Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Clarity on the "Shutdown"

Recently Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin made the statement on a Sunday news program that it was a “bad thing for the Republicans to shut down the government”. This is amazing coming from a guy like Scott Walker who stood his ground in Wisconsin against the unions and survived a recall effort by the left in that state. But it does reveal the deep lack of understanding of Constitutional Conservatism by many in the Republican Party. We know the left are clueless to the Constitution and limited government, but it’s really disheartening when we hear a conservative regurgitating the liberal talking points.

Here’s where the Constitutional lesson comes in. Under Article I, Section 7 of the United States Constitution, the House of Representatives has SOLE power of funding ANYTHING in the federal government, that authority is complete…meaning the authority to authorize spending, whether in a budget or off budget (since we have no budget), whether that funding is for already passed statutory law or for something that any branch has need of…that authority rests solely in the hands of the 435 member House of Representatives. The framers specifically designed this on purpose so as to require authorization for spending to come from the legislative body closest to the people and therefore the most responsive to the people’s wishes. This past October, as I have stated before, the system worked just as it was designed. The House responded to the pressure of the people to defund the Affordable Care Act. The House did not shut down the government. They did exactly what they were supposed to do with the responsibility they have over the “check book”.

Now, obviously…anything the House does with spending legislation must also be passed by the Senate and signed into law by the President. But those latter requirements have nothing to do with who has sole responsibility to decide whether to fund something or not fund it. When the spending bill came over from the House to the Senate, the responsibility to pass the bill that would have funded the rest of the government at that point rested squarely on the shoulders of the 100 member Senate body. The events that followed are not in dispute…the President and the Majority Democrat Senate made it their mission to not pass the funding bill. By not passing the funding bill for 16 days, the responsibility for “shutting down” the government (or at least 13 % of it) fell squarely on the shoulders of the Democrats and the President.

Which brings us back to Scott Walker…why would this man and many, many other Republicans continue to regurgitate the liberal talking points that Republicans “shut the government” down?

The answer is a bitter, bitter pill for us to swallow. We continue to elect people…some of them very good conservatives, but nevertheless we continue to elect people that do not understand the Constitution and / or cannot articulate the principles we believe in. We must demand more of those we elect than simply they cast the right vote. We need Constitutional Statesmen that can determine Constitutional courses of action and then turn around to the American people and explain those actions.

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