Monday, May 27, 2013

All Your Powers are Belong to Us

The Department of Health and Human Services does not have any money appropriated by Congress to carry out certain functions related to ObamaCare implementation. Secretary Sebelius has been soliciting private funds to pay for those functions in the absence of Congressional appropriations. That is simply wrong.

People have noticed the HHS end run around the appropriations process:

A select Joint Committee of Congress report on the scandal released in November 1987 stated that “Congress’s exclusive control of the expenditure of funds cannot legally be evaded through the use of gifts or donations to the executive branch.”

Alexander said yesterday in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal that “if the money being raised by Ms. Sebelius is being spent to do an end-run around Congress, then the Obama administration had better brush up on its Iran-Contra history.”

This offended me the first time I heard about it. Somebody needs to brush up on separation of powers in the various branches of the government.

I know some defenders of Sebelius are saying that since Congress passed ObamaCare that Congress has an obligation to fund it. Sadly, one Congress cannot lock future Congresses into set actions.

And we don't need to go as far back as Iran-Contra. That logic certainly didn't work when one Congress declared war on Iraq in 2002 and a later Congress in 2007 attempted to de-fund the Iraq War.

Hey, just what would people be saying if Congress had de-funded the war effort to stop a legally declared war and President Bush had solicited private or foreign funds to keep the war going?

If Sebelius wants to appropriate money she should run for Congress. Otherwise, she gets to execute with what she is given by Congress and approved by the president.