Holmquist and Stevens urge lawmakers to pass their measures to protect Washingtonians from Congress’ unconstitutional mandates
OLYMPIA… State Senators Janéa Holmquist and Val Stevens today vowed to continue their fight to defend Washingtonians from the federal health care measure signed today by President Obama. They also applauded the efforts of Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna and attorneys general – including one Democrat – in at least 13 other states for joining in a lawsuit to protect people and employers from being forced to purchase insurance under the new law.
“Attorney General McKenna is demonstrating leadership and courage in fighting this unconstitutional bill and joining in a multi-state lawsuit to challenge it in court,” said Holmquist, R-Moses Lake. “As elected state officials, we have sworn an oath to uphold the United States and Washington state constitutions. We have an obligation to defend the rights of the citizens of our state.” The Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that any powers not specifically granted to the federal government, nor prohibited by the Constitution to the states, are reserved for the states and the people. Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government given the authority to compel private citizens to purchase something as a condition of citizenship, including health care coverage.
“It is the attorney general’s job to defend the Constitution and the Tenth Amendment,” said Stevens, R-Arlington. “He doesn’t need the governor’s approval to do that. It’s simply the right thing to do. Besides, I don’t recall that Governor Gregoire, when she was attorney general, had to consult the governor before joining other states’ attorneys general in the tobacco lawsuit.”
Legislators introduced measures to protect Washingtonians
Holmquist and Stevens have introduced legislation to guarantee Washingtonians protection against President Obama’s nationalized health care plan. Known as the Washington State Health Care Freedom Act of 2010, Senate Bill 6535 would protect employers and workers who refuse to participate in nationalized healthcare from possible fines and penalties. The bill would also make null and void in Washington any federal law, rule, order or other act by the federal government violating the provisions of the bill.
This measure is the companion bill to House Bill 2669 sponsored by Rep. Bill Hinkle, R-Cle Elum, Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, and Rep. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake. Senate Joint Memorial 8220, a state constitutional amendment sponsored by Stevens, would put these same protections into the Washington State Constitution, via a vote of the people
“I am concerned about this very serious threat to the freedom of Washington state citizens,” Stevens said. “Our best hope is our Tenth Amendment protections. With a strong states’ rights platform in our state Constitution, we can keep the freedom to control our lives. Without it, we’re at the mercy of whatever administration is in power at the moment.”
Holmquist, a co-sponsor of SJM 8220, agrees.
“When the federal government exceeds its constitutional authority, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy,” Holmquist said. “Without that remedy, the people would be forced to live under the unlawful and excessive control of the federal government.
“There is nothing to stop the Legislature from responding to this unprecedented move by Congress. This special session is costing taxpayers close to 14,000 dollars a day, and has produced very little to show for it. We are already here. We should vote on these measures immediately and do something this special session to protect the rights of our citizens.”
USA Today: 14 attorneys general sue over health care overhaul Public supports McKenna; oppose Congressional bill CNN Opinion Research poll – 59 percent OPPOSE Obama Health Care Plan KING 5/SurveyUSA poll – 41 percent in Western WA say “Obama plan goes too far.” NCSL: State Legislation Opposing Certain Health Reforms, 2010 ALEC: State Legislators Last Line of Defense Against ObamaCare WSJ: Why the Personal Mandate to Buy Health Insurance Is Unprecedented and Unconstitutional – A legal analysis of the interstate commerce clause and the Supreme Court's most expansive precedents.