Justin Amash Explains Keystone XL Vote, Shows Why He Should Be CLONED


Simply put, we need more legislators like Rep. 

Justin Amash (R-Mich.). Yes, he leans libertarian, which means a hell of a lot to me. He's serious about reducing the size, scope, and spending of the federal government. Hooray for all that.

But far more important, he is serious about governing and principled in his votes. Which he explains EVERY SINGLE TIME. 

None of this means he can't compromise or play well with others. It does means he's exactly the sort of person you want in charge of passing laws and regulations and policies.

I don't believe in government funding of science, but I might make an exception if it was a project to identify what's special in Amash and to clone the hell out of him.

Here's his explanation of his vote regarding The Keystone XL pipeline. He thinks there's no reason the pipeline shouldn't be built and that Obama's years-long dilly-dallying is pure politics. He also thinks it's wrong for Congress to write legislation to specifically benefit one private company and minimize eminent domain concerns.

Which is exactly right. If we can't yet clone him, here's hoping we can at least clone his commitment to principle, communication with voters, and simple courage to follow through on his campaign promises.

Here's his pipeline vote explainer. You can read it and all his votes on his Facebook page.

I voted present on H R 3, Northern Route Approval Act. The Keystone XL pipeline is a private project owned by TransCanada Corporation. This bill improperly exempts TransCanada Corporation—and no other company—from laws that require pipeline owners and operators to obtain certain government permits and approvals.

I support construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and holding it up for over four years (with no end in sight) for political reasons is wrong. It's improper, however, for Congress to write a bill that names and benefits one private project, while doing nothing to address the underlying problems that allowed such delays to occur. The Constitution gives Congress the power "to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations," but the Rule of Law requires that legislation be of general, not specific, applicability. A proper bill would address the circumstances that allow *any* such project to be held up for political reasons, not just Keystone XL.

As F.A. Hayek explained in The Constitution of Liberty: "It is because the lawgiver does not know the particular cases to which his rules will apply, and it is because the judge who applies them has no choice in drawing the conclusions that follow from the existing body of rules and the particular facts of the case, that it can be said that laws and not men rule. Because the rule is laid down in ignorance of the particular case and no man's will decides the coercion used to enforce it, the law is not arbitrary. This, however, is true only if by 'law' we mean the general rules that apply equally to everybody. This generality is probably the most important aspect of that attribute of law which we have called its 'abstractness.' As a true law should not name any particulars, so it should especially not single out any specific persons or group of persons."

My commitment to my constituents when I took office was that I may vote present on legislation in three extremely rare circumstances (this is the 12th present vote out of nearly two thousand votes in Congress): (1) when I could otherwise support the legislation, but the legislation uses improper means to achieve its ends, e.g., singling out a specific person or group for special treatment; (2) when Representatives have not been given a reasonable amount of time to consider the legislation; or (3) when I have a conflict of interest, such as a personal or financial interest in the legislation—a circumstance that hasn't happened yet and I don't anticipate happening.

H R 3 uses improper means to accomplish its laudable goal by singling out TransCanada Corporation and its Keystone XL pipeline for special treatment.

It passed 241-175-1.

Related: Justin Amash talks to Reason about Debt, Immigration, Abortion, and More.

Also: 3 Reasons to Build the Keystone XL Pipeline