December 22nd, 2010 11:17 EST
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Famously Quipped, "Are you serious? Are you serious?"
At the height of her campaigning for President Obama`s plan to nationalize health-care decision-making, outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi famously quipped, "Are you serious? Are you serious?" when asked about its constitutionality.
But that question won`t need to be asked in the coming Congress, where Republicans will hold the majority in the House, because of a rule being proposed by Speaker-designate John Boehner and other Republicans that would require those proposing legislation to cite the constitutional authority for the plan.
"The Pledge to America released by House Republicans in September of this year included a commitment to `require every bill to cite its specific constitutional authority.` To implement this proposal, the Transition Team and the elected Republican leadership are recommending a change to standing Rules of the House to require that each bill or joint resolution introduced in the House be accompanied by a statement citing the specific powers granted to Congress in the Constitution to enact the proposed law," said a memo from leadership to members of the House.
Much of the memo was posted online in David Weigel`s column on Slate, and staffers in the offices of several members of the incoming leadership team confirmed it to WND.
Pelosi`s remark about the constitutionality of Obamacare, part of which already has been declared unconstitutional by a federal judge, came in a brief encounter with a reporter for CNSNews.com.
The reporter asked, "Where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?"
After a pause, Pelosi gathered her thoughts and replied, "Are you serious? Are you serious?"
She departed without answering the question.
The incoming Republican leadership intends to preclude that question.
The published memo from Boehner, Majority Leader-elect Eric Cantor and others, said the new requirement for a citation of constitutionality "will apply to all bills and joint resolutions introduced in the 112th Congress - including those introduced on the first day."
The proposed text of a new paragraph in Rule XII:
"(c) A bill or joint resolution may not be introduced unless the sponsor has submitted for printing in the Congressional Record a statement citing as specifically as practicable the power or powers granted to Congress in the Constitution to enact the bill or joint resolution. The statement shall appear in a portion of the Record designated for that purpose and be made publicly available in electronic form by the Clerk."
Even the soon-to-be former House speaker, Pelosi, will be granted no slack.
"When a member presents a bill or joint resolution for introduction and referral (when it is dropped in the `hopper`), the bill must be accompanied by a separate sheet of paper citing the constitutional authority to enact the proposed bill or joint resolution," the plan specifies.
Examples it provided included:
"This bill is enacted pursuant to the power granted to Congress under Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution."
This bill makes specific changes to existing law in a manner that returns power to the states and to the people, in accordance with Amendment X of the United States Constitution.
"It is the responsibility of the bill sponsor to determine what authorities they wish to cite and to provide that information to the Legislative Counsel staff," the memo said. "The adequacy and accuracy of the citation of constitutional authority is matter for debate in the committee and in the House. The rule simply requires that the bill be accompanied by a constitutional authority statement."
No statement? No bill, said the memo.
"Under the rule, [if there is no statement], the clerk will not accept the bill and it will be returned to the sponsor," the proposal explains.
The biggest target of constitutional challenges in Obama`s short tenure in office has been his signature accomplishment, Obamacare.
There have been multiple lawsuits filed challenging the constitutionality of forcing Americans to purchase government-approved health insurance policies or paying a penalty to the Internal Revenue Service.
The cases have argued there is no authority in the Commerce Clause, under which the program was fostered, to require people who don`t want to participate in an economic activity to do so or pay that penalty.
Other questionable stances adopted by the president have been outlined by Judicial Watch, the Washington-based honesty-in-government organization that listed Obama, again, on this year`s list of 10 "most corrupt" politicians in Washington.
The biggest constitutional question facing Obama is whether he is eligible even to occupy the Oval Office.
The U.S. Constitution requires presidents to be a "natural-born citizen," but Obama`s proof of that status never has been revealed. Thousands of pins, buttons, bumper stickers, billboards and radio talk show questions have flooded America, changing the minds of millions.
Where once barely half of Americans even knew there were questions over Obama`s eligibility, recent polls show almost 6 in 10 now have doubts about Obama`s eligibility.
Link to Article: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=242569
By Bob Unruh
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