Days of Change

The Scalpel and the Grenade | July 7, 2014

Congressman Louie Gohmert mentioned on the Sean Hannity show that he and others have had informal conversations with Supreme Court Justices about presidential overreach. It boiled down to the fact that SCOTUS won’t referee fights between the White House and the House of Representatives because the latter has the power of the purse to express their disagreement. It’s too bad, because while the Court can make a surgical strike and narrowly define a decision, budgets often become all or nothing battles. It’s like doing surgery with a grenade.

Since the Republicans regained the House, the process has gone like this. Tea Party members tried to cut pork out of the budget, resulting in cuts in the last years of a 10 year baseline. That came out to a few hundred million in an annual 3 trillion dollar budget. There was also the debt ceiling fight, where the White House argued that not raising the debt ceiling would be defaulting on current obligations. That is disingenuous at best. When the House tried to change those obligations by passing budgets without exploding costs like Obamacare, the president gave the country a big “screw you” and started shutting down federal and veterans’ memorials.

Sadly, this is a game of chicken. The government has a huge, ill-defined sack of money to do whatever they want with. The House does not have the power to pass anything the Senate will block. Its only choice is to not pass spending bills. Last year, the administration decided that if they didn’t get their budget items, the Senate would not pass any budget items, even ones not in dispute. Ironically, the White House deals with terrorists with more flexibility.

I have some sympathy for the Republicans in this situation. If they don’t have the intestinal fortitude to block a budget, their only recourse is to sue the administration. The Supreme Court will then make a specific ruling to smack down the president’s abuse of power. This process will take years. In 5 months, there’s an election. What’s the better option?


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1 Comment

  1. This is the same SCOTUS that approved zerocare, right? True, they knocked out his illegal appointments, but my guess is that’s as far as they’ll go to defy Herr obama.

    May I be proven wrong!

    btw, obama telling Boehner, “So sue me” is again the schoolyard bully.

    Comment by Mary — July 7, 2014 @ 11:45 pm

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