‘Prince of Pork’ to Chair Appropriations

House Republican leaders went with Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) – a.k.a. “The Prince of Pork” – to chair the House Appropriations Committee. As I wrote last week, the prospect of Rogers chairing Appropriations is about as inspiring as re-heated meatloaf when it comes to his potential for pushing serious spending reforms.

Republican leaders in the House chose to ignore the concerns of tea party activists and other proponents of limited government, who were more supportive of Rep. Jack Kingston’s (R-GA) dark-horse push for the chairmanship. Kingston’s plan to “change the culture” on Appropriations offered a lot of positive ideas suggesting that he was more in tune with the voters that gave Republicans the majority.

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Judge Hudson Is Right About the Individual Mandate

U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson just found the individual mandate central to Obamacare unconstitutional. The provision would force most Americans to buy health insurance by 2014.

Who’s right? Judge Hudson, or Obama and his supporters?

The Constitution created a federal government limited to its enumerated powers. Everything Congress is allowed to do is spelled out in Article I. The 10th Amendment makes it explicit: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Nothing in the Constitution authorizes any federal involvement in healthcare whatsoever — yet Congress and Obama saw no limits to their power when they passed and signed health care reform earlier this year.

Admittedly, the Supreme Court has ruled that the language empowering Congress to “regulate Commerce … among the several States” applies to an ever-broadening range of activity. The “commerce” clause was originally intended to prohibit interstate tariffs, a supposed problem under the Articles of Confederation.

Ironically, consumers today cannot freely buy health insurance from across state lines. If there’s any legitimate application of the “commerce” clause, it would be to overturn such restrictions. But the framers never gave Congress the general power to regulate industry.

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