Republicans are divided over whether such a game plan is even feasible, with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) telling the defunders that they need to focus on chipping away at the massive law’s parts until it’s vulnerable enough to kill.
Some see clear momentum, though, with the administration’s own admission that the employer mandate would need to be delayed another year before it’s ready for implementation.
On Thursday, 39 Republican senators called on the White House to explain why 21 federal agencies with no responsibilities under Obamacare are investing time and money in helping implement the law.
The letter to White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler was led by Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), the senior Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. He was joined by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as well as other GOPs.
“We write to ask for information about the activities being undertaken by twenty or more federal agencies with no responsibilities under the President’s health care law in the implementation and promotion of that law, specifically about what the agencies are doing, what funds the agencies are spending, and what authorities the agencies are using,” states the letter, which came with three spreadsheets that “may have been sent to all government agencies, [and] appear to specifically require agencies to provide information and undertake activities in support of the health care law regardless of their statutory missions and responsibilities.”
Agencies involved in Obamacare promotion include the Departments of Education, Labor, Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, and Commerce; the Institute for Museum and Library Services; and the Small Business Administration.
“There is a cost to the taxpayers for each and every one of these actions — particularly changing longstanding forms and notices or possibly adding new unfunded mandates or responsibilities to programs and grants without congressional consent. HHS has requested additional money to implement the health care law, and Congress denied that request,” the GOP senators write. “HHS now appears to be evading Congress’ constitutional power of the purse by using unrelated resources and authorities dedicated to other missions.”
“Furthermore, given that the Administration spent the last several months warning of alleged catastrophe from cutting approximately $85.3 billion out of a $3 trillion budget as part of sequestration, it is particularly surprising that unrelated resources, which previously could not be reduced, are now being used to implement or promote the health care law. It is troubling that taxpayer funds are being used in this way without notice to the Congress by each agency involved.”
The senators asked for all White House correspondence about directing or requesting agencies to work on Obamacare promotion. They want the documents by Aug. 14, another indicator that Obamacare will very much be a hot recess issue.
DeSantis also hopes momentum builds for his amendment, which he calls “an inarguable proposition if you believe in constitutional government.”
“This is astounding. Because Pelosi and Reid could not pass a law to create a special exemption for themselves, the administration is simply creating special rules for Congress by fiat,” the Florida Republican said.
“Will the American people be granted the same relief from skyrocketing health insurance costs that the members of our self-annointed ruling class have granted themselves?”