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Attacking the “One-Half-of-one-third” Excuse

Many establishment Republicans justify their complete lack of responsibility (read “power”) in the current legislative environment by saying, as Jeb Bush did recently, that

“If you control one-half of one-third of leverage in Washington, D.C., your ability to influence things are also relative to the fact that you have one-half of one-third of the government.”

As with Common Core, Jeb Bush is wrong here too.

The Republican majority in the House of Representatives provides the GOP with control of one-half of the entirety of the government’s legislative power. In fact, with regard ts power to spending money entrusted to the government from the governed, the Section 7 of Article I of the US Constitution affords the house more power than the Senate.

1:  All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

This clause has traditionally been referred to as “the power of the purse.” The Senate, viewed as the representatives of the States’ governments, was granted other powers above those from the House, such as treaty ratification and Supreme Court nominee approvals. But the power to authorize the spending of money by the federal government (and yes, given the Obama Administration’s actions the word “national” by be more appropriate, but I digress) was granted to the people’s House, the House of Representatives.  The houses do not have equal powers. There was a definite preference for the people to have a greater power for spending than the Senate. (This power was ignored in the passing of Obamacare by Majority Leader Harry Reid, where a totally unrelated spending bill passed by the House was gutted and to which Reid added Obamacare as a amendment.)

Jeb’s also wrong to think that the judicial branch has any power to legislate. But with Chief Justice Roberts’s re-writing of Obamacare, we might be able to forgive him on that one.

 

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