Can there be a more fruitful source of dispute, or a kind of dispute more difficult to be settled?
— James Madison speaking at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 on the spending bill battles between the House and Senate that would occur.
As the “Government Shutdown” puppet show continues its run in Washington, D.C., there is power in the Constitution to close down the entire production.
Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution requires that “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.”
The solution to the ObamaCare funding fiasco is right there in black and white.
If any money is to be spent on anything, the bill must come out of the House of Representatives. If no bill is approved by that body and sent to the Senate, no money may be spent!
Even though he rewrote the ObamaCare legislation in his ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts (and six of his colleagues) held that the individual mandate of ObamaCare was not a constitutional expression of the Commerce Clause, thereby throwing the whole matter back to the House of Representatives and to the states.
As Bubba Atkinson of the Independent Review Journal explains:
Chief Justice Roberts actually ruled the mandate, relative to the commerce clause, was unconstitutional. That is how the Democrats got Obamacare going in the first place. This is critical. His ruling means Congress can’t compel American citizens to purchase anything, ever. The notion is now officially and forever, unconstitutional. As it should be.
Next, he stated that, because Congress doesn’t have the ability to mandate, it must, to fund Obamacare, rely on its power to tax. Therefore, the mechanism that funds Obamacare is a tax. He struck down as unconstitutional, the Obamacare idea that the federal government can bully states into complying by yanking their existing Medicaid funding. Liberals, through Obamacare, basically said to the states — ‘comply with Obamacare or we will stop existing funding.’ Roberts ruled that is a no-no.”
By attaching ObamaCare funding to the overall spending bill, the House turned the issue into the political football that it is today. The whole charade could have been avoided had the House carried out its constitutionally assigned duty of controlling the purse containing the people’s money.
Put another way, had the House of Representatives sent the Senate a bill defunding ObamaCare — a so-called “stand alone bill” — then the Senate would have had to accept or refuse it without hooking the ObamaCare wagon to the star of other federal budget items. Accept the defunding bill and ObamaCare is dead. Refuse the ObamaCare defunding bill and the bill goes back to the House where it would be reworked or not. Either way, not a dime is spent on socialized medicine.