"Members of the Senate and members of the House have the opportunity under the Constitution to debate items that are sent to them and to modify items that are sent to them. To force them to vote just yes or know with no debate, not to follow the rules of the House, which permits amendments, not to follow the rules of the Senate, which permits a filibuster, is such a substantial removal of the authority the Constitution gave them that this legislation is treading in waters that might not be constitutional."
However, Napolitano raised another ? and unassailable ? objection to the legislation. Napolitano noted: "This is this Congress binding itself and all future Congresses to a simple up-or-down vote." In that sense, the new "Super Congress" joint committee is truly revolutionary, and unquestionably unconstitutional. Under the Constitution, no Congress can bind a subsequent Congress with rules of procedure, which is why one of the first acts of every new Congress after an election is for the House and Senate to separately approve new rules. One of the new rules the post-Tea Party Republican House adopted in January (and broken with adoption of the debt deal) included a rule pledging to post the full text of bills on-line at least 72 hours before a floor vote.