The Constitution is gone, kids.There’s no use pretending that it isn’t.

White House Won’t Rule Out That Obama Will Sign Other Bills–Such As
Immigration Reform–That Are Not Put to Yea-or-Nay Votes in Both
Thursday, March 18, 2010
By Fred Lucas, Staff Writer

Washington ( – The White House declined on Thursday to
rule out that President Barack Obama might sign future legislation,
such as an immigration reform measure, that has not been put to a
recorded yea-or-nay vote in both houses of Congress. asked White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs about the
possibility of the president doing so because of a prospective lawsuit
that Landmark Legal Foundation President Mark Levin has prepared to
file against the president if he signs a health care bill that has not
been passed by a direct recorded yea-or-nay vote in the House of
Representatives. The prospective lawsuit argues that the plain
language of Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution requires that
both houses of Congress hold recorded yea-or-nay votes on a bill
before it can be presented to the president for his signature and
before it can become law.

“I stated earlier that when this (health care) bill passes the House,
the president will be happy to sign it,” Gibbs told

He twice declined to say, however, whether President Obama would rule
out signing additional pieces of legislation that did not pass both
chambers of Congress with a yea-or-nay vote. asked Gibbs: “Mark Levin, with the Landmark Legal
Foundation, has prepared a suit against the president if he signs the
health care bill not passed by the House with a recorded yea-or-nay
vote required by Article 1 Section 7. My question on that is: Will the
president rule out signing other bills, such as immigration reform, or
finance reform you mentioned earlier, that are not subject to a
recorded yea-or-nay vote in both chambers?”

Gibbs answered: “Again, this is–I think we’ve discussed on a number
of occasions, certainly the last time we met inside – that this was
the type of thing, the type of rule that you’ve seen pass on any
number of instances. So, I understand that there are those that want
to discuss this as being a unique thing. It is not. I stated earlier
that when this bill passes the House, the president will be happy to
sign it.” followed-up: “Is that still a constitutional argument in
favor of it? That it has been done before?”

Gibbs said: “I’m unaware, again–I didn’t go to law school–I’m
unaware of legal suits filed by a similar organization when the
Republicans did similar things on legislation.” then asked: “So the president wouldn’t rule out signing
future bills that didn’t pass both houses by a yea or nay vote?”

Gibbs responded: “I’m not going to get into a series of legal
hypotheticals that both of us seem unprepared to discuss.”

Mark Levin, the president of the Landmark Legal Foundation, has noted
that a lawsuit was brought in regards to a similar matter in the 1998
case of Clinton vs. City of New York, in which the U.S. Supreme Court
found that the line-item veto was not constitutional.

That ruling cited the Constitution and stated that for a bill to
become law it was neccary that “1) a bill containing its exact text
was approved by a majority of the members of the House of
Representatives; 2) the Senate approved precisely the same text; and
3) the text was signed into law by the president.”

Levin called the Slaughter Rule an “attempt to amend the Constitution
without going through the process.”

“Gibbs’s incoherence is an attempt to deceive,” Levin told
on Thursday. “I have no doubt in my mind that the White House is
working very closely with Pelosi and her lieutenants on this strategy
of pretending they voted on an underlying bill when, in fact, they
didn’t vote on it. So that’s why he is so deceitful.”

“His boss (Obama) yesterday, in an interview with Fox News and Brett
Baier made quite clear that he’s well aware of what’s going on at the
Hill and whatever comes to him, he’s going to sign,” said Levin. “So
what we’ve learned from Brett Baier and you is that we have two
branches of government that are absolutely committed to violating the
Constitution in order to achieve an illegitimate ends.”

At the same White House briefing, another reporter asked Gibbs, “He’s
(Obama) not worried that it’s constitutional?

Gibbs said, “He would sign that bill, yes.”

Another reporter also asked Gibbs if the White House was preparing a
legal team to respond to lawsuits regarding the health care overhaul.
Gibbs said, “Not that I’m aware of.”

The Landmark Legal Foundation is a conservative legal public interest
group, led by Mark Levin, who also hosts a popular talk-radio show.
Levin served as chief of staff to Attorney General Ed Meese in the
Reagan Justice Department and as deputy solicitor for the Department
of the Interior.

On Monday, March 15, Levin announced on his radio show that he
intended to bring the lawsuit if the Senate health care bill is passed
through the House without a yea-and-nay vote on the actual legislation
and president signs it into law.

A draft of the suit names as defendants President Obama, Treasury
Secretary Timothy Geithner, Attorney General Eric Holder and Health
and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

“Because the House violated the Constitution by never voting on the
Senate bill, the Senate bill cannot be and is not the law of the
United States,” the draft says. “Defendants, charged by law and the
Constitution with enforcing the law, must be prevented from treating
the Senate bill as the law of the United States. Any signature by the
president is a nullity, and the piece of paper he has stated that he
will sign or has signed is nothing more than that: a piece of paper.”

The House Rules Committee drafts the terms under which bills are
brought to the floor and debated. Under a plan put together by Rules
Chairman Louise Slaughter (D.-N.Y.), the House would “deem” the
Senate health care bill passed without ever holding a recorded vote on
it as required by Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution.

According to the plan, the House would pass a special rule governing
debate on the budget reconciliation bill that has been crafted by the
House Democratic leaders to make “fixes” in the Senate health care
bill desired by House Democratic members. Under this rule, the Senate
health care bill itself would be “deemed” to have been passed by the
House if the full House subsequently voted to pass the budget
reconciliation bill. At no time would the House actually hold a vote
on the Senate health care bill itself before sending it to Obama to

Article I, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution states:

“Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and
the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the
President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if
not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it
shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on
their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such
Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill,
it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by
which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds
of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes
of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of
the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the
Journal of each House respectively.”

Warren “Bones” Bonesteel
Author and Researcher


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