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National defense is the only mandatory function of the national government.
Most of the powers granted to Congress are permissive in nature. Congress is given certain authorities but not required by the Constitution to exercise them. For example, Article One, Section Eight gives Congress power to pass a bankruptcy code, but Congress actually did not enact bankruptcy laws until well into the 19th century.
But the Constitution does require the federal government to protect the nation. Article Four, Section Four states that the “United States shall guarantee to every State a republican form of government and shall protect each of them against invasion.” In other words, even if the federal government chose to exercise no other power, it must, under the Constitution, provide for the common defense.
WASHINGTON (CN) - The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology shied away Wednesday from pledging tax money to track down and deflect "city-killer" asteroids, but called for international and private help during a hearing on giant space rocks.
"Congratulations," Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Colo., told B612 Foundation CEO Dr. Ed Lu, whose organization has been raising money to build a space-based telescope system that will orbit the sun, tracking city-killer asteroids that aren't detectable by NASA and Earth-bound amateur astronomers.
"In our first hearing we learned that of the estimated 20,000 asteroids that could be labeled as city-killers, we have identified only 10 percent," said Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R- Texas. "And we are unlikely to have the means to detect them until 2030."
But, Smith said, "In these fiscally challenging times, [the government and private sector] can't afford duplication or the inefficient use of our recourses. The more we discuss and understand the challenges we face, the easier it will be to facilitate possible solutions."
Originally posted by defcon5
reply to post by Wrabbit2000