Gov. Terry McAuliffe will try to bypass the General Assembly to expand health coverage for hundreds of thousands of uninsured Virginians, while attempting to block legislative priorities ranging from judicial appointments to an overhaul of the Capitol complex in Richmond.
McAuliffe said Friday that he will sign a two-year state budget that does not include his top legislative priority — expansion of Medicaid — in order to protect public services and Virginia’s triple-A bond rating in the face of a projected $1.55 billion revenue shortfall. (continued here)
During his campaign for governor, McAuliffe threatened to shut Virginia’s government down if the two-year state budget that did not include his top legislative priority — expansion of Medicaid. So in one respect, he chickened out. However, he has not given up. Exercising a veto power he really does not have, that unscrupled opportunist has just changed tactics.
What are the Republicans saying about it? What follows are excerpts from emails that a couple of Republicans sent out yesterday. Virginia Senator Bill Stanley sponsored the provision (The Stanley Amendment) that prevents McAuliffe from expanding Medicaid. He wants to continue the fight.
The Stanley Amendment
As you may know, Senate Republicans took back control of the Senate Chamber last week. Within days, we called the General Assembly back to Richmond, passed a clean budget that did not include Medicaid Expansion, and brought an end to the Democrats threats to shutdown Virginia’s government.
From the beginning, I strongly pushed to decouple Medicaid expansion from the budget. When the first Senate session began with Republicans back in control, we were able to pass a budget in less than six hours – something that Senate Democrats had been unwilling to do when they were in control.
To ensure Medicaid expansion cannot be implemented unless the General Assembly specifically authorizes it, I sponsored an amendment (which the media has been calling “The Stanley Amendment”) that was co-patroned by all 20 Senate Republicans. The Senate approved my amendment 20 to 19, and the House concurred 69 to 31. The amendment keeps McAuliffe from legally expanding Obamacare in Virginia on his own (The Stanley Amendment).
Even though the bill is on the Governor’s desk, the fight is far from over. On Friday, Governor McAuliffe stated that he would veto the Stanley Amendment and try to expand Obamacare in Virginia without legislative approval.
Governor McAuliffe does not have the authority to unilaterally expand Medicaid. If he ignores the Constitution by continuing on a course to do so, I am confident that he will be given a refresher course on the limits of his powers from both the legislative and judicial branches of Virginia government.
Delegate Bob Marshall is also rightly in a fighting mood. Here is his take.
McAuliffe “Veto” Defies U.S. and VA Constitutions
Terry McAuliffe and Mark Herring are at it again!
Governor McAuliffe has no legal authority to “line-item veto” the condition added by the General Assembly to the Budget preventing the Governor from expanding Medicaid without General Assembly approval, but that’s exactly what he’s trying to do!
The Virginia Supreme Court defined “item” the 1940 case of Commonwealth vs. Dodson and agreed with the US Supreme Court that: “An item of an appropriation bill obviously means an item which in itself is a specific appropriation of money, not some general provision of law which happens to be put into an appropriation bill. …
Even if the Constitution of Virginia gave Mr. McAuliffe the power to veto “parts” of the Budget, he still could not “line-item veto” the Medicaid prohibition: “ … the constitution of Mississippi gave to the governor power to veto parts of any appropriation bill. “Parts” is a word capable of wider application than “item” or “items”, yet it did not give to the governor power to veto an objectionable provision.(Dodson, citing Bengzon v. Secretary, etc.)
The Governor’s actions and the Attorney general’s so-called advice are contemptuous of the people and Constitution of Virginia, the Constitution of the United States, and the Rule of Law.
No doubt Mr. McAuliffe is following the deluded reasoning of Attorney General Mark Herring who is better at giving political advice than legal counsel. McAuliffe and Herring are defying the US Supreme Court (see Bengzon v. Secretary of Justice of Philippine Islands – 299 U.S. 410, 1937) and the VA Supreme Court (see Brault v. Holleman, 1976).
The VA Constitution clearly states, “The Governor shall have the power to veto any particular item or items of an appropriation bill, but the veto shall not affect the item or items to which he does not object.”
McAuliffe’s fake “line-item veto” completely reverses the purpose of the amendment. It is out of order and the Speaker should rule it out of order. The Speaker should also open hearings into the unauthorized and unprecedented raw exercise of power by Mr. McAuliffe and Mr. Herring to restore constitutional order to Virginia’s government.
Please contact Speaker Bill Howell to ask him to rule this “veto” out of order. Please also contact your delegate and senator to ask them encourage the Speaker to stay strong in this fight against the Governor and to not allow this massive abuse of the Executive office. You can also contact Governor Terry McAuliffe to let him know you disagree with his veto and you want him to follow the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions.
Please help me continue to stand up to these abuses of power by donating to my campaign at the link below (each month’s Marshall Messages cost $130!)
Thank you so much for your help!
Here is a link to the relevant part of the Constitution of Virginia.
McAuliffe’s power grab is just one of the many now in progress in our nation. Because we are electing public officials who think themselves above the law, we risk our republic and the loss of our God-given rights.
Do you sneer at such talk? The people who lead us know better. They can see where our undisciplined grasping for each other’s wealth and special rights leads => CHAOS. And so they prepare to seize power.
Consider BRUCE: America’s expanding police state – Neighborhood cops are becoming armed soldiers. Then try to figure out THE TRIVIALIZATION OF SWAT. Here is an excerpt.
But SWAT teams at the IRS? The Fish and Wildlife Service? EPA? NOAA (they predict the weather)? They all are reported to use them, often to enforce obscure and unintelligible regulations. Each time they do, it makes it more difficult for the FBI and urban police departments to effectively fight real crime.