After listening to the blame games following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the overhaul of the health care law, the Republicans have been sounding as if the law was proposed, drafted and made into law by President Barack Obama. When did they forget about the U.S. Constitution?
I admit I had bone up on how Congress works to make sure I remember what I had been taught in civics class. (I opted for a site directed at young people, so I could be sure explanations didn’t get too complicated for me.)
And there it was: “A ‘bill’ is introduced when a member of Congress decides to create a new law.” WOW! Nowhere does it say the president controls the process.
Republican leaders need to be blaming fellow members of Congress who provided the majority of votes to pass the bill. When House Speaker John Boehner talks about Obamacare, it is merely political posturing in a presidential election year. And probably some chaffing over the decision of Chief Justice Roberts, a Republican appointee, to uphold the law.
The Republicans know exactly how the system works.
I am not so naïve that I believe a president has no ideas about what he would like Congress to do during his administration. The law is known as Obamacare because it was a priority.
Congress, however, holds the upper hand. At decision time, the Senate and House vote separately on a proposed law. If both groups approve the bill, it goes to the president to approve or veto. And if he does veto it, Congress has a chance to override that veto. The controversial health care law went through the same process.
Obamacare would have gone down the tubes if Congress wanted it to. And that could still happen. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor already has scheduled a vote for July 11 on repealing the law.
Boehner needs to remember that a law is like a turtle on a fence post: It didn’t get where it is without a lot of help — usually from both sides of the aisle. But with nary a vote from the president.