By Cong. Ben Quayle
What a spectacularly busy week this has been in Washington, DC. I usually like to wait until the weekend before sending out this newsletter, but with such important events transpiring, I wanted to get in touch earlier than usual.
The Supreme Court dominated the headlines after coming down with two rulings of vital importance to the people of Arizona. First, on Monday the Supreme Court ruled that it would uphold the main provision of SB 1070, also known as the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act. Today, in what was perhaps one of the most heavily anticipated and scrutinized cases of the past decade, the Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare and its individual mandate are constitutional.
An important nuance is that the Supreme Court ruled that the individual mandate is in fact a tax. That directly contradicts President Obama’s earlier statement that the mandate is “absolutely not a tax increase.” In times of economic turmoil, Arizonans cannot afford another unwelcome increase in their tax burden. This bill is bad for our healthcare, bad for our economy, and bad for the limited government that our founders envisioned.
I’m not deterred by this incredibly disappointing ruling. If anything, it has fortified my commitment to repeal this disastrous bill and replace it with real, market-based reforms. My Republican House colleagues and I have supported more than 30 pieces of legislation to repeal Obamacare in whole or in part. I’ve sponsored a couple bills of my own. The fight against Obamacare doesn’t end now. It’s just getting warmed up.
As you know, the Supreme Court’s SB 1070 ruling struck down three of its provisions, but upheld Section 2B, the bill’s core, which I consider to be a victory for the people of Arizona. With this defeat in hand, President Obama and his Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, felt compelled to retaliate; not against the Supreme Court, but against the people of Arizona. On the same day as the SB 1070 ruling, Secretary Napolitano announced the termination of the vital joint local and federal immigration enforcement task force known as 287(g). This action was taken solely against the state of Arizona as a direct consequence of the Supreme Court’s ruling. Plain and simple, this political maneuver puts Arizonans at risk and is entirely unacceptable. As a result I wrote a letter to House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King requesting that he call Secretary Napolitano to testify before his Committee. It is particularly astounding that in her role as an Obama-appointee, Ms. Napolitano would go so far as to betray the people of her home state.
On another note, today, after weeks of calling for a contempt hearing, I am proud to have voted alongside both Republican and Democratic colleagues in voting to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in Contempt of Congress for his refusal to cooperate with inquiries into his role in Operation Fast and Furious. This is a meaningful reproach of the Obama administration and its tactics of denial and obfuscation.
Next week I will be back home in Arizona. I look forward to spending the week meeting with my constituents and most of all, celebrating Independence Day with my wife and daughter. This might be America’s 236th Independence Day, but it’ll be Evie’s first! I hope all of you will have a July 4th that is just as meaningful. Have a wonderful week.