ObamaCare funding still in place in new budget?

posted at 2:55 pm on February 21, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

During CPAC, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) told me that all of the funding mechanisms for ObamaCare were maintained in the continuing resolution produced by House Republicans over the weekend.  Later, King teamed up with other Republicans to pass an amendment that stripped out discretionary funds for implementation of the health-care law, but he tells CNS News Friday that the bill didn’t touch the mandatory funding mechanisms at all:

King, in an interview with CNSNews.com, said that because his colleagues did not allow him to offer an amendment to stop a slew of automatic spending programs created by the health care reform package, some provisions of the law will continue to operate.

“That’s true,” King said of the untouched spending. “There are multiple places written into the ObamaCare legislation that automatically appropriate, dozens of places.”

While the House passed amendments from King and Reps. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) and Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) to strip the government of the discretionary funding needed to implement the law’s insurance mandate and other regulations, they did not allow King to offer an amendment shutting off a combined $105.5 billion in automatic spending authorized by ObamaCare itself.

The problem is that House rules prevent statutory changes through budget bills.  Since ObamaCare has already been signed into law, King’s amendment would have to change the law to reverse the mandatory spending.  The rule prevents members from slipping changes in statutes into must-pass budget bills, as well as protect entitlement programs like ObamaCare.  King knew about the restriction but offered the amendment on the floor in order to serve notice of the funding mechanisms remaining for ObamaCare.  Unless the Rules Committee wanted to set a new precedent — one that might haunt the GOP when they return to the minority — House leadership had little choice in the matter.

But that may change in the next big showdown with Barack Obama and the Democrats in the Senate.  The House has to consider a debt-ceiling hike, and one of the demands they may make is to strike those mandatory-spending mechanisms:

However, King said that he and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) are now “working together” to find a way to cut off this automatic funding.

“They’re [GOP leaders] looking for a good vehicle and good timing and I’m looking,” King said. “We’re working together in a common way to get there and I’ve said that I believe that we need to put my language onto every appropriations bill all the way through the 112th Congress and I’m still of that opinion.”

“The debt ceiling is another good place for leverage,” said King. “There’s been a suggestion just to – with limited constraints – bring a debt ceiling bill and put the complete repeal of ObamaCare right on it.”

Unlike the budget, debt-ceiling legislation is statutory and does not have the same restriction on amendments.  King should be able to get a floor vote on his amendment during the debate and pass the change along to the Senate.  It may or may not survive there; no Democrat voted to repeal ObamaCare when they had the chance earlier this month, but it’s possible that the debt-ceiling issue will pressure some of the vulnerable red-state Democrats into changing their minds when the time comes.  That will force Obama to issue a veto to stop Republicans from dismantling his signature legislation and suffer the inability to borrow funds in the short term as a result, or to sign it and doom ObamaCare entirely.


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A clause prohibiting one congress from allocating the funds of the next congress would have been handy in the Constitution.

Count to 10 on February 21, 2011 at 2:58 PM

keep the pressure up. we need fighters and men of principle willing to take a stand more than ever.

search4truth on February 21, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Pass the meaningless bills that voters demanded have teeth, claim victory, spend spend spend. I for one am happy with the performance of the Democrats (R).

astonerii on February 21, 2011 at 2:59 PM

A clause prohibiting one congress from allocating the funds of the next congress would have been handy in the Constitution.

Count to 10 on February 21, 2011 at 2:58 PM

When democrats want to make a change, they always trot out the line that one congress cannot legally bind a subsequent congress. I am sure this applies here as well.

Vashta.Nerada on February 21, 2011 at 3:02 PM

It’s great that we have opened up two fronts. While the union goons are bogged down on the frozen plains of Wisconsin, the rest of our troops can storm the beaches of the Potomac.

pedestrian on February 21, 2011 at 3:04 PM

The problem is that House rules prevent statutory changes through budget bills. Since ObamaCare has already been signed into law, King’s amendment would have to change the law to reverse the mandatory spending.

Except that Obamacare itself was a budget bill – the budget reconciliation of the prior fiscal year’s budget. It was not a stand-alone statutory enactment, like Dodd-Frank.

Can’t the House, in its current budget and under its current rules, alter a prior budget bill?

Wethal on February 21, 2011 at 3:06 PM

So the house can’t stop funding a bill that has been declared unconstitutional, and the Obama administration continues to implement that bill.

Skandia Recluse on February 21, 2011 at 3:08 PM

I don’t care what “mechanism” they use, or how it’s accomplished, just make dam* sure it (Obumblecare) never receives the first farking dime.

Tim Zank on February 21, 2011 at 3:13 PM

UGH!!

canopfor on February 21, 2011 at 3:15 PM

So what, it`s not as easy as snapping our fingers?

ThePrez on February 21, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Put your boot on it’s neck and shoot it twice in the side o’ the head. Then shoot it again.

Akzed on February 21, 2011 at 3:24 PM

We need more Steve Kings…

steebo77 on February 21, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Has there been any news on the judge in FL ruling yet? I haven’t seen anything about it. bho and team are going to drag this out as long as possible and even if the SC rules it is unconstitutaional, those slugs probably won’t abide by the ruling.
L

letget on February 21, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Appreciate King’s efforts, but am skeptical of sincerity of others.

Done That on February 21, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Akzed on February 21, 2011 at 3:24 PM

excellent
:)

cmsinaz on February 21, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Unless the Rules Committee wanted to set a new precedent — one that might haunt the GOP when they return to the minority — House leadership had little choice in the matter.

The Libs already set a new precedent when they used reconciliation to hijack 1/6 of the American economy with Obamacare, why the hell is our party so damn weak and gutless?

GAAAAHHH.

Enough of these leverage games, just jam it down their throats and make a stand, I’d rather a complete overhaul of the tax code be attached to raising the debt ceiling as leverage, not yet another war over Obamacare.

Daemonocracy on February 21, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Has there been any news on the judge in FL ruling yet? I haven’t seen anything about it. bho and team are going to drag this out as long as possible and even if the SC rules it is unconstitutaional, those slugs probably won’t abide by the ruling.
L

letget on February 21, 2011 at 3:31 PM

The DOJ has asked the judge to “clarify” his order striking down the law. “Do the states still have to follow the law you’ve found unconstitutional?”

Gabe Malor had a good post on this at AOSHQ, and why the DOJ does not want to ask for a formal stay.

Wethal on February 21, 2011 at 3:49 PM

How can this be interpreted as anything other than the GOP/Whig “Leadership” is NOT serious about repeal?

Sounds like the BIG GOV lovers in the GOP want to grow their power and influence……..Who woulda thunk it?

PappyD61 on February 21, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Why are Republicans funding an unconstitutional program?

RJL on February 21, 2011 at 4:07 PM

I wonder if any of the 23 Dem Senators up for re-election in 2012 actually want to get re-relected or if they are willing to die on this hill. Because whether it happens now or in 2012 Obamacare is going to be repealed. If they don’t cooperate with the American public now on this the American voting public will vote in people who will. The unpleasantness of allowing this to go on for two more years will fall squarely on the shoulders of the Democrats.

CCRWM on February 21, 2011 at 4:07 PM

I wonder if any of the 23 Dem Senators up for re-election in 2012 actually want to get re-relected or if they are willing to die on this hill….

CCRWM on February 21, 2011 at 4:07 PM

What is going to help us out this next two years is that those democratics willing to sacrifice themselves will realize that the alternative, -working in the Bamster’s administration after 2012, is quickly becoming much less likely.

slickwillie2001 on February 21, 2011 at 4:23 PM

I am finally realizing the point that some academics made years ago (I don’t have time to find the link) that the USA is too big to givern.

My girlfriend is losing her house. My friends and neighbors here in south Louisiana are losing their jobs. Just because an elected dictatot shut down offshore drilling and took their jobs away – in an ARBITRARY AND CAPRICIOUS manner.

(cf. Bobby Jindal)

A federal judge in New Orleans first found his “moratorium” illegal, then Obama silently declared a “permitorium.”

Whatever the meaning of the word “IS,” is, American oil is not being drilled in the Gulf!

The judge then found Obama in CONTEMPT.

NO ONE IS DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

This is the act of a tyrant.

Obama is a tyrant. There is no question about it. He rules ARBITRARILY and CAPRICIOUSLY.

He is dividing our country, and punishing those he does not like.

The reason the country is too large is that, were it smaller, my friends and neighbors and I could go to the White House and DRAG HIS BUTT OUT and tar and feather him for being a G-D TYRANT.

The pot is boiling, folks.

The south Louisiana economy is CRATERING, and my girlfriend can’t sell her house, due to lack of buyers, due to an ILLEGAL ACT by an (illegal?) president!

cane_loader on February 21, 2011 at 4:39 PM

cane_loader on February 21, 2011 at 4:39 PM

I don’t necessarily think that this country is too big to govern…we just have to have an educated electorate, not one that is voting “to get free stuff from the gov’t”. We can survive the tyrant and I believe with all my heart that economies that have been ruined by President Dumbo (or ones he’s trying to ruin) will recover…we just need to elect a business friendly President in 2012. If we get 4 more years of this Marxist, the US may not survive.

search4truth on February 21, 2011 at 4:51 PM

They are building a budget to fund a law that has been ruled unconstitutional by a fed judge. No one should be moving forward on that law, either the states or the congress. Find something else to waste our money on.

Kissmygrits on February 21, 2011 at 6:08 PM

UGH!!

canopfor on February 21, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Hey, have you signed up yet on Boss Emeritus’ site? Get going! We need you there too. :-)

sicoit on February 21, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Appreciate King’s efforts, but am skeptical of sincerity of others.

Done That on February 21, 2011 at 3:32 PM

The solution is to send a little note to the reticent member and remind them that even though you don’t live in their district, you will be glad to send money to their opponent, be it in the primary or the general election, if they forget why they were elected.

belad on February 21, 2011 at 8:14 PM