The "law of unintended consequences is running rampant throughout Obamacare" — and House Republicans are right to vote this week to delay both the employer and individual mandates, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte tells Newsmax.
"Any delay of implementation of this bad law is a good thing, but it is ironic that the administration, trying to make this very bad law work, would delay one part of it when they would continue to require that individuals be mandated to buy this insurance when they're the ones who are going to bear the ultimate brunt of all of it," the Virginia Republican tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview.
"I'll be voting for both of those, and I will continue to be pushing the administration and others to recognize that this house of cards needs to collapse outright," he says.
House Republicans will be voting on Wednesday to delay both key Obamacare mandates, the employer mandate that was recently postponed by the White House, and the individual mandate requiring every American to have insurance that is to take effect on Jan. 1.
Under the employer mandate, companies with 50 or more workers must offer affordable coverage to full-time employees. The delay two weeks ago by President Barack Obama came after intense pressure from Republicans, physicians' groups, and business organizations.
In both cases, individuals and companies without insurance would be required to pay escalating tax penalties to the Internal Revenue Service. The Obama administration has estimated that as many as 4 million people will pay the penalty rather than buy insurance.
So far, the GOP-controlled House has voted 37 times to repeal Obamacare, officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
"There are many good market-based and patient-focused reforms that would help to hold down costs for consumers and to make healthcare more available to more people," Goodlatte tells Newsmax. "It's not by having more big government involvement, which is what Obamacare is all about. Our ultimate goal is to repeal this legislation and start over again on healthcare reform."
Turning his attention to comprehensive immigration reform, Goodlatte says that he is working on legislation with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, also of Virginia, to create a path to legalization for young immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents as children.
“But it would only (lead to citizenship) after we have legislation addressing the problem we have in this country with the lack of enforcement of our immigration laws,” he cautions. “We have already written legislation related to border security — and the legislation that comes out of the Judiciary Committee would be related to interior enforcement and employment verification by employers.
"It would only come out when we are satisfied that there is not going to be a repeat of illegal immigration that has taken place in the past — including parents bringing young children across the border, sometimes through tunnels, in the backs of tractor trailers, in cases in which some have suffocated or have died going across the desert.
"We want to make sure that these kind of things are not going to happen again, but children brought here at an early age are not culpable, and they have grown up here in the United States and have been educated here and now find themselves with no country other than their own because they know no other and yet have no documentation here," he adds. "Some kind of solution needs to be found."
He says House Republicans feel more confident about immigration reform now that Speaker John Boehner has pledged not to bring any legislation to the floor unless it is backed by a majority of party members.
"The speaker has been increasingly vocal about how he feels about that. This makes many, many members of the House more and more confident that we can do the will of the people who elected us to represent them with the confidence that we're not going to be led into a position that something will be passed that doesn't have Republican support."
As Judiciary Committee chairman, Goodlatte tells Newsmax that he is concerned that Attorney General Eric Holder is investigating whether to file federal civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of second-degree murder in the 2012 shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in a gated community in Sanford, Fla.
A jury of six women found Zimmerman, 29, not guilty on Saturday after deliberating 16 hours and 20 minutes over two days.
Holder announced his investigation on Monday.
"We have civil rights laws in the United States, and the attorney general is responsible for upholding those laws," Goodlatte says. "It is entirely appropriate for him to review the laws and determine whether or not any civil rights have been violated for which prosecution should be brought — and there are additional laws that can be looked [at].
"I would argue very strongly that he look at it from the perspective of what evidence was brought before the court in that trial and the result of that trial — and then consider the other matters in light of that and not in light of pressure brought by any political considerations from any viewpoint."
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