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Wish We'd Known This A Couple Of Weeks Ago
By Kevin Rex Heine, Section News
Let me start by saying that it's not even certain right now whether the Senate vote will or won't be taken today on 2013 House Bill 4111. Yes, the vote is on today's senate schedule (backup copy available here), just as it was yesterday (for which I also have a backup copy). Yet a press statement from Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville plainly stated that there would be no vote this week at all. I translate that as Richardville knowing that he currently doesn't have the votes to pass this thing. If that's true, then it would mean that the coordinated outrage of the liberty movement grassroots, directed both at calling our state senators and also apparently at flooding the phone lines at the Michigan Republican Party Headquarters, had the desired immediate effect.
Nevertheless, Michigan Votes indicates that the bill was forwarded directly to the Senate floor as soon as it was reported over from the House, and Joanie Fabiano is pretty sure that a deal has already been brokered to make the vote happen, so I guess we need to stay on our senators about this . . . and I think that's a good idea anyway.
I won't be so bold as to claim personal credit for flipping Senator Green's vote from his position last year, but I've been told that naming names and flagging primary targets has many of the squishies in the republican legislative caucus a tad nervous. Good, the government ought to fear the citizenry, that's the way this country was designed. It's just too damned bad we don't have a filibuster option in our State Senate.
I say that we need to keep the pressure on our state senators because, as the aforementioned senate schedule shows, 2013-HB-4111 is effectively "on the table" on the senate floor, and can be brought up for a vote the second that Richardville thinks that the liberty movement isn't looking. (I've heard rumor that the bill has been kicked to Senator Kahn's Appropriations Committee, but given the way things are right now, I'll believe it when I see it.) Even though Richardville says that he's going to wait until next week, or perhaps longer, I'd not let my guard down for a second on this.
Oh, and while I'm all for the passage of 2013 Senate Bill 0094, and will be curious as to the outcome of the companion bill, 2013 House Bill 4138, I refuse to accept this as a tradeoff for a bad vote on HB-4111. Quite frankly, I view the unanimous passage of an act to nullify Section 1031 of the 2012 NDAA as proof that our legislature is perfectly capable of telling DC to go pound sand.
Those of us in the liberty movement who were comparing notes over the weekend noticed that the post-vote talking points coming out of the 29 turncoats sounded oddly identical. It turns out that there was a reason for that. Lo and behold, available right on the Michigan House Republicans website, is a two-page memo (for which I also have a backup copy) outlining the key differences between the two options of "Do Nothing" and "House Bill 4111," as well as the "consumer protections" added to the bill to protect Michigan taxpayers from this federal overreach. I did a bit of digging and learned that the memo was published on the morning of March 1st, the day after House Roll Call 11. So those "republicans" who are going to have to spend the foreseeable future defending a bad vote to some very ticked-off constituents will all be talking off of the same script.
In this talking points memo, the first fallacy is the greatest. "After the Supreme Court made its ruling and President Obama was reelected, federal law is settled." Oh my, let me count the ways that's wrong.
Article I § 1 of the U. S. Constitution provides, "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States ..." which means that only those bills which have been passed by both chambers of Congress have the effect of enforceable law. Executive Orders have no authority outside the cabinet departments, administrative regulations have no authority except Congress passes a law to enforce those regulations, and federal court decisions are legal opinions only; they cannot be enforced as the "law of the land." Only legislation passed by both chambers of Congress have the effect of binding and enforceable law, and then only if that legislation is approved by the President (or if his veto is overridden). The mere re-election of the president who made the PPACA his signature first-term achievement does not settle the matter, not even close.
Further, as I pointed out nine months ago, the only thing that the NFIB v. Sebelius decision did was to rule that the only way that ObamaCare can be enforced is through the taxation power; the Supremacy Clause and Commerce Clause arguments are void, and the SCOTUS says so. Also, "legislative entrenchment," the concept that a current legislative session can insulate its acts from repeal or alteration by subsequent legislatures, has been long considered to run counter to constitutional principles. This philosophy was confirmed in United States v. Winstar (1996), though the case was not decided on these grounds. In other words, there's nothing stopping future congresses from repealing ObamaCare at any time they have the votes to do so.
So no, there's nothing even remotely settled about the PPACA. "Whether we like it or not" is a bogus capitulation used by those too weak-willed or soft-spined to understand that the states run the federal government, not the other way around. Nullification is always an option critical to enforcement of Amendment X of the U. S. Constitution (State Sovereignty). The states have the inherent authority to veto any federal action that is not squarely within the enumerated power, authority, and/or jurisdiction of the National Government (U. S. Constitution: Article I § 8, Article II § 2, and Article III § 2) or specifically prohibited to the states (Article I § 10). This doctrine was the basis for Chief Justice Roberts' statement, "The States are separate and independent sovereigns. Sometimes they have to act like it." So, no, the feds cannot establish an exchange in any state that refuses federal funds. And if enough states openly nullify the act, then it becomes for all intents and purposes unenforceable.
A friend of mine works in a call center for Charter Communications. This isn't just any call center, but rather the call center at corporate headquarters that handles customer service escalations. Of late, he's been fielding a good many calls from longtime customers who are asking to scale back their service, or discontinue it entirely. The chief reason for them doing so is that their hours have recently been cut back, and they don't have the income to afford to continue with their current package. My friend started matching up these calls to states that have implemented the ObamaCare technology and insurance exchanges, and noticed an interesting trend. In states where either federal exchange has been implemented (never mind the Medicaid expansion), underemployment has skyrocketed due to employers cutting their non-critical workforce back to 29 hours per week. So yeah, maybe the headline unemployment number may continue to show some improvement, but that ever-infamous "real unemployment" number is going to start getting worse in Michigan, starting with the day the GoverNerd signs this bill (assuming that it even gets to his desk, and assuming that it hasn't already started).
All the talking points on the planet will not change that reality.
Wish We'd Known This A Couple Of Weeks Ago | 12 comments (12 topical, 0 hidden)
Wish We'd Known This A Couple Of Weeks Ago | 12 comments (12 topical, 0 hidden)
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+ Editorial Policy
Related Links+ 2013 House Bill 4111
+ today's senate schedule
+ backup copy available here
+ just as it was yesterday
+ for which I also have a backup copy
+ calling our state senators
+ Michigan Votes indicates that the bill was forwarded directly to the Senate floor
+ Joanie Fabiano is pretty sure that a deal has already been brokered to make the vote happen
+ his position last year
+ naming names and flagging primary targets
+ 2013 Senate Bill 0094
+ 2013 House Bill 4138
+ unanimous passage of an act to nullify Section 1031 of the 2012 NDAA
+ is a two-page memo
+ for which I also have a backup copy 
+ House Roll Call 11
+ as I pointed out nine months ago
+ Also by Kevin Rex Heine