As President Obama stated, the GOP teabaggers "threatened a government shutdown or worse unless I gut or repeal the Affordable Care Act." Teabaggers call the shutdown a "political or legislative strategy," trying to transform their unconstitutional conduct into just politics as usual. ACA went through our Constitutional legislative process and was signed into law. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld ACA. The 2012 presidential election presented voters with the choice to vote for the nixing of ACA by electing Romney. The House also tried to repeal ACA with votes. Having failed with the lawful means to repeal ACA, the GOP teabaggers focused on a shutdown and defunding to repeal ACA, a process not sanctioned by our Constitution. We should call them out as law violators, not provide them cover by calling this "political strategy." If the GOP continue to push the envelope in order to create this "new" constitutional doctrine, then no law will ever be safe.
By our U.S. Constitution and by statute, the members of the House take an Oath of Office, swearing to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."
Congress passes or repeals laws, such as the Affordable Care Act, with the legislative process and votes, authority vested in Congress by a little thing called the Constitution. "Conservative Republicans are so very fond of telling everyone else how no one loves the Constitution more than they do."
Well, Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution states:
Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it….This is how the Affordable Care Act became law. The Congress voted for the ACA in 2010 and President Obama signed the ACA into law two days later. There's even a video to show the signing of the bill into law!
If the teabaggers need a refresher course regarding how a bill becomes a law, the clerk of the house has a nice outline used to educate kids. This educational guide concludes that once a bill becomes law via this legislative process, it is "enforced by the government."
Last summer, two days after the House voted again to delay key provisions of ACA, Boehner said Congress "should not be judged on how many new laws we create" but on "how many laws ... we repeal." Since ACA became law, the House GOP voted "42 times to defund, repeal or otherwise hobble Obamacare," but the measures died in the Senate.
In 2012, another branch of government, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the ACA:
The court’s 5 to 4 ruling was a stunning legal conclusion to a battle that has consumed American politics for two years. Roberts’s compromise offered a dramatic victory for Obama and Democrats’ decades-long effort to enact a health-care law and a bitter defeat for Republicans and tea party activists, who had uniformly opposed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.So, the GOP teabaggers turned to the election process. In the 2012 presidential election, Romney promised to repeal ACA if elected, but the voters chose Obama:
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney made repeal of the health-care law a central part of his campaign. “Our mission is clear: if we want to get rid of Obamacare, we are going to have to replace President Obama,” Romney said the day of the court ruling. “That is my mission. That is our work. And I’m asking the American people to join me.” And yet, voters reelected Obama with a decisive victory over Romney.Even speaker Boehner stated, after the 2012 election, that ACA is the "law of the land," yet he continues to try to repeal it by unconstitutional means.
Having failed again, the GOP in January of this year plotted out a new "legislative strategy" adopted in an agreement called The Williamsburg Accord. After losing in the Congressional lawmaking process, the Courts and with the voters, the teabaggers agree to hold the country hostage with threats of a shutdown :
Republicans have fallen out, often sharply, over which hostages to ransom, with the most conservative ones favoring a government shutdown threat and the more pragmatic wing, oddly, endorsing a debt default threat. They have also struggled to define the terms of their ransom. The Williamsburg Accord initially envisioned forcing Obama to sign spending cuts, or some form of the Paul Ryan budget. During the summer, Republicans flirted with making Obama lock in lower marginal tax rates. Recently, Republicans settled on pressuring him to kill his health-care law. But the general contours of the legislative strike, and the plan of obtaining policy victories without offering any policy concessions, has enjoyed general agreement within the party.So now teabaggers want to repeal ACA by defunding it backed by shutdown. Robert Reich explained to New Gingrich why our constitutional system does not allow repeal by defunding a law. Rather, the constitutional process to repeal a law requires both houses to enact a new bill that repeals the old and then President Obama must sign it:
Had we had more time I would have explained to the former Speaker something he surely already knows: The Affordable Care Act was duly enacted by a majority of both houses of Congress, signed into law by the President, and even upheld by the Supreme Court.The MSM characterize the teabaggers' conduct as a"GOP shutdown strategy." Polling concludes that "American Voters Reject GOP Shutdown Strategy." Some GOP members say shutting down the government over Obamacare is a bad strategy.
The Constitution of the United States does not allow a majority of the House of Representatives to repeal the law of the land by de-funding it (and threatening to close the entire government, or default on the nation’s full faith and credit, if the Senate and the President don’t come around).
If that were permissible, no law on the books would be safe. A majority of the House could get rid of unemployment insurance, federal aid to education, Social Security, Medicare, or any other law they didn’t like merely by deciding not to fund them.
Words matter. The GOP teabaggers' conduct violates the oath of office and the Constitution. Their conduct is unlawful. Not a political strategy that gives them cover as if this were politics as usual.
As Robert Reich stated:
The Republicans who are now running the House of Representatives are pushing a dangerous new constitutional doctrine. They must be stopped. There should be no compromising with fanatics.Indeed, Texas Gov. Rick Perry called implementing ACA a "criminal act." Right. Implementing the law of the land is criminal, trying to repeal or defund the law by unconstitutional means is just permissible political strategy.