NDAA Nullification Moves Forward in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. – With the Feinstein Amendment passing the Senate Thursday, the national spotlight swiveled back onto indefinite detention provisions written into the National Defense Authorization Act.

Many hailed the passage of the amendment as the beginning of the end of federally sanctioned kidnapping. But the amendment contains several troubling aspects, including an assumption that Congress retains the power to legislate indefinite detention in the future. And as Tenth Amendment Center legal analyst Blake Flilppi points out in his in depth analysis of the amendment, it may not even strike down indefinite detention under the NDAA.

That makes it imperative that state and local efforts to nullify detention without constitutional due process continue.

In Michigan, those efforts cleared a hurdle Tuesday. The Committee on Oversight, Reform, and Ethics unanimously passed HB5768 and sent it on for a second reading in the full House.


Educating Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell on Health Exchanges

In a recent interview on Fox News, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell implied that his state might not set up a state insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. In fact, as things stand right now, he wouldn’t.

“If I had to make a decision today, we would not elect to have a state-based exchange,” he said.

But McDonnell is certainly leaving the door open for Virginia to do so. In fact, a year ago he stated that Virginia should operate its own health benefits exchange instead of defaulting to a federal exchange. And this month he indicated that he’s not willing to make the commitment one way or the other. “We’ll make it [the decision] by the 14th [of December]. If we don’t have any better information, we can’t have a state-based exchange, and we’ll join most of the other governors, including a handful of Democrats, who will opt for the federal default… we cannot have a system where they give us a price tag and limited information.”

Here’s some news for you, Bob. You aren’t allowed to set up a state health exchange in Virginia.


Paying for Storm Damage

According to the New York Times, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state’s congressional delegation want the federal government to pay for $33 billion in storm damage from Hurricane Sandy plus another $9 billion for preventative measures:

“I understand the fiscal pressures that Washington is under,” Mr. Cuomo said. “I also understand the fiscal pressure that New York is under. And I know that the taxpayers of New York cannot shoulder this burden, and I don’t think it’s fair to ask them to shoulder this burden.”

I suppose one could make the argument that it wouldn’t be “fair” to make New York citizens foot the bill given that New Yorkers have helped pay for the cleanup following natural disasters in other  states. But is it “fair” for the residents of other states to subsidize rebuilding efforts on coastal areas that are prone to natural disasters? Is it “fair” for Gov. Cuomo – rumored to have eyes on running for president – to use Hurricane Sandy as an opportunity to get federal taxpayers to fund infrastructure projects that he would have otherwise had to ask his constituents to pay for?