The big story throughout the country this week was the U.S. Supreme Court’s disappointing decision allowing President Obama’s health care law to stand. Unfortunately, the decision allows for the full implementation of the 2010 law, despite its flawed design and questionable constitutional basis. The law still fails to address the issue of adequate funding, and will drive up health care costs, making it harder for small businesses to hire workers.
It’s bad enough that this oppressive law is allowed to stand, but it is even more disappointing that the Supreme Court bought into the argument that the penalty for failure to comply with the law’s individual mandate is actually a tax which is legal under the Constitution. When this statute was passed, President Obama and Democrats were very specific; they claimed this was NOT a tax. The premise upon which the Affordable Care Act was sold is false. This is one of the largest tax increases in American history.
My House colleagues and I remain committed to repealing this troublesome law in its entirety. This ruling highlights the critical need for a Congress and White House committed to refocusing attention on health care legislation that provides affordability, increased accessibility, choice for patients and doctors, and protection of individual rights. I pledge to continue to work to fully repeal this law and replace it with common sense reforms that promote individual control of health care, portability, and flexibility.
The U.S. Supreme Court handed down its ruling on another case of great interest to Missouri and our country. It struck down most of Arizona’s law addressing the problem of illegal immigration, leaving intact the provision allowing law enforcement to question the immigration status of those who are detained for non-immigration reasons. Allowing police officers to enforce laws is certainly positive, but this “mixed signal” ruling is a clear indication that the federal government must act to enforce America’s immigration laws.
The State of Arizona’s law was passed as a result of the failure of the federal government to enforce existing immigration laws. This decision should serve as a wake-up call to all Americans who believe in respect for and adherence to the law that the federal government is not performing its constitutional obligation to protect this nation’s borders and must put politics aside to enforce our laws.
On another matter, the U.S. House found Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for blocking its efforts to get the facts about Operation Fast and Furious – a flawed Justice Department sting operation that allowed 2,000 weapons to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. Tragically, this covert operation was responsible for the death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. For sixteen months the Department of Justice, headed by Attorney General Holder, has failed to cooperate meaningfully with a congressional investigation. In October of last year, a subpoena was issued requiring the Justice Department to provide documents relating to Fast and Furious. But the Department has failed to comply completely, providing only documents which contain little, if any, useful information. The family of Officer Terry and the American people deserve answers to their questions about this botched operation. I will keep you informed of this effort to end the cover-up and learn the truth.
Have a good week.