Yesterday, President Obama accused Republicans of committing a crime by using their constitutional authority to pass a budget to their liking. President Obama accused Republicans of committing extortion:
With a possible government shutdown looming, President Obama today accused House Republicans of extortion, saying a “faction” of lawmakers threatens to force the United States into default unless he agrees to delay or defund his signature health care law.
“You have never seen in the history of the United States the debt ceiling or the threat of not raising the debt ceiling being used to extort a president and trying to force issues that have nothing to do with the budget and have nothing to do with the debt,” Obama said in speech to the Business Roundtable, a nonpartisan association of top American CEOs.
“That a budget is contingent on us eliminating a program that was voted on, passed by both chambers of Congress, ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court, is two weeks from being fully implemented and that helps 30 million people finally get health care coverage; we’ve never seen that become the issue around a budget battle,” he said of the Affordable Care Act.
Mr. President, I still haven’t seen Congress using the threat of extortion to repeal a law, pass a budget or not raise the debt ceiling. That’s because extortion is a crime:
Law. the crime of obtaining money or some other thing of value by the abuse of one’s office or authority.
The Constitution gives Congress the power of the purse. That necessarily means Congress is acting within its authority, which eliminates the possibility of extortion.
That doesn’t mean I think President Obama thinks Congress is committing extortion. I think he used that incendiary term because he thought it would have an impact. It did. It made him look weak. It makes him look like a drama queen. It prevents him from looking presidential.
The rest of President Obama’s statement is of questionable integrity. For instance, saying that the PPACA was passed by both chambers of Congress is technically accurate. It’s worth noting that President Obama didn’t admit that the bill that passed wasn’t meant to be the final bill. Martha Coakley was supposed to win the special election to replace Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts. After that, the House and Senate would go to conference to iron out the differences and make the bill implementable.
Scott Brown’s stunning upset changed all those plans. He represented the 41st vote against the PPACA. That meant Republicans could filibuster the bill into submission. The House had to pass the Senate’s bill to get it to President Obama’s desk.
Meanwhile, the people were consistently and vehemently saying they didn’t want this monstrosity. They didn’t trust their government to do what’s right. President Obama, then-Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Reid didn’t care about the people. They put a higher priority on passing the Democratic Party’s Holy Grail than they put on doing what We The People wanted.
If the drama queen president wants to argue that Congress is attempting to commit extortion, I’ll cheerfully laugh at him. Then I’ll accuse him of pridefully hanging onto an achievement that the American people have consistently, passionately and vehemently insisted on repealing. His accusation is imaginary at best. My accusation is as verifiable as my facts are irrefutable.
President Obama, isn’t it finally time to listen to the American people? Isn’t it time you started acting like a public servant?