Government “Shutdown” — A Fight for Our Constitution

The political process created by our Constitution was designed to cabin the power of the federal government, and this is particularly true when it comes to raising revenue (i.e., taxes) — an act that Americans have abhorred since the very first Tea Party in Boston.

Our Founders certainly understood this well by requiring, through Article I, section 7 of the Constitution, “All bills for raising revenue [to] originate in the House of Representatives,” the chamber that is most responsive to the electorate.

The Federalist No. 58 “defend[ed] the decision to give the origination power to the House on the grounds that the Chamber that is more accountable to the people should have the primary role in raising revenue.”  United States v. Munoz-Flores, 495 U.S. 385, 395 (1990).  And this remained true even after the Seventeenth Amendment was ratified in 1913, which required direct election of U.S. Senators by popular vote.

Thus, in this debate over the government “shutdown,” it is the President and the Senate (via Harry Reid) that are acting contrary to our Constitution in their childish attacks of the House for doing its constitutional duty.  In sum, it is “we the people” who should stand alongside the House in its efforts to maintain our constitutional republic.