Tuesday, February 1, 2011

KY House Republicans on Obamacare Ruling, U.S. Constitution

The Kentucky House Republican caucus continues to impress, at least with its energy. Take today's press release regarding two resolutions (one good, one bad) from Kentucky Rep. Jim DeCesare from Bowling Green.

The first,which I support, is House Concurrent Resolution 45. It

urges Congress to repeal the individual health insurance mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as the Federal health care reform bill. It also asks Congress to cease and desist enacting mandates that are beyond the scope of its powers as spelled out by the U.S. Constitution.

“Yesterday’s ruling by a Federal judge in Florida that the entire health care reform bill is unconstitutional only serves to reinforce our rights as individuals to make our own choices,” said Rep. DeCesare. “It is time we put an end to the overreaching tentacles of the Federal government into the lives of all Kentuckians.”

The second resolution, House Concurrent Resolution 46, is undoubtedly well-intentioned yet nonetheless ill-advised. That resolution

urges the calling of a convention to proposing an amendment to the Constitution that seeks to limit the Federal government from spending more money that the revenue it generates, impose limits on Federal debt, expenditures, revenue and taxes; require a waiting period on all bills to give time for all members of Congress and the public to review; and to limit the power of Congress to employ its spending power outside its authorities and prohibit mandates on Kentucky and other states.

"A major part of our current economy crisis is that Congress continues to place unfunded mandates on states, while adopting borrow, spend and tax plans to carry out needless programs at the Federal level,” Rep. DeCesare added. “It’s time we cut up the Federal government’s credit cards and stop Washington for placing the burden of the cost on taxpayers.”

I do not object to any of the specific issues mentioned with respect to a proposed constitutional convention, but I would prefer to see each addressed separately as its own constitutional amendment, if necessary, or as legislation if possible. The thought of a new constitutional convention terrifies me; there is too great a risk that in attempting a wholesale revision of the constitution, we will lose a structure of limited government that has served us well for more than two centuries. Even though the individual initiatives seem conservative, the method proposed -- a constitutional convention -- is not conservative. To the contrary, it is radical and needlessly risky. House members therefore should oppose Resolution 46.

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