Wait, Didn’t the Fiscal Cliff Deal Originate in the Senate?
via Cato @ Liberty by Ilya Shapiro on 1/10/13
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If you thought the policy side of the “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012” is bad, did you notice that there’s a constitutional problem too? I’m sure there’s more than one, actually, but this one was easy to spot without even digging into the gory details.
Recall that the fiscal cliff bill was first passed by the Senate in the wee hours of New Year’s Day, and then seconded by a vote of the House some 20 hours later. And yet, Article I, Section 7, Clause 1—known as the Origination Clause—states: “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.”
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And so too with the “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012,” which was a true tax-relief bill of the same name that House Republicans (and 19 Democrats) passed on August 1, 2012. That bill was naturally DOA in Harry Reid’s Senate, but it did become a useful shell for last week’s shenanigans.
So there you have it: What’s a little Constitution between friends?
Oh, and a langiappe about our favorite new law: given that it was passed on January 1—but alas has not gone away with that day’s hangovers —even the year in the title is wrong. To be fair, however, it was both American and an act of Congress.
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The Constitution has truly been rendered as defined by Lysander Spooner “No Treason No. VI: The Constitution of No Authority.”
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