A Chance for Action

March 14, 2011

The citizens of this country delivered a loud and clear message to Washington last November – get our spending in line and reduce the size of government. Congress has an opportunity to deliver on both points of this citizen mandate right now.

Republican Reps. Michele Bachmannof Minnesota and Steve King of Iowa are circulating a letter encouraging their colleagues to withhold their vote on the continuing resolution funding bill unless the $105 billion of present and future spending contained in Obamacare as enacted is removed. This spending was sprinkled throughout the legislation in the hopes that it wouldn’t be noticed especially in the short time frame that members had to review the 2,700 page bill. While this spending is certainly not in line with the message the voters sent last November, there is an even bigger and more dangerous precedent that this spending represents. This bill employs a seldom used process to authorize and appropriate the spending of huge amounts of money, $105 billion over the next TEN years. The usual process for a new spending bill is for Congress to pass the bill that authorizes the expenditure of the money, sometimes over multiple years, but then to pass multiple bills on an annual basis to actually appropriate the money. This process is used so that the spending decisions made each year reflect the priorities of that year. The $105 billion worth of spending in Obamacare takes this right away from future Congresses and ties the spending to the desires of those in power in 2009. This precedent could well be unconstitutional, and at the very least goes against the propriety of our Democracy.

Another aspect of this spending has equally far-reaching consequences. It authorizes a huge increase in the size and control of our Government. An original estimate put the number of new agencies created by Obamacare at 159. Later, the Congressional Research Service indicated that the true number could not be calculated because many of the new agencies had the power to create new entities. This is surely the poster child for a Government out of control. It is a self-perpetuating government growth machine

The people spoke loudly last November. The future decade of spending and government control should not be dictated by those who have resigned or were turned out of office by the voters. We need to urge our respective Representatives and Senators to respect the will of the people, both the voters that spoke so clearly last November and the voters who will speak over the next ten years, by supporting this move to defund Obamacare. Wasteful spending and bloated Government does not represent the future this country needs or wants. We can and should do better!