to serve as the basis for all the rest of our laws, so an understanding of them is vital to an understanding of the our Government as a whole
What are your questions about our Constitution? Feel free to ask in the comments, or in the Congressional Library, where you can read more of our laws!