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Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this bill for two very important reasons. First, I believe that this bill fundamentally violates the U.S. Constitution and it will be found unconstitutional once it gets its way through the courts.
While Congress is given the power under the Constitution to regulate interstate activity, never before have we had to be required to purchase a private product--government approved--as a price of U.S. citizenship. This moves far beyond regulating economic activity into the realm of regulating inactivity.
If we allow that Congress has this authority under the Constitution, then there is no limit whatsoever of Washington's ability to micromanage our lives. In the future, if Congress feels our car industry needs a boost again, they can require us all, once again, to purchase a car from GM. That is not exactly what our Founding Fathers had in mind.
Thirty-seven States have already filed legislation to challenge this bill. Two States have already passed laws threatening lawsuits if this bill passes tonight. One State lawmaker has pointed out that that's two-thirds of the States of this great country, enough States to change the Constitution.
In addition, there's another reason it should be rejected. It's because it puts us hopelessly in debt. Democrats assert that their bill would reduce the deficit over the next 10 years, and more thereafter. Utter nonsense. As the ranking member has repeatedly pointed out, there are budget gimmicks in here and double counting galore. Your very own actuaries from the HHS, what do they say about that? They say that the bill is ``unrealistic.'' Furthermore, it would ``jeopardize access to care'' for seniors citizens.
So, then, what can we count on after this massive program passes and we have $2.5 trillion in additional spending at an 8 percent growth rate? Think about it. We can't even pay our own debts today. Please, don't add another unconstitutional, economic burden to this and future generations.
Vote down this bill.
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