Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Power of the Purse-Faith & Freedom Newspaper

The November issue of the Faith & Freedom Newspaper came out yesterday and it includes my article on the power of the purse.  Be sure to pick up your free copy!

I've enjoyed reading Lynn's newspaper and was excited to be able to be a part of the publication this month. Please visit the Faith & Freedom Newspaper's Facebook Page and give them a like.

Here is the text of my article:

Our House of Representatives refuses to use the power given to them in the U.S. Constitution to stop Barack Obama, the Democrats and their liberal agenda. I cannot remember a time when a Democratically controlled Congress caved to a Republican president. In fact, President George H. W. Bush broke his promise of “Read my lips: no new taxes” when he allowed a Democratically controlled House and Senate to increase taxes. It cost him the next election.

In 2010, we the people delivered a Republican majority in the House, yet they still funded Obamacare, Planned Parenthood and Obama’s executive amnesty. In 2014, we delivered the largest Republican majority in over 80 years and returned the Senate into the hands of Republicans. What did these victories get us? The same exact outcome as a Democratically controlled Congress would have gotten us: funding of Obama’s executive amnesty, funding of the largest abortion provider in the nation, Planned Parenthood, and full funding of Obamacare. 

Our founders were clear that the power of the purse was to be used as a weapon by the immediate representatives of the people. It doesn’t matter if Obamacare or anything else is ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court, the House has the duty and obligation not to fund anything we the people have decided we do not want funded. James Madison calls this power of the purse a powerful instrument with which the people can reduce all the overgrown prerogatives of the government.  Ronald Reagan referred to using the power of the purse as a means of “starving the beast”. 

The Appropriations Clause (Article I, Section 9, Clause 7) and The Origination Clause (Article I, Section 7, Clause 1) are the two clauses in the US Constitution that give the House of Representatives the power of the purse. All appropriations must originate in the House. James Madison says in Federalist No. 58, “The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose the supplies requisite for the support of government.”  Yet we now find ourselves with a House of Representatives that lacks the intestinal fortitude and moral courage to refuse funding for immoral and unconstitutional acts! Instead of using this power of the purse to defund Obama’s executive amnesty, something every representative in the House knew was unconstitutional, the House funded it and filed a lawsuit against Barack Obama. When the courts ruled Obama’s executive amnesty to be unconstitutional, every Representative in Congress who voted to fund his unconstitutional act, should have been held accountable. The House of Representatives has the duty and obligation to deny funding for anything that is unconstitutional. Yet, time and again, they fund functions of government the citizens of the United States do not want and they also continue fund unconstitutional acts. 

When the framers debated the spending of money at the Constitutional Convention, they debated two issues. They debated the executive authority to spend money and the roles each house of Congress would have with regard to spending. The outcome of debate on executive spending authority was that the president would not be allowed to spend money without the consent of Congress. Of the latter, Benjamin Franklin argued “that it was always of importance that the people should know who had disposed of their money and how it had been disposed of. It was a maxim that those who feel, can best judge. This end would be best attained if money affairs were confined to the immediate representatives of the people.”  James Madison stated in Federalist No. 58, “This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.” Our representatives are armed with a weapon specifically designed to address the grievances of the people they represent and they refuse to use it! 

When Obamacare caused families to lose coverage for lifesaving medications and many to lose  insurance coverage altogether, citizens rose up and held Defund Obamacare Townhalls across the nation. Congress failed to stand up for the people then and continues to fully fund Obamacare. My own representative shocked me in 2013 when she told a group of us gathered in her DC office that they had to send the bill defunding Obamacare to the lawyers because they were not sure if it was constitutional! Our own Representatives lack knowledge of the weapon our founders intended to be used by our immediate representatives to stop anything we the people do not want -amnesty, Obamacare or Planned Parenthood funding, to name the most recent funding failures of our House of Representatives. 

Finally, do not be fooled by these standalone bills Congress passes. Most recently, they have had show votes to defund Planned Parenthood with standalone bills. Republicans need to attach these defunding bills to must pass legislation such as the upcoming continuing resolution in December. Without the threat of a government shutdown, these standalone bills have no leverage. Republicans must force Obama and the Democrats to show the American people that they care more about the murder and sale of innocent human babies and he sale of their body parts than avoiding a government shutdown. Republicans need to force the Democrats to show the American people how little they care about the harm Obamacare has done by defunding it on the upcoming continuing resolution.  

I believe these instances of executive overreach with amnesty, moral depravity of Planned Parenthood and the harm being caused by Obamacare are just a few examples of why our founders placed the power of the purse with our immediate representatives. They had the foresight and experience with the overreaching British government to know that the people needed a powerful weapon to keep government in check. The power of the purse is the weapon we were given, now we need to elect Representatives who are not afraid to use it. 

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