Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A query for my readers

According to the Constitution, "All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives." Seems pretty clear, no? However, the tax compromise is going to start in the Senate and then move to the House.

Does anyone know what gimmick our nation's solons are using to get around this constitutional requirement?

I know that they routinely ignore this provision. I seem to remember that the stimulus bill in 2009 was tucked inside as an amendment to some other bill, perhaps on mental health, that had already passed the House. I was just wondering what trick they are using this time.

It's so hard, as a teacher of American government, to explain to my students these provisions of the Constitution and then to have to turn right around and tell them how today's politicians circumnavigate these very clear words. We're not talking about whether the Commerce Clause can cover an individual mandate but a clearly written, easily understood element of Article One of the Constitution. Yet it is routinely ignored.