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The Ryan Budget and the Individual Mandate

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. NUNNELEE. Mr. Speaker, this is an important week for the future of our Republic. In this Capitol, we are debating and voting on budgets, laying out our visions for how we should handle the spending, taxing, and debt issues facing America in the coming years. Across the street at the Supreme Court, they're debating what, if any, limits can be placed on the Federal Government's power to regulate under the Commerce Clause of our Constitution.

But, really, we're talking about the same thing: Do we still live under a Federal Government of limited and enumerated powers? Do we believe that the source of our government begins in ``We the people''? Do we believe in liberty? Do we trust people to make their own decisions about their own lives without reliance on, or subservience to, an all-knowing and all-powerful central government in Washington? Are there limits on what Washington can demand of the citizens that it's supposed to be serving? Republicans believe that the answer to these questions is a resounding ``yes.''

The budget put forth by Chairman Ryan and the Budget Committee shows that it is possible for this Congress to offer solutions to the challenges of the modern world that are rooted in limited government, individual freedom, and the Constitution. It is our responsibility to govern and to offer the people an alternative to the do-nothing attitude of the Senate Democrat leadership or the business-as-usual, tax-spend-and-borrow budget offered by the President.

The arguments being made by the plaintiffs against the individual mandate are that the Constitution is not dead, that at least one party in Washington and a majority of the country still believe that the Constitution means what it says, and that there are limits on the power of Congress and of the executive branch.

I'm energized and hopeful for the future of this great Republic as I see these events unfold this week, and I'm reminded of the observation of President Reagan:

I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts.


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