Photo Credit: Courtesy Aaron Klein
Aaron Klein

Congress does not vest the power to write and rewrite laws in HHS and IRS; nor can unelected bureaucrats impose taxes on states that legitimately opted out of a federal program, Kerpen argues.

Impeachable Offenses cites Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution, which states: “All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.” The Sacramento, California-based Pacific Legal Foundation filed a challenge to ObamaCare contending that it is unconstitutional because the bill originated in the Senate, not the House.

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The foundation claims that under the Origination Clause of the Constitution “all bills raising revenue must begin in the House.” The Justice Department claimed that the bill did not originate as a spending bill and therefore it does not violate the Origination Clause.

The bill, which began life as House Resolution 3590, then called the Service Members Home Ownership Act, was stripped of its contents after it passed in the House in a process known as “gut and amend.” The legislation was replaced entirely with the thousands of pages of what eventually became ObamaCare, and given a new name.

The Obama government’s position is that while using the resolution as a “‘shell bill’ may be inelegant…it’s not unconstitutional.”

The foundation’s response, as documented in Impeachable Offenses, was that “it is undisputed that H.R. 3590 was not originally a bill for raising revenue…. Unlike in the prior cases [cited by the Justice Department], the Senate’s gut-and-amend procedure made H.R. 3590 for the first time into a bill for raising revenue. The precedents the government cites are therefore inapplicable.”

An additional argument for the unconstitutionality of ObamaCare centers around the financial penalty it affixes on Americans who fail to purchase health insurance. Impeachable Offenses argues that Congress does not have the power under the Constitution to regulate behavior in this manner.

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