Tuesday, October 08, 2013

CNN's Fareed Zakaria Correctly Analyzes Actions of U.S. House of Representatives Leading to Government Shutdown as Unconstitutional

See Daily Kos and US Debt Ceiling Impasse is a Constitutional Crisis in the Making where Maynard writes, correctly in our opinion:
"But it's the ACA [Affordable Care Act] measure in this shutdown battle that has really roiled widespread protest against these tactics. In a CNN video editorial, Fareed Zakaria does a good job explaining why in simple terms.



In short, his argument is that: Because this is settled law that has already passed through congress, already been signed by the President, and already even been confirmed as constitutional by the Supreme Court, for the House - a single legislative body - to use the threat of default to overrule agreement with the Senate and the President in prior lawmaking, is to extra-constitutionally usurp powers it does not enjoy. Essentially, the House asserts a new postfacto veto authority over prior Senate and conference committee deliberations after reconciliation and passage. Even a law agreed upon by all three branches of government, as is the case of the ACA, could - after the fact - be 'vetoed' by only the House of Representatives simply with the procedural move of refusing to pass a budget or continuing resolution.
This appears unconstitutional. Article I Section VII requires that budgetary bills originate in the House, where they are debated in the Senate. Differences between House and Senate Bills are reconciled in conference committee. The final bill passed is then sent to the President for a signature or vetoed.
Article IV Section I ('full faith and credit') of the US Constitution demands the financial solvency of states, and provides the judiciary with the authority to resolve private financial disputes.
The Fourteenth Amendment clearly states that US Federal debt is sacrosanct and must be honored. This was affirmed in 1935 by the Supreme Court in Perry v. United States.
The Fourteenth Amendment, in its fourth section, explicitly declares: 'The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, ... shall not be questioned.' While this provision was undoubtedly inspired by the desire to put beyond question the obligations of the government issued during the Civil War, its language indicates a broader connotation. We regard it as confirmatory of a fundamental principle which applies as well to the government bonds in question, and to others duly authorized by the Congress, as to those issued before the amendment was adopted. Nor can we perceive any reason for not considering the expression 'the validity of the public debt' as embracing whatever concerns the integrity of the public obligations."
We conclude that the Joint Resolution of June 5, 1933, in so far as it attempted to override the obligation created by the bond in suit, went beyond the congressional power.
There is absolutely no rational argument that either legislative body in congress has the authority to withhold fulfilling its constitutional fiduciary responsibilities for the sole purpose of exacting policy concessions otherwise unrealizable through normal legislative practice. Funding the government is explicitly their job. For one legislative body to refuse to fund government without policy concessions from either another legislative body, the Executive, or Judicial clearly expropriates authority in an extra-constitutional manner and thus violates the balance of powers our founders initially intended." [emphasis added]
Not only that, but as we noted in our previous posting,

Government Shutdown Crisis Planned in Secret, Months in Advance by Republican Anarchists: A Criminal Conspiracy?

the criminal "conspirators against rights" in the House of Representatives and those outside of it should be sent to jail.

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