U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.
After learning that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – or “Obamacare” – contains over $105 billion in already-approved spending “hidden” in it’s nearly 1,000 pages, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is calling for President Obama and top Democrats to give the money back to the American people.
Bachmann is outraged that Obamacare, which was passed by congressional Democrats and signed by Obama before many in Congress could read or understand the bill, skirted the usual process of passing law first and funding it later. Instead, she says many are only now learning, the bill already appropriates over $105 billion to implement itself over the next eight years.
“When Nancy Pelosi famously said we had to pass the bill to find out what’s in it, it was more prophetic than anyone realized,” Bachmann told WND.
Though congressional Republicans have vowed to defund Obamacare, denying any new spending on the unpopular legislation, Bachmann says it’s already too late, for “hidden here and there” in the bill are different provisions already approved to spend billions.
And while it’s not unprecedented that a bill would contain appropriations for implementing itself, Bachmann says it’s never done on bills “of this magnitude.”
“There can be pre-funding, but usually members of House and Senate are told what’s in the bill,” she explained. “And yet, during the entire debate on Obamacare, there was not one debate on the House or Senate floor over the $105,464,000,000 on pre-appropriation funding to implement Obamacare over the next eight years. You will not find one debate on that; could it be that this just slipped Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama’s minds?”
Now, Bachmann says, Republicans need to “draw a line in the sand” on budget negotiations, as Congress looks for a way to fund the government beyond the current March 18 deadline.
“We’ve been hunting and pecking to look for $61 billion in savings from the budget,” Bachmann told WND, “and we just find out now that [top Democrats] have already appropriated much more than that? $105 billion over the next 8 years and nobody knew about it?
“They took this by deception. They failed to disclose critical terms of that bill. This was a fraud when they put that through,” Bachmann said. “That’s why we must insist that we will not give one red cent of funding after March 18 until they first give the money back. Then we can discuss the budget.”
Bachmann created a video explaining the billions in pre-appropriations, which can be seen below:
Bachmann insists that the Obamacare “fraud” is about far more than just money, however, but about an egregious abuse of power, stemming from the way the bill was rushed through Congress.
“The senators did not receive the final copy of the final bill until a few hours before they took their vote. In the House, the bill we were working on was scrapped, and instead we voted on the Senate bill as written,” Bachmann told WND. “There’s a due diligence that needed to occur. … There was a concerted effort to ensure we could not read the bill and vet it before voting, and now we see the consequences.”
She continued, “Now we will be without remedy to defund Obamacare, because they have prefunded it. They told no one they were prefunding the implementation. [Republicans] were all arguing that if we got the gavel in 2010 that we could effectively repeal Obamacare between now and 2012 because we could defund it. That option was taken away from us, the people’s [referendum-like vote in 2010] was neutered.”
Also included in Section 1311(a) of Obamacare, Bachmann warns, is an unlimited appropriation to the Health and Human Services secretary:
“The bill allows HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to extend any amount of money that she wants to any of the 50 states for the purpose of implementing the health-care exchanges,” Bachmann said. “This is extraordinary, unprecedented, unparalleled and it defies our Constitution because only Congress can appropriate money, but this gives her an unlimited credit card to tap the U.S. Treasury without further Congressional approval.”
Because the language of the Obamacare legislation has already “spent” the $105 billion – though more than $100 billion of the appropriations won’t pour out of the Treasury until next year and beyond – defunding any “new” spending, Bachmann points out, won’t be enough to stop the controversial law. Congress, she said, needs to act in a different way:
“This is what we need to do now,” Bachmann told WND. “The government will run out of money on March 18, and the debate now is on the budget. What we need to do is demand that Obama, Pelosi and Reid give the money back. They have to give this money back because they gained it under false pretenses.
“This year, the $5 billion [that is to be spent] has to be given back,” she said. “Then they have to give back the language in the bill that secures future appropriations.”
Without such a drastic step, she warns, the money will be spent whether opponents of Obamacare like it or not, and – short of a full repeal – the controversial health-care overhaul will become reality.
“If we give up on this issue of getting the money back now, Obamacare will be implemented,” Bachmann warned. “We will have forsaken our right to get rid of Obamacare in the future.”