This Week in Washington — March 26, 2012
Shall the federal government be allowed unfettered power over citizens? That is the ultimate question for nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court this week. The three days of Supreme Court oral arguments on ObamaCare may be the most important constitutional discussions of our lifetime.
This week in Washington is going to be dominated by a national discussion the constitutionality of ObamaCare, yet Congress plods on. The House of Representatives is expected to take up a short term extension of a highway bill and the Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget plan for Fiscal Year 2013. The Senate is expected to take votes on an energy tax bill and legislation dealing with the U.S. Postal Service.
This is a very important week for American freedom in the federal courts. The Supremes will be engaging a debate on whether there is any limit to federal power residing in the executive and legislative branches of the federal government. Will Americans be allowed to make very personal decisions about health care or will that power be handed to the federal government in perpetuity? We shall engage in the national debate this week and the Supreme Court will hand down a decision later this year.
The House has five relatively non-controversial votes on the Suspension Calendar today. The last Suspension vote scheduled is on H.R. 4239, a short term extension of a highway bill. If this were to pass the Senate, then the House and Senate would engage in a fight on competing highway bills over the next few months.
The House and the Senate are intent on passing different versions of a highway bill. The House leadership wants to pass a five-year $260 billion bill and the Senate has already passed a two-year $109 billion bill that was opposed by 22 Senate Republicans. Conservatives don’t like either the House or Senate approach because they don’t give enough power to the states and they spend too much. The generational theft of spending today and passing the bill on to America’s kids is immoral and should cease immediately.
On Tuesday the House will debate the “JOBS Act,” H.R. 3606, a bill to make it easier for small businesses to raise money and make stock offerings. The House will also take up an Federal Communications Commission reform bill. Then the House will spend two days on the Rep. Ryan budget.
The Ryan budget will commence a national debate on entitlement reform, spending and taxes. Ryan’s spending plan for next year will slow the growth of government. He calls it the “Pathway to Prosperity.” Ryan’s approach includes entitlement reforms, pro-growth tax reform and some spending cuts. The Ryan plan is in start contrast to the Obama budget that will tax, spend and borrow us into the poor house. If President Obama’s budget were to be adopted by the Congress, America would creep toward the European style welfare state that has sucked the life out of so many European entrepreneurs. Some conservatives worry that the Ryan plan is incremental change at a time when America needs a radical approach to cutting the size and scope of the federal government.
The Senate will spend a week on Class Warfare and another bailout. The Senate will consider S.2204, the so called “Repeal Big Oil Subsidy Act.” This bill extends preferential tax treatment for electric cars, car plug in stations, biofuel plant property and other green lobbyist special interest tax provisions. Taxes are hiked on oil, natural gas, drilling and wells in the name of class warfare against evil “Big Oil.” Lefties in Congress want to hike taxes on oil and gas production so that they can force Americans into tiny expensive fuel efficient cars. The Senate will also have a vote on a so called “Postal Reform” bill that is expected to be a magnet for another massive federal bailout.
The Supreme Court will start down the road of determining if a law shall stand that allows the federal government to force Catholic institutions to fund sin. Furthermore, the Court will determine if the feds have the power to coerce states, by threatening to withhold Medicaid monies, in order to force them to comply with mandates coming from Uncle Sam.
This week freedom will be debated in the Supreme Court and conservatives hope that at least five justices take the side of freedom over the side of big government with no limits. No matter what nine justices say, the federal government would violate the natural rights of all Americans to be free from intrusive government, if the Supreme Court rubber stamps an intolerable act that forces Americans to buy government approved products.