Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7 of the Constitution states: "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law." No law can be enacted unless a majority of the House votes for it. If a majority of the House refuses to vote for a law funding implementation of a regulation, the administration cannot implement the regulation.
This is not an unprecedented procedure. As I wrote in this column almost a year ago, the $914.8 billion continuing resolution Congress enacted last December to keep the government funded through September included a provision protecting stockyard owners from Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
"Notwithstanding any other provision of law," said the provision, "none of the funds made available in this or any other Act may be used to implement any provision in a rule if that provision requires mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from manure management systems."
As I wrote then, that CR did not say: None of the funds made available in this or any other Act may be used to implement any rule or regulation under Obamacare that requires health care plans to cover sterilizations and contraceptives, including abortifacients, or that requires any individual, organization, institution or business to purchase a health care plan that covers sterilizations and contraceptives, including abortifacients.
Congress protected the right of manure makers to emit gasses but not the right of Catholics to practice their religion.
But that was before Boehner vowed, "This attack by the federal government on religious freedom in our country must not stand and will not stand."
So, now Boehner has a choice: He can let Obama attack religious freedom, or he can deny Obama the funding to attack religious freedom -- just as Congress denied Obama the funding to regulate gas emissions by manure makers.
If Boehner leads the House in approving must-pass spending legislation that defunds Obama's attack on the religious liberty of Catholics, Obama and Senate Democrats will have a choice: Shut down the government or give up their attack on the religious liberty of Catholics.
Yes, it is quite likely that President Obama and Senate Democrats are so intent on forcing Catholics to cooperate in evil acts that they will shut down the government to preserve their power to do so.
The question is whether Boehner will make them shut down the government in their quest to diminish American freedom -- or, as he vowed earlier this year, make sure that attack does not stand.
There is no middle ground for Boehner on this, just as there is no middle ground for Obama. Either Boehner -- and the House Republicans who follow him -- stand with Catholics in defense of religious liberty or they stand against Catholics in funding Obama's attack on our must fundamental freedom of all.
Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSnews.com. To find out more about him, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.
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