Skip to comments.Defunding: the Framers' remedy for presidential lawlessness
Posted on 07/31/2013 12:03:24 PM PDT by neverdem
Two weeks ago, the House Appropriations Committee stripped the scandal ridden Internal Revenue Service of nearly one quarter of its 2014 budget as punishment for its targeting of political groups and its costly boondoggles.
Shockingly, Senate Democrats voted to increase the IRS budget.
Last week, numerous Republicans in both chambers of Congress threatened to cut off all funding for the federal government as of Oct. 1, in response to President Obamas unconstitutional stance that he can pick and choose which parts of ObamaCare he will implement.
On July 3, the Obama administration disclosed that it would not implement ObamaCares employer mandate on Jan. 1, 2014, though the law says the mandate shall go into effect that day. The administration pretended it was no big deal.
But it violates the law and affects 10 million currently uninsured or underinsured workers whose employers would have been subject to the mandate. The cost of insuring these workers is shifted from employers to taxpayers, who foot the bill for subsidized insurance on the new ObamaCare exchanges. At an average cost of $5,290 per subsidized enrollee, according to the Congressional Budget Office, this will add billions to the cost of ObamaCare next year alone.
Two days later, another whopper. On July 5, the Obama administration revealed that it would also skip the health laws requirement that applicants seeking taxpayer subsidies to pay for their insurance have their income and insurance eligibility verified. Welcome fraudsters; too bad again for taxpayers.
Obama does not have the authority to choose which parts of the law are enforced. In 1975, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously against President Nixons inflated claims that he could selectively carry out the law.
But going to court to keep presidents in line is slow and necessitates finding litigants to sue the president. The framers gave Congress a more practical way to resist a power-hungry president: defunding.
Defunding is precisely what members of Congress are supposed to do when a president breaks the law. Its checks and balances in action. Two centuries ago, the chief architect of the Constitution James Madison declared in Federalist No. 58 that Congress authority over spending is the most complete and effectual tool to stop a president from grabbing more power than the Constitution allows.
Utah Sen. Mike Lee is taking a page out of Madisons playbook. On July 17, Lee urged Congress to vote against any continuing resolution to fund the federal government after Sept. 30 as long as it funds ObamaCare.
Laws are supposed to be made by Congress, not (by) the president, who has now amended ObamaCare twice, once by saying individuals have to comply with the law during their first year but employers dont, then in saying we arent even going to require people to prove their income.
Lee said that if the administration is not prepared to fully enforce ObamaCare as enacted, it should agree to delay the entire law and remove its funding from the budget. Eleven fellow Republican senators and at least 60 Republican House members have signed on to Lees defunding stance.
Lees constitutional case is air tight. Yet the Democratic Party and Obamas supporters in the media are trying to label the defunding strategy government sabotage, radicalism, and obstructionism. They need a refresher course on the Constitution.
Sadly, some Republicans are whining about the political consequences if Obama calls their bluff and allows the government to run out of money.
Theyre going to shut down the Grand Canyon, Arizona Sen. John McCain warned, and hell hear about it from unhappy voters.
Several senators who originally signed on with Lee saw the political risk, lost their nerve, and removed their names. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., even called withholding funding the dumbest idea Ive ever heard.
There is nothing dumb about protecting the Constitution. Members of Congress took an oath to uphold it. If not now, when?
The more times this president is permitted to trample the Constitution, the more freedom weve lost.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York state and author of Beating ObamaCare.
And every unanswered outrage is set-in-stone precedent for future outrage.
I actually look forward to the next RNC fund raising call.
Only the hubris coming out of DC (starring johnny mccombover)could close the Grand Canyon.
It a hole in the ground for God's sake. How can it be shut down?
With the Treasury still spending money despite having reached the debt limit, what makes anyone think that “law” will stop this Administration?