Smith: Uphold the Right of the People to Govern
Congressman Smith's remarks on the floor of the House of Representatives on the Continuity in Representation Act:
"I support the Continuity in Representation Act of 2004.
"This legislation preserves the right of the people of the United States to elect their own Representatives, even after a deadly attack. One of the cornerstones of our Constitution is the right of the people to govern themselves through elected representation. This right should be upheld and, in fact, continued.
"The Continuity in Representation Act provides for the expedited special election of new Members if more than 100 House seats are vacant. This is designed to address a situation in which our country is attacked, and significant numbers of Members of Congress are killed.
"In the wake of such an attack on our country, Americans must be assured that their government is legitimate. And, citizens need to believe that actions undertaken by the Congress in a time of disaster or war are also legitimate. By allowing for election of representatives - rather than appointment - Americans can be reassured that our government is continuing to function in a truly representative fashion.
"We must prepare for the possibility of an attack on our country. I applaud Chairman Sensenbrenner for moving legislation that ensures our government would survive. It has been over two years since September 11. This issue must be addressed today in the democratic fashion."
Rep. Smith is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and the Select Committee on Homeland Security..