40 House Republicans Back Constitutional Challenge to Obamacare

Tuesday, 12 Nov 2013 09:23 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Forty Republican members of Congress have filed an amicus brief in a federal appeals court that will hear a constitutional challenge to Obamacare, Roll Call reported Tuesday.

The brief, filed by Arizona Republican Trent Franks, chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, and signed by 39 other GOP lawmakers, argues that because the Supreme Court ruled that President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law is a tax — and because they say the bill originated in the Senate, Obamacare violates the Constitution's Origination Clause, which requires that all revenue-raising bills originate in the House.

The brief supports an appeal in a lawsuit brought by the Pacific Legal Foundation.

Roll Call reported that the Senate averted any so-called "blue slip problems" with the House by taking the language of a House-passed bill that would have provided tax credits to veterans buying homes and replacing it with the 2,074-page Affordable Care Act.

Franks, however, argues that the original veterans bill did not raise revenue and was "wholly unrelated" to the healthcare law, therefore the Affordable Care Act violates the Origination Clause.

Franks last month took to the House floor to say that if the courts didn't strike down the healthcare law for violating the Origination Clause, "it would allow the Obama administration to blow yet another hole in the constitutional fabric of this noble republic."

"We are grateful for this powerful support from Congressman Franks, a leading authority on the Constitution, and from many other key lawmakers," PLF Principal Attorney Paul Beard II told Tea Party News Network.

"This support from members of the House is especially significant because PLF's lawsuit defends the constitutional authority of the lower chamber, the legislative body that is closest to the people.

"We argue that Obamacare was enacted in a way that deprived the House of its authority to 'originate' new taxation. By extension, taxpayers were deprived of a core constitutional protection against reckless and oppressive use of the federal taxing power."

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