In the South Carolina House Thursday Democrats continued to attack the resolution that would endorse state sovereignty. The House passed a similar resolution last year. The Senate passed its own version this month. A time limitation was invoked for addressing amendments to the resolution–three minutes for and against each amendment. Apparently in order to use more speaking time, Democrats began speaking against their own amendments.
Richland Representative James Smith held the podium for much of Thursday’s session, calling the resolution a waste of time that should be spent on pressing issues like the budget.
(Smith on states’ rights MP3 2:31)
Smith served in Afghanistan as a member of the National Guard.
Smith was referring to Spartanburg Senator Lee Bright. Bright said it was disapointing that Smith would use such a personal attack as to say that he(Bright) is not a patriot. On the point of Americans rising up in civil obedience if necessary, Bright said that patriots are supposed to protect the country, but said that he does not think that the U.S. is at a point where it’s necessary for citizens to rise up against the federal government. He questioned that, in his pursuit of rights, if Martin Luther King. Jr. was not actually guilty of treason, as any Americans who would be brought to a point of civil disobedience. Bright said that the health care plan is an erosion of rights since it would penalize those who don’t purchase health care, for the first time in U.S. history.
(Bright on Smith’s comments MP3 2:01)
The resolution already draws attention to four amendments of the U.S. Constitution. Amendments from Smith attempted to add more Constitutional Amendments to the those being honored, such as the First Amendment, which calls for freedom of religion.
Greenville Republican Eric Beddingfield spoke against an amendment by Democrat Ken Kennedy of Williamsburg County. “I rise before you today, simply to say that everyone of these amendments are a delay tactic,” said Beddingfield. “They’re trying to get away from the vote on the original bill and I move to table the amendment.”
All the amendments submitted Thursday were tabled. The House adjorned debate Thursday. They won’t meet again until Tuesday.