In article <***@giganews.com>, the disreputable
"mentally incapacitated" former Florida lawyer, and phony Florida "fireman",
Jeffrey Allen McCann says...
Post by Jeff M
"All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of
Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with
amendments as on other Bills. ..."
Legislation authorizing SPENDING may originate in the Senate,
as may a bill raising revenue to support some specific program
and not for the general revenue. Only TAX bills for the raising of
general revenue must originate in the House.
See: UNITED STATES v. MUNOZ-FLORES, 495 U.S. 385 (1990);
TWIN CITY BANK v. NEBEKER, 167 U.S. 196 (1897).
Well, Jeffy; since the White House presented the *fine* for not getting
healthcare insurance under "ObamaDoesn'tCare - the Abominable Care-less Act"
as a "tax" and ObozoCare originated in the Senate, you just proved ObumbaCare
to be unconstitutional from its inception.
Good for you, Jeffy. :)
October 5, 2013 4:00 AM
Obamacare's Unconstitutional Origins
Tax legislation has to originate in the House; the health-care law didn't.
By Andrew C. McCarthy
Of all the fraud perpetrated in the passage of Obamacare --- and the fraud
has been epic --- the lowest is President Obama's latest talking point that
the Supreme Court has endorsed socialized medicine as constitutional. To the
contrary, the justices held the "Affordable" Care Act unconstitutional as
Obama presented it to the American people: namely, as a legitimate exercise
of Congress's power to regulate interstate commerce.
To sustain this monstrosity, Chief Justice John Roberts had to shed his robes
and put on his legislator cap. He rewrote Obamacare as a tax --- the thing
the president most indignantly promised Americans that Obamacare was not. And
it is here that our recent debate over the Constitution's Origination Clause
--- the debate in which Matt Franck, Ramesh Ponnuru, Mark Steyn, and yours
truly have probed the historical boundaries of the "power of the purse"
reposed by the Framers in the House of Representatives --- descends from the
airy realm of abstraction and homes in on a concrete violation of law.
It is not just that the intensely unpopular Obamacare was unconstitutional as
fraudulently portrayed by the president and congressional Democrats who
strong-armed and pot-sweetened its way to passage. It is that Obamacare is
unconstitutional as rewritten by Roberts. It is a violation of the
Origination Clause --- not only as I have expansively construed it, but even
under Matt's narrow interpretation of the Clause.
It is worth pausing here briefly to rehearse an argument often made in these
pages before the Supreme Court ruling two summers ago. The justices'
resolution, whatever it was to be, would in no way be an endorsement of
Obamacare; it would merely reflect the fact that our Constitution, designed
for a free people, permits all manner of foolishness. "Constitutional" does
not necessarily mean "good." What Obamacare always needed was a political
reversal in Congress. Thus, it was unwise for Republicans to become passive
while hoping the justices would do their heavy lifting for them --- both
because it was unlikely that this Supreme Court would invalidate Obamacare
and because a ruling upholding it would inevitably be used by the most
demagogic administration in history as a judicial stamp of approval for
Contrary to Obama's latest dissembling, the Supreme Court's decision is far
from an imprimatur. The president insisted that Obamacare was not a tax,
famously upbraiding George Stephanopoulos of the Democratic-Media Complex for
insolently suggesting otherwise. Yet, the narrow Court majority held that the
mammoth statute could be upheld only as an exercise of Congress's power to
tax --- i.e., contrary to Obama's conscriptive theory, it was not within
Congress's commerce power to coerce Americans, as a condition of living in
this country, to purchase a commodity, including health insurance.
Note the crucial qualifier: Obamacare could be upheld only as a tax. Not that
Obamacare is necessarily a legitimate tax. To be a legitimate tax measure,
Obamacare would have to have complied with all the Constitution's conditions
for the imposition of taxes. Because Democrats stubbornly maintained that
their unilateral handiwork was not a tax, its legitimacy vel non as a tax has
not been explored. Indeed, it is because Obamacare's enactment was induced by
fraud --- a massive confiscation masquerading as ordinary regulatory
legislation so Democrats could pretend not to be raising taxes --- that the
chief justice was wrong to rebrand it post facto and thus become a
participant in the fraud.
We now know Obamacare was tax legislation. Consequently, it was undeniably a
"bill for raising revenue," for which the Constitution mandates compliance
with the Origination Clause (Art. I, Sec. 7). The Clause requires that tax
bills must originate in the House of Representatives. Obamacare did not.
If you've followed our recent debate, you know I've argued that the
continuing resolution (CR) --- the legislation at issue in the current
congressional impasse that has partially shut down the government ? violates
the Origination Clause. The Senate presumed to add Obamacare spending to a
House CR bill. I contend that the Origination Clause means that not only tax
bills but government spending bills must originate in the House because the
Clause was intended to vest the House with control over the "power of the
purse." Matt disagrees.
Our dispute over Obamacare spending in the 2013 CR, however, has no bearing
on the Origination Clause analysis of the 2010 Obamacare law itself. The
Affordable Care Act, the Supreme Court has held, was a straightforward tax.
No theorizing about spending is necessary. Everyone agrees that tax-raising
measures must originate in the House.
Obamacare originated in the Senate.
It was introduced in Congress in 2009 by Senate majority leader Harry Reid,
who called it the "Senate health care bill" (a description still touted long
afterwards on Reid's website). Employing the chicanery that marked the
legislation through and through, the Democrat-controlled Senate turned its
3,000-page mega-proposal into a Senate amendment. The Senate attached its
amendment to a nondescript, uncontroversial House bill (the "Service Members
Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009") that had unanimously passed (416?0) in the
Thanks to the Supreme Court, it is now undeniable that Obamacare was tax
legislation. It was also, by its own proclamation, a bill for raising
revenue. Democrats maintained that the Senate proposal would reduce the
federal budget deficit by $130 billion. More to the point, the bill contained
17 explicit "Revenue Provisions" --- none of which was remotely related to
the House bill to which the Senate proposal was attached.
Therefore, Obamacare is revenue-raising tax legislation, originated in the
Senate in violation of the Constitution.
This has the Obama administration and its Justice Department scrambling.
House conservatives, led by Representative Trent Franks (R., Ariz.), are
pushing an Origination Clause challenge in the federal courts.
Feebly, Attorney General Eric Holder's minions rationalize that, even if the
Senate initiated Obamacare, the House can be said to have "originated" it
because the lower chamber did not object to the Senate's maneuver. This
desperate flyer, though, is easily grounded. Obviously, there was no
objection because the House was then under control of Speaker Nancy Pelosi
and the Democrats. Either they were in on the charade, or --- accepting
Pelosi's curious explanation that the bill had to be passed before anyone
could "find out what is in it" --- they were ignorant of the bill's contents.
More important, though, the lack of a House objection is immaterial. While
the Framers were men of great foresight, their assumption that the
governmental bodies they were creating would zealously defend their
institutional prerogatives did not anticipate modern progressives, for whom
social engineering is a higher priority than constitutional propriety. But
this ideological rationale for failing to assert the House's prerogative does
not matter because the point of the Origination Clause was to vest the power
of the purse in the people. The privilege to originate spending belongs to
us, not to Ms. Pelosi.
The House's default is not a waiver by the people. Moreover, it is not even
clear that then-speaker Pelosi was derelict in not raising an origination
objection. After all, (a) proponents were adamant that Obamacare was not tax
legislation (i.e., maybe Pelosi actually believed the president); and (b)
Pelosi indicated that she was in the dark about the legislation's contents
(i.e., waivers of constitutional prerogatives have to be knowing and
voluntary --- rights cannot be forfeited in ignorance).
Representative Franks has introduced a resolution (H.R. 153) expressing the
sense of the House of Representatives that the Obamacare legislation clearly
violated the Origination Clause. The measure is gaining momentum. As it
rapidly picks up co-signers, the resolution should materially advance the
cases filed against Obamacare, including one to be argued this fall in the
D.C. Circuit federal appeals court. After all, if a statute violates the
Origination Clause, it is a nullity --- invalid from the moment of enactment.
Nevertheless, Republicans should not make the same mistake they made during
prior legal challenges to Obamacare. This is not a time for leaders once
again to sit idly by with fingers crossed, praying that judges do the heavy
lifting for them. The legerdemain that characterized Obamacare's passage,
coupled with its patent lack of constitutional legitimacy, should stiffen the
resolve of the House to refuse funding --- as it is the House's prerogative
Once again, the president is not telling the truth about Obamacare. The
Supreme Court did not endorse it. The Supreme Court said it could only
conceivably be sustained as a tax. It still had to pass the Constitution's
tests for valid taxation. It failed.
Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute. He is
the author, most recently, of Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic
"We have to pass the [ObamaCare] bill so that you can find out what is in
--Nancy Pelosi, March 9, 2010
Q: Why is ObamaCare like a turd?
A: You have to pass it to see what's in it.
"ObamaCare: The efficiency of the Post Office; the compassion of the IRS; the
pricing structure of a Pentagon-purchased toilet seat."