My Letter to Senator Heller
This past week, Senate Republicans were not able to garner the necessary votes to pass a health bill intended to repeal and replace The Affordable Healthcare Act (“Obamacare”). Republicans could only afford to lose two senators from among their ranks if they hoped to pass a bill without support from Democratic senators within the Senate. Any tie vote would, predictably, be awarded to Republicans since the President of the Senate is the Vice President of the United States (Mike Pence, Republican). More than two Republican senators defected and many more were teetering toward a ‘No’ vote. The Senate postponed a vote on the bill as a result.
I’m posting here a letter I emailed to Senator Dean. A Heller of Nevada. He, among others, were quite vocal in criticizing the bill. This is news because Senator Heller is a Republican from a State that supported President Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election. In addition, Senator Heller has now been targeted by negative advertisement by a PAC (Political Action Committee) under the auspices of the Trump Campaign.
On the other hand, Senator Heller has been working closely with his State’s Republican Governor, who endorses the senator’s stance on this issue. The dispute between ‘party’ bosses and popularly elected State leaders is the impetus behind this letter.
Hon. Dean A. Heller:
I am not from the State of Nevada and I’m also not of your party affiliation. I am, however, a citizen of the United States and proud that you are working hand-in-hand with your State’s governor to represent the people of Nevada.
There are antagonistic (governmental) relationships within the federal system placed there by the nation’s framers. The goal of such political instruments is not unknown to you- to keep power from coalescing in one place. While your current stance on the Health Care (repeal) Bill has enraged top members of your political party, the framers never intended them to be the focus of your devotion. Passage of the 17th amendment was not a rebuke of the framers’ intent to maintain a tight relationship between a federal officer (Senator) and his State. What that amendment intended to do, among other things, was to give the Senator a flexibility to consider national conditions while looking-out for the needs of his State’s constituency. You and Governor Sandoval were popularly elected by the people of Nevada. Thus, the electorate have, via the ballot, asked that you and the governor work as a team, within our federal system, to represent the people of Nevada.
Often, I get the feeling that our elected officials don’t understand where their loyalty should lie. There is no mention of ‘Republican’ or ‘Democratic’ party in the Declaration of Independence and the original draft of the US Constitution (including the Bill of Rights). The founders had legitimate fears about such ‘party affiliations’; not the least of which is the side-tracking of congressional members coming from the States. Representatives and Senators were expected to take local needs and weave them into national policy via compromise with colleagues from other States. The process was never intended to subserve local mandates to a pseudo national cause represented by a political party platform.
I didn’t intend to make this message a civics lesson. I do, however, want to express my support for your stance as Senator representing the great State of Nevada.
Mr. Anthony Valentin