Via Garden State Patriot, we learn that Senator Lautenberg seems not to be too interested in the constitutionality of health care reform...when questioned on it by CNS, he replied thusly:
CNSNews.com: “Specifically where in the Constitution does Congress get the authority to mandate that individuals have health insurance?”
Senator Lautenberg: “I’m not going to answer that.”
Why not? Is it because the Senate fears that their twisted reform may not stand up to a constitutional challenge, and they lack the courage to rewrite the bill in a way that would conform to the nation's laws? CNS gives us some historical background on the issue:
Back in 1994, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) examined the individual health insurance mandate, which was then being proposed by President Bill Clinton’s health care reform effort, and described the idea as an “unprecedented form of federal action.”
“The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States,” the CBO analysis said. “An individual mandate would have two features that, in combination, would make it unique. First, it would impose a duty on individuals as members of society. Second, it would require people to purchase a specific service that would be heavily regulated by the federal government.”
Frank knows, but Frank doesn't care. The Senator will be 86 this year; re-elected in the Obama landslide of 2008, New Jersey is stuck with Lautenberg until 2014, assuming he makes it that long. He knows this is his last ride, making him unbeholden to the voters of New Jersey, and allowing him to legislate based on his far-left tendencies and not with the interests of the voters he is supposed to represent in mind.
With his seat a "dead" one for so many years, there's very little polling being done on Lautenberg. Back in July, a poll showed him with 40%/41% favorable/unfavorable, pretty poor in an alleged "blue" state, despite Lautenberg's penchant for staying off the radar. Wonder what it looks like now, post-Corzine & in the Age of Obama?
But it doesn't matter, for on his Last Ride, Lautenberg intends to flaunt the Constitution anddefy the will of the people in order to pass legislation that will make him feel good inside. And we are all just hostages to his wicked desires, those of a old man who knows he has little to lose, and is safely shielded from voter retribution...
Something to think about, the next time an 80 year old public official seeks yet another term...
UPDATE 1-5: Senator Orrin Hatch sets "Old Man Lautenberg" straight on the Constitution in the Wall Street Journal...