In The World We Live In, Congress Can’t Stop Obamacare
According to Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, “The Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes…. and borrow Money on the Credit of the United States” It seems this would mean the Executive Branch cannot spend a thin dime without it being appropriated by the Congress.
Congress can withhold discretionary spending, but cannot defund specific mandatory spending for programs that have been enacted into law by previous Congresses without: altering the original law mandating the spending, the signature of the President on the defunding legislation, or the votes to override a Presidential veto of the same. Congress could refuse to forward any funding whatsoever, thereby leading to a government shutdown, which has been repeatedly shown not to be tolerated by the American public.
Congress can’t stop Obamacare, social security, nor any other legislation with mandatory funding attached, already codified into law. The Executive Branch does not have to get money to fund it. If there is a method by which Obamacare can be selectively defunded without a denial of all funding, Senators Cruz, Lee, McConnell and others are not so knowledgeable as those who say otherwise.
In particular, Senator Ted Cruz has been described as one of the most brilliant Constitutional scholars ever to graduate Harvard Law, and thus surely has an incomplete understanding of the Constitution and the laws subsequently passed regarding the operation of Congress. Or, more likely, Mr. Cruz understands the rules as they exist, which is why he resorted to attempting to force a government shutdown by refusing to forward a debt ceiling increase or a continuing resolution (which due to government borrowing necessarily includes additional debt authorization) rather than simply introduce legislation outlawing spending for Obamacare in the Senate, pass it in the Senate, pass it in the House, have it vetoed by the President, then get 13 Democrats to go against their President.
The people passed Obamacare. The people, and not Congress, will have to stop it.