REINS Reaffirms Congress as the Sole Lawmaking Branch of the Federal Government

Cruz said, “When you get government off the backs of small businesses, and reduce the tax and regulatory burden, opportunity flourishes.”

REINS Reaffirms Congress as the Sole Lawmaking Branch of the Federal Government
By J. Allen Tharp

  By J. Allen Tharp

The 115th Congress got off to a bit of an ignominious start this session and placed their own self-interest above the interest of the public by trying to pass an amendment to put the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) under the oversight of the House. Some say this would limit its independence and restrict its jurisdiction, while others say the process needs to be changed in order to preclude anonymous, unfounded allegations. Regardless, most Americans felt that this issue should not have occupied any time on the first day of the 2017 Congressional calendar and that this only detracted from much more important issues like repealing Obamacare and simplifying and lowering the tax burden. Thanks to the efforts of thousands of constituents who contacted them, Congress pulled the amendment and moved on to other more appropriate legislative priorities, such as the REINS Act and repealing Obamacare.

Passing the REINS Act will add teeth to the Congressional Review Act and take power away from Executive branch federal agencies by restoring those powers back to Congress, as intended by the founders. This Act reaffirms Congress as the sole lawmaking branch of the federal government, in accordance with Article I of the Constitution.  The purpose is to rein in the runaway, unelected fourth branch of government that has unconstitutionally supplanted the lawmaking powers of Congress over the last several decades.

Regarding the repeal of Obamacare, last week both the House and Senate passed budget resolution packages that lay the framework for rolling back Obamacare. This is the blueprint for what committees in Congress will be able to spend for the upcoming fiscal year and was the first step in the repeal process. Now both Houses of Congress can use the reconciliation process requiring only a simple majority vote to finally repeal Obamacare.

Obamacare has been an anchor around the necks of small business, and fully repealing it is likely the most important thing Congress can do this year to untether business and allow them to produce more jobs and boost the economy. We must push Congress to have a sense of urgency about completing the full repeal process though, because every week that this job-killing law is left in place sees more companies crushed under the untenable financial burden. Each business that is shuttered due to this law means more jobs lost and less money pumped into the economy.

Now that we have started down this road to getting the Federal Government out of our insurance and healthcare decisions, we need to go all the way. This means that just returning to the 2009 preObama status quo should not be our goal and should not be accepted. Even before Obamacare’s unwelcome intrusion into our lives, the Federal Government had already been tampering with the insurance markets for decades by imposing harmful restrictions and regulations that interfered with the free market. In fact, Franklin Roosevelt’s decision to freeze wages back in the 40’s is what eroded the portability of insurance policies. His decision caused employers to start offering health insurance in lieu of offering higher wages, in order to woo employees from other competitors, since they were prohibited from offering more wages. This led to regulations that tethered employee coverage to their employers, thus destroying the previous portability of policies.

As Senator Jim DeMint said, “The health care system was already over-regulated, inefficient, and needlessly expensive before Obamacare made all of those problems worse.”

“Consequently, repealing Obamacare is just the starting point, and clearing away the obstacles to innovative, bottom-up health reform will be a longer-term process, not a one-time event.”  We must not replace one top-down centralized plan with a different top-down centralized plan.

Senator Cruz said, “Unwinding the harms of Obamacare begins now by fully repealing the law and starting over with commonsense, patient-focused reforms that put patients and their doctors back in the driver’s seat.”

The government does not do things well. Government programs are inefficient and ridiculously expensive. Obamacare was no exception. The government spent hundreds of billions and, contrary to the lofty claims of the Obama administration, they barely managed to increase the number of people with health insurance. The net growth in private health insurance has been only about 3 million people—or less than 1 percent of the population and 80% of even that small increase was the result of simply enrolling more people in Medicaid.

Despite the incredible damage that is being done daily by Obamacare and the terrible track record of Federal Government healthcare solutions, a few RINO Republicans, who don’t really want to repeal Obamacare, want to hold the repeal plan hostage to passing a replacement plan. If this path is taken, then there will be no repeal and Republicans will become known as pathetic failures that again refused to keep their promises to America. The answer is not to replace one failing government program with another. Tying repeal and replace together is a sure death sentence for repeal.

If Congress is to be successful in fully repealing Obamacare, they need to keep in mind the principles espoused by Senator Cruz and President Reagan:

Reagan said, “Government is not the solution; government is the problem.”

Cruz said, “When you get government off the backs of small businesses, and reduce the tax and regulatory burden, opportunity flourishes.”

Allen Tharp is President of the San Antonio Tea Party.




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