The Power of the Purse and Defunding Obamacare

Thursday, August 8th, 2013 and is filed under Blog, News, Obamacare

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Over the past three years, we have heard apologists for the Republican establishment argue that we only control one-half of one-third of government, and as such, are unable to force any transformational change.  Undoubtedly, we lack the wherewithal to propose and pass new legislation into law.  But when it comes to funding various functions of government, we wield full power.

James Madison poured copious pages of ink explaining the peculiarities of the two branches of Congress.  In Federalist #58, he explained the unique power over the purse that is manifest in the House of Representatives:

The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose, the supplies requisite for the support of government. They, in a word, hold the purse — that powerful instrument by which we behold, in the history of the British Constitution, an infant and humble representation of the people gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance, and finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of the government. This power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people, for obtaining a redress of every grievance, and for carrying into effect every just and salutary measure.

Well, the American people are turning to Republicans in Congress as the last refuge to redress the grievances wrought by Obamacare.  Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), a Madison Project endorsee, is circulating a letter to fellow House members requesting that they commit to defunding Obamacare in the next budget bill.  Here is the latest list of signatories.  If your member is not on the list, confront them at the next town hall meeting and tell them to read Madison’s writings:

Here is the list of signatories in alphabetical order:


1.      Amash, Justin              MI-03

2.      Bachmann, Michele    MN-06

3.      Barr, Andy                  KY-06

4.      Barton, Joe                  TX-06

5.      Benishek, Dan             MI-01

6.      Bentivolio, Kerry        MI-11

7.      Bilirakis, Gus              FL-12

8.      Bishop, Rob                UT-01

9.      Black, Diane               TN-06

10.  Bridenstine, Jim          OK-01

11.  Broun, Paul                 GA-10

12.  Cassidy, Bill                LA-06

13.  Chabot, Steve             OH-01

14.  Coble, Howard           NC-06

15.  Collins, Doug              GA-09

16.  Conaway, Michael      TX-11

17.  Cook, Paul                  CA-08

18.  Crawford, Rick           AR-01

19.  Daines, Steve              MT

20.  Davis, Rodney            IL-13

21.  DeSantis, Ron             FL-06

22.  Duncan, Jeff               SC-03

23.  Duncan, John              TN-02

24.  Farenthold, Blake       TX-27

25.  Fleischmann, Chuck    TN-03

26.  Fleming, John              LA-04

27.  Flores, Bill                   TX-17

28.  Franks, Trent               AZ-08

29.  Gingrey, Phil               GA-11

30.  Gohmert, Louie           TX-01

31.  Gosar, Paul                  AZ-04

32.  Graves, Sam                MO-06

33.  Graves, Tom                GA-14

34.  Griffin, Tim                 AR-02

35.  Hall, Ralph                  TX-04

36.  Holding, George         NC-13

37.  Hudson, Richard         NC-08

38.  Huelskamp, Tim          KS-01

39.  Huizenga, Bill             MI-02

40.  Hultgren, Randy         IL-14

41.  Jones, Walter               NC-03

42.  Jordan, Jim                  OH-04

43.  King, Steve                 IA-04

44.  Kingston, Jack            GA-01

45.  Labrador, Raul            ID-01

46.  LaMalfa, Doug           CA-01

47.  Lamborn, Doug           CO-05

48.  Lummis, Cynthia        WY

49.  Marchant, Kenny        TX-24

50.  Marino, Tom               PA-10

51.  Massie, Thomas           KY-04

52.  McClintock, Tom        CA-04

53.  Meadows, Mark          NC-11

54.  Messer, Luke               IN-06

55.  Mulvaney, Mick          SC-05

56.  Neugebauer, Randy    TX-19

57.  Palazzo, Steven           MS-04

58.  Pearce, Steve               NM-02

59.  Perry, Scott                 PA-04

60.  Pitts, Joe                    PA-16

61.  Poe, Ted                      TX-02

62.  Pompeo, Mike             KS-04

63.  Posey, Bill                   FL-08

64.  Roe, Phil                     TN-01

65.  Rokita, Todd               IN-04

66.  Rothfus, Keith            PA-12

67.  Salmon, Matt              AZ-05

68.  Scalise, Steve              LA-01

69.  Schock, Aaron            IL-18

70.  Schweikert, David      AZ-06

71.  Sensenbrenner,            WI-05

72.  Smith, Jason                MO-08

73.  Stockman, Steve         TX-36

74.  Stutzman, Marlin        IN-03

75.  Walberg, Tim              MI-07

76.  Walorski, Jackie          IN-02

77.  Weber, Randy             TX-14

78.  Wenstrup, Brad           OH-02

79.  Wilson, Joe                  SC-02

80.  Yoho, Ted                   FL-03