Quotes of the Day

posted at 8:30 pm on June 30, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

“(T)he government’s tax power theory is far more radical than the Commerce and Necessary and Proper Clause theory precisely because the Supreme Court has generally deferred to any invocation of the tax power to raise revenue to spend for the general welfare. This normal deference is why the mandate’s defenders shifted the argument from the Commerce Clause to the tax power. Yet if its theory is accepted, Congress would be able to penalize or mandate any activity by anyone in the country, provided it limited the sanction to a fine enforced by the Internal Revenue Service.

This is a congressional power unknown and unheard of before 2010. It would effectively grant Congress a general police power. And we know what existing doctrine says about such a power: ‘The Constitution . . . withhold[s] from Congress a plenary police power that would authorize enactment of every type of legislation.’ Such has been the Supreme Court’s position from the Founding until today.”

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“My guess is that my constituents would appreciate another vote,” Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) said.

The House GOP already voted to repeal President Obama’s healthcare overhaul as one of its first acts in 2011. But in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the law, party leaders plan to do so again on July 11.

“Obviously we all understand that it’s a statement of principle and it doesn’t have any chance in the Senate, but I think it’s appropriate,” Rep. Charlie Bass (R-N.H.) said Friday.

***

I’m in the swamp. A line in a bill that says “PPACA is repealed” would have budgetary effects and a CBO score. Over the last two years I’ve talked to plenty of Republicans who have experience with reconciliation, and they do not think this is an impossible mission. CBO, as Lizza notes, has in the past found Obamacare to be a money-saver for the government, but it may not so find it in 2013. Even if it does, a reconciliation bill could just find a small amount of offsetting savings to make a repeal bill deficit-reducing and thus, under the current rules, eligible for reconciliation.

I don’t think Lizza is right about the individual mandate, either, assuming that individual items in Obamacare had to be repealed one by one. The Supreme Court just said the bill has a tax on being uninsured rather than a mandate. Taxes can be changed through reconciliation.

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Republicans are so upset because one of the basic pillars of the “Obama illegitimacy” canard is that he is operating outside the parameters of the constitution, that he is the point of the shiv aimed at the heart of America.

As the conservative radio host Neal Boortz put it in a Twitter message following the ruling: “I am so sick to death of calling the play-by-play of the destruction of this great country by power-hungry Democrats and the moocher class.”

This ruling has supposedly energized the Republican base. Maybe, but it’s been supporting the repeal of the health care act since it was passed. What’s new? Republicans say that the court called the mandate a tax although Obama had insisted that it wasn’t. True, but I’m not sure that has legs outside the Grover Norquist-no-tax echo chamber.

***
ObamaCare will preclude people from having the health care that they like. We have seen this law increase costs, and we are committed to changing that. We are committed to making sure that we can return to patient-based health care in this country, where we can keep costs low, and we can increase access. And that’s why when we return the week of July 9th, I have scheduled a vote for total repeal of the ObamaCare bill to occur on Wednesday, July 11th.



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