Press finally shocked at government spending… in the House GOP’s Obamacare lawsuit

posted at 6:41 pm on August 26, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Fiscal profligacy has been a conservative concern of near paramount importance since the 110th Congress passed Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bailout funding – a development that many believe gave rise to the conservative insurgent movement which later became known as the tea party. Since then, tea party conservatives have been expressing deep concerns about the government spending ranging from the Affordable Care Act, to the Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to Defense Department procurement waste, to ballooning entitlement spending and liabilities, to the nation’s nearly $18 trillion in debt. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Furthermore, conservative groups have screamed at the top of their lungs about government waste and fraud, amounting to billions per year in poorly used taxpayer dollars. The Heritage Foundation has a helpful post which itemizes some of the most wasteful government programs, ranging from the $25 billion Washington spends on maintaining vacant federal buildings, to $2.4 billion used to provide the Pentagon with jets they will never use, to $2.6 million the U.S. government applied to a program aimed at “training Chinese prostitutes to drink more responsibly on the job.”

Most of these concerns were scoffed at and dismissed by the media when they weren’t ignored outright. Publicizing any of this waste is of little value to the public, the press apparently surmised. But when Republicans get it in their heads to enforce the separation of powers and put a Democratic president in a political bind by compelling him to administer all the provisions of a deeply unpopular law he championed, then all of the sudden the media finds itself incensed by the application of American tax dollars to such a frivolous cause.

“The House of Representatives will pay a law firm $500 an hour to represent them in their lawsuit against President Obama, a move that drew scorn from their Democratic counterparts,” CBS News reported on Tuesday.

According to a contract released by Rep. Candice Miller, R-Michigan, the chairwoman of the House Administration Committee, the House has retained the services of David Rivkin, a partner at the law firm Baker & Hostetler LLP. The contract authorizes a rate of $500 per hour for work as well as a cap of $350,000 on the litigation.

The House voted 225 to 201 in late July to proceed with the lawsuit, which alleges that the president overreached on his authority by unilaterally changing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The vote broke down along party lines, with the exception of five Republicans who voted against moving forward with the suit.

“House Republicans continue to waste time and taxpayer-dollars on a lawsuit against the President of the United States,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who fought for every dollar of new spending passed in the 111th Congress, said with a straight face.

At least we know the press is capable of expressing concern over wasteful spending given the right conditions. Who knows? If there is a Republican president and a GOP congress in 2017, maybe the media will wake to the reality that not every cent spent by the federal government is crucial to Americans’ wellbeing. Just don’t hold your breath.


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Finally shocked I tell you!!

Judge_Dredd on August 26, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Recovery and “reinvestment”. What a crock of dung!

Judge_Dredd on August 26, 2014 at 6:46 PM

when is the last time we had an actual signed budget?
is it still an issue of NOT having one or was one signed and I missed it?

dmacleo on August 26, 2014 at 6:51 PM

This lawsuit is a case of Boehner trying to look like he’s “doing something”. What he should be doing is using the House’s “power of the purse” instead.

With that said, the media’s (and especially Democrats’) complaints with this spending brings a certain word to mind. I believe that word is chutzpah.

Bitter Clinger on August 26, 2014 at 6:51 PM

For the government, that’s just a rounding error. They lose more than that in one day’s double billing.

RBMN on August 26, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Just like TARP stands for something, it is TEA Party. Taxed Enough Already

LoganSix on August 26, 2014 at 6:54 PM

The MSM “press” has become utterly useless. If they were horses they would have already been sent to the glue factory.

VorDaj on August 26, 2014 at 6:54 PM

Pelosi accusing someone of overspending is the equivalent DWS calling someone else ugly.

antipc on August 26, 2014 at 6:56 PM

Press finally shocked at government spending… in the House GOP’s Obamacare lawsuit

Perhaps Nancy Pelosi and the Press can see Harry Reid about some federally funded Cowboy Poetry to calm their minds.

RJL on August 26, 2014 at 6:59 PM

This law suit spending doesn’t buy a single vote or pay off a single crony; you can see why the Dems are concerned that its money wasted.

Dolce Far Niente on August 26, 2014 at 7:06 PM

This lawsuit is a case of Boehner trying to look like he’s “doing something”. What he should be doing is using the House’s “power of the purse” instead.

Bitter Clinger on August 26, 2014 at 6:51 PM

The lawsuit may be useful after Obama does his amnesty thing. The House can amend the suit to stop the amnesty and maybe even get an injunction while the case is being decided. If that happens Boehner will look pretty good.

Bill-Republic of Texas on August 26, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Ah, yes, the fine art of selective outrage.

Dan_NV on August 26, 2014 at 7:20 PM

I disagree, I think the outrage started with Bush’s drugs for Seniors program, before TARP.

Warner Todd Huston on August 26, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Evidently the whores are back in King Barack’s pocket.

GarandFan on August 26, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Furthermore, conservative groups have screamed at the top of their lungs about government waste and fraud, amounting to billions per year in poorly used taxpayer dollars. The Heritage Foundation has a helpful post which itemizes some of the most wasteful government programs, ranging from the $25 billion Washington spends on maintaining vacant federal buildings, to $2.4 billion used to provide the Pentagon with jets they will never use, to $2.6 million the U.S. government applied to a program aimed at “training Chinese prostitutes to drink more responsibly on the job.”

Most of these concerns were scoffed at and dismissed by the media when they weren’t ignored outright

Among my keen irritants is: life-long benefits/pensions/employment for failed employees and that includes members of Congress, regardless of party.

That people like Lerner and that main IRS guy in Congressional testimony can still be employed and expecting continued benefits/pensions/jobs/salaries/perks is a hideous abuse of taxpayer monies.

And the OBamacare website billions boondoggle, that’s a mobster’s dream realized right there.

Lourdes on August 26, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Press finally shocked at government spending… in the House GOP’s Obamacare lawsuit

And the reason why is because 90 percent of “the press” is still wagon-circled around Obamacare, trying to pretend it’s a good thing that “people want”.

Lourdes on August 26, 2014 at 7:50 PM

As a taxpayer that’s been completely RAPED by the unprecedented drunken spending of the Marxist DimocRats the last 5+ years, allow me to fly the big ‘ol bird to every Dim feigning outrage over the cost of the worthless lawsuit.

The amount of money the lawsuit is costing, the aforementioned DimocRats would happily spend, literally in a heartbeat, if it was being spent on illegal aliens or some green energy money laundering scheme.

Meople on August 26, 2014 at 9:20 PM

“House Republicans continue to waste time and taxpayer-dollars on a lawsuit against the President of the United States,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who fought for every dollar of new spending passed in the 111th Congress, said with a straight face.

That BoTox will do it every time…

Jeff2161 on August 26, 2014 at 9:25 PM

Suing the President doesn’t result in free stuff for freeloaders, ergo, its a waste of time and money.

BobMbx on August 26, 2014 at 9:28 PM

For a change, money well spent.

vnvet on August 26, 2014 at 9:28 PM

The House can amend the suit to stop the amnesty and maybe even get an injunction while the case is being decided. If that happens Boehner will look pretty good.

Bill-Republic of Texas on August 26, 2014 at 7:10 PM

You can’t unring the bell.

Humpty Dumpty and all that.

BobMbx on August 26, 2014 at 9:30 PM

The lawsuit may be useful after Obama does his amnesty thing. The House can amend the suit to stop the amnesty and maybe even get an injunction while the case is being decided. If that happens Boehner will look pretty good.

Bill-Republic of Texas on August 26, 2014 at 7:10 PM

Come on man, Boehnhead and the rest of the establishment GOP is all for amnesty. The only reason they might possibly object to Obama doing it via EO, is they can’t claim any of the “credit” for it.

Make no mistake, Boehner and the rest of the GOPe in Congress that have been bought by the chamber of cronyism, will gladly do amnesty, as long as they can claim some mythical, fantasy bump in the polls with hispanics and big business.

Meople on August 26, 2014 at 9:36 PM

But, 66% of Democrats support spending taxpayer dollars on the prosecution of Governor Rick Perry for exercising his executive prerogative of vetoing legislation.

Resist We Much on August 26, 2014 at 10:06 PM

And who gives Obama the money to flush? The GOP controlled House of course. They think we’re stupid.

cajunpatriot on August 27, 2014 at 8:33 AM

Fiscal profligacy has been a conservative concern of near paramount importance since the 110th Congress passed Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bailout funding – a development that many believe gave rise to the conservative insurgent movement which later became known as the tea party.

Yes, but unfortunately, there is nothing in the republican party that is conservative on fiscal policy. Republicans spend just as much as democrats, and as long as they can blame everything on democrats, they have no reason to clean up the mess because it gives them more power and control which they want as much as the democrats. And THAT is why the republican party wants to destroy the tea party.

Republicans don’t give a rats ass about this country anymore than democrats. They just want power and money, and if the country goes under because of it – tough shit! They have enough money to leave while the gettin’ is good, and live well where ever they go.

earlgrey on August 27, 2014 at 10:08 AM