Congress Quotes / Quotations 

Famous Quotes and Quotations about Congress

Congress Quotes 1-50 out of 186
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A question arises whether all the powers of government, legislative, executive, and judicial, shall be left in this body? I think a people cannot be long free, nor ever happy, whose government is in one Assembly.
more John Adams quotes
There never was yet a people who must not have somebody or something to represent the dignity of the state.
more John Adams quotes
I have accepted a seat in the House of Representatives, and thereby have consented to my own ruin, to your ruin, and to the ruin of our children. I give you this warning that you may prepare your mind for your fate.
more John Adams quotes
All the public business in Congress now connects itself with intrigues, and there is great danger that the whole government will degenerate into a struggle of cabals.
more John Quincy Adams quotes
And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press,  or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; or to raise standing armies, unless necessary for the defense of the United States, or of some one or more of them; or to prevent the people from petitioning, in a peaceable and orderly manner, the federal legislature, for a redress of grievances; or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons, papers or possessions.
more Samuel Adams quotes
The said constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.
more Samuel Adams quotes
He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man...The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people.
more Samuel Adams quotes
We now have so many regulations that everyone is guilty of some violation.
more Donald Alexander quotes
Congress is continually appointing fact-finding committees, when what we really need are some fact-facing committees.
more Roger Allen quotes
We are not to consider ourselves, while here, as at church or school, to listen to the harangues of speculative piety; we are here to talk of the political interests committed to our charge.
more Fisher Ames quotes
If the legislature clearly misinterprets a Constitutional provision, the frequent repetition of the wrong will not create a right.
more Amos v. Mosley quotes
A democratic despotism is like a theocracy: it assumes its own correctness.
more Walter Bagehot quotes
Can any of you seriously say the Bill of Rights could get through Congress today? It wouldn't even get out of committee.
more F. Lee Bailey quotes
What right does Congress have to go around making laws just because they deem it necessary?
more Mayor Marion Barry quotes
Taxation with representation ain't so hot either.
more Gerald Barzan quotes
Under our form of government, the legislature is not supreme ... like other departments of government, it can only exercise such powers as have been delegated to it, and when it steps beyond that boundary, its acts, like those of the most humble magistrate in the state who transcends his jurisdiction, are utterly void.
more Billings v. Hall quotes
Bureaucracy is the epoxy that greases the wheels of progress.
more Dr. Jim Boren quotes
Every bureaucrat has a constitutional right to fuzzify, profundify and drivelate. It's a part of our freedom of speech...If people can understand what is being said in Washington, they might want to take over their own government again.
more Dr. Jim Boren quotes
When in charge, ponder... When in trouble, delegate... When in doubt, mumble.
more Dr. Jim Boren quotes
At the foundation of our civil liberties lies the principle that denies to government officials an exceptional position before the law and which subjects them to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen.
more Justice Louis D. Brandeis quotes
All lawful authority, legislative, and executive, originates from the people.
more James Burgh quotes
Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
more Edmund Burke quotes
[The war in Iraq is] a rare opportunity to move toward an historic period of cooperation. Out of these troubled times...a new world order can emerge.
more George Herbert Walker Bush quotes
Is it any wonder, why the approval ratings of the Congress go up every time we go into recess?
more Sen. Robert C. Byrd quotes
To maintain the ascendancy of the Constitution over the lawmaking majority is the great and essential point on which the success of the [American] system must depend; unless that ascendancy can be preserved, the necessary consequence must be that the laws will supersede the Constitution; and, finally, the will of the Executive, by influence of its patronage, will supersede the laws ...
more John C. Calhoun quotes
Any one of the strange laws we suffer is a compromise between a fad and a vested interest.
more Gilbert Keith Chesterton quotes
The federal criminal code currently includes more than 3,000 offenses and hardly a congressional session goes by without an attempt to add new sections.
more Stephen Chippendale quotes
The Act of Congress which we are impugning before you is communistic in its purposes and tendencies, and is defended here upon principles as communistic, socialistic - what shall I call them - populistic as ever have been addressed to any political assembly in the world.
more Joseph H. Choate quotes
While the people have property, arms in their hands, and only a spark of noble spirit, the most corrupt Congress must be mad to form any project of tyranny.
more Rev. Nicholas Collin quotes
It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.
more Calvin Coolidge quotes
Nothing is easier than spending public money. It does not appear to belong to anybody. The temptation is overwhelming to bestow it on somebody.
more Calvin Coolidge quotes
[A] possible further difficulty is cited, namely, that arising from the Constitutional provision that only Congress may declare war. This argument is countered with the contention that a treaty will override this barrier, let alone the fact that our participation in such police action as might be recommended by the international security organization need not necessarily be construed as war.
more Council on Foreign Relations quotes
Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American ... the unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.
more Tench Coxe quotes
The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army,  must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American ... the unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.
more Tench Coxe quotes
Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, of course, lays out the delegated, enumerated, and therefore limited powers of Congress. Only through a deliberate misreading of the general welfare and commerce clauses of the Constitution has the federal government been allowed to overreach its authority and extend its tendrils into every corner of civil society.
more Edward H. Crane quotes
We have rights, as individuals, to give as much of our own money as we please to charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of public money.
more Davy Crockett quotes
There ain't no ticks like poly-ticks. Bloodsuckers all.
more Davy Crockett quotes
We must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not attempt to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right as individuals to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money.
more Davy Crockett quotes
It is a seldom proffered argument as to the advantages of a free press that it has a major function in keeping the government itself informed as to what the government is doing.
more Walter Cronkite quotes
I have never seen more senators express discontent with their jobs. ... I think the major cause is that, deep down in our hearts, we have been accomplices to doing something terrible and unforgivable to this wonderful country. Deep down in our hearts, we know that we have bankrupted America and that we have given our children a legacy of bankruptcy. ... We have defrauded our country to get ourselves elected.
more John C. Danforth quotes
So low and hopeless are the finances of the United States, that, the year before last Congress was obliged to borrow money even, to pay the interest of the principal which we had borrowed before. This wretched resource of turning interest into principal, is the most humiliating and disgraceful measure that a nation could take, and approximates with rapidity to absolute ruin: Yet it is the inevitable and certain consequence of such a system as the existing Confederation.
more William Richardson Davie quotes
The electors see their representative not only as a legislator for the state but also as the natural protector of local interests in the legislature; indeed, they almost seem to think that he has a power of attorney to represent each constituent, and they trust him to be as eager in their private interests as in those of the country.
more Alexis de Tocqueville quotes
There is hardly a congressman prepared to go home until he has at least one speech printed and sent to his constituents, and he won't let anybody interrupt his harangue until he has made all his useful suggestions about the 24 states of the Union, and especially the district he represents.
more Alexis de Tocqueville quotes
There is one safeguard known generally to the wise, which is an advantage and security to all, but especially to democracies as against despots. What is it? Distrust.
more Demosthenes quotes
It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies.
more Justice William O. Douglas quotes
The First and Fourteenth Amendments say that Congress and the States shall make “no law” which abridges freedom of speech or of the press. In order to sanction a system of censorship I would have to say that “no law” does not mean what it says, that “no law” is qualified to mean “some” laws. I cannot take this step.
more William O. Douglas quotes
If Congress can determine what constitutes the general welfare and can appropriate money for its advancement, where is the limitation to carrying into execution whatever can be effected by money?
more William Drayton quotes
We will all be better citizens when voting records of our Congressmen are followed as carefully as scores of pro-football games.
more Lou Erickson quotes
Besides, to lay and collect internal taxes in this extensive country must require a great number of congressional ordinances, immediately operation upon the body of the people; these must continually interfere with the state laws and thereby produce disorder and general dissatisfaction till the one system of laws or the other, operating upon the same subjects, shall be abolished.
more Federal Farmer quotes
Legislators like pork because it helps them get reelected. They are interested in administrative details because long tenure promotes narrow specialization. The constituent service racket allows lawmakers to ignore big problems by fixing small ones. In becoming ombudsman -- glorified errand boys, -- incumbents build up enough good will for most to survive even a watershed year like 1992. By ending congressional careerism, term limits will encourage attention to larger legislative issues. By changing the understanding of the legislator's role, term limits are probably the most effective single reform that can be imposed on Congress. And imposed it will have to be: While great majorities of the American people support term limits, lawmakers oppose them in even larger proportions. With a career Congress, voters face a dilemma: They do not like paying taxes to Washington and hoping to get them back in the form of pork and entitlements, but as long as the system is rigged, it makes sense to vote for the incumbent to maximize your own take. Congressmen face a similar dilemma: Take the easy road to reelection or face the often difficult choices of balancing local and national interests. Take away the career mindset and both representatives and voters can make choices based on the merits of each case. ... In fact, one of the biggest benefits of non-professional legislators is that they would be unlikely to join with the bureaucrats and special interests in blowing smoke at the voters.
more Eric Felton quotes
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