The American Spectator : Starving ObamaCare
Posted August 11, 2010on:
De-funding Obamacare with the Republicans taking the Congress in 2010 is one way of holding off Obama care until it can be repealed in 2013 if a Republican President is elected. This is certainly worth a try.
This article is a good read if you care to understand the dynamics of such a move by the newly elected Republicans (if they are elected in November that is) BB
“A simple majority can refuse to fund,” Gingrich said. “So if [John] Boehner is Speaker and Mitch McConnell is majority leader, all you have to do is write it into the appropriations bills. If the president vetoes the appropriations bills, you repass them. The president has got to go to the country and convince the country…to spend money on a program that has a 20 percent margin of disapproval.”
He continued, “So the president has to somehow make it into a positive political issue to veto the appropriations bills. The only person who can close the government is the president. If you’re determined to pass the appropriations bills, he has to decide to veto a bill you have passed.”
The idea would be to gut ObamaCare by denying the money needed to implement its sweeping provisions. “There are 159 new offices, agencies, and commissions in this new bill,” Gingrich explained. “All you say is, we’re not gonna fund them. And you have in effect, stopped the project.”
REP. TODD TIAHRT OF KANSAS is the ranking member on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. The spending bill that emerges from his committee would ultimately be the one that would include the funding associated with the new health care law.
Shortly after the signing of the new law, Tiahrt called for House-Senate talks on how to defund the legislation. In a phone interview with TAS, he agreed it was theoretically possible to stop ObamaCare in its tracks through the appropriations process. Even spending that is considered “mandatory” still needs to be implemented by an agency.
“If there’s no money to administer it, nothing gets done,” Tiahrt said, echoing Gingrich. “If the money is not there to write the regulations, the regulations won’t be written.”
Logistically, a member could offer an amendment to the committee that targeted a provision of the law, adding the language, “No funds shall…” The amendment would have to pass out of committee to be included in the bill that goes before the larger chamber. Tiahrt said he used this method last year to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of funding needed to regulate live-stock emissions, which he said would have crippled cattle production.
While he said he supports presenting an amendment that would defund the law in its entirety, his comments suggested it would be more likely that Republicans would target specific aspects of the bill.
In May, the Congressional Budget Office released a new analysis estimating that $115 billion in discretionary spending has been authorized under the new law for the next decade. But the office cautioned that it couldn’t issue a more thorough estimate because in many cases the legislation simply says that Congress shall allocate whatever sums it deems “necessary” to implement given provisions, without specifying how much those sums would be. One Republican staffer on the Hill described discretionary spending as the “low-hanging fruit” for defunding.