How the House could stop Obamacare

In a previous entry, I said I didn’t blame Boehner for acknowledging that Obamacare is now law and that there’s nothing to be done about it. A reader shows how that is not true.

James R. writes:

On Obamacare, technically the House could refuse to fund it. Constitutionally, all spending originates in the House, and they could refuse to pass any measure funding Obamacare’s provisions, or its enforcement upon states and individuals.

Of course, it would be very bold for them to even try such a thing. They would need spines of steel to maintain that position if they did attempt it. It would be unprecedented to do something like that on such a major piece of legislation (it’s been done before on small things that are not of high profile, generally by Democrats). But we live in unprecedented times, do we not?

They are a branch of Government; they too took an oath (which none of them have taken seriously for decades, but they still take it) to uphold the Constitution. It’s not an oath “to uphold Supreme Court decisions.” Originally, all branches of government were meant to be vigilant in insuring the Constitution was followed, and they were separate branches, not in order that only one of them (the Courts, say) would insure the Constitution was followed, so that each would insure the Constitution was followed, providing safeguards against the other branches.

(Of course it did not stop there: the States and people were also intended to be vigilant in insuring the Constitution was followed, and are no more obligated to submit to, obey, or enforce unconstitutional federal measures than a soldier is required to follow an unlawful order).

But, of course, the odds that the Republican Congress will do such a thing are so small that they’re not worth talking about on the level of practical politics. But we need to point out that they could do this, and it is a sign of how far things have fallen that it will not even be considered, and “the people” would not support them in sufficient numbers to provide steel to their backbone if they tried.

As for immigration, Obama should be impeached and convicted for his illegal, unconstitutional executive orders (not just the one on immigration, but the entire flurry of such executive orders issued to motivate his base in the months before the election). But, of course, that will not happen either.

LA replies:

James R. is correct. Obamacare is grossly unconstitutional, and the House should refuse to fund it. James excuses Boehner for yielding to the political reality that there would not be enough popular support for such an extreme stand by the House. Well, reversing my previous excuse-making for Boehner, I say that that is no excuse. A proper Republican House leadership would declare: “Obamacare is a monstrous act of tyranny, and we will do everything we can to stop it from coming into effect.”

LA continues:

Also, Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute argues that “Obamacare is still vulnerable.” If the states refuse to set up insurance exchanges, and if they refuse to implement Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, “Congress will have no choice but to reopen Obamacare. With a GOP-controlled House, opponents will be in a much stronger position than they were when this harmful law was enacted.”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 09, 2012 02:40 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):