U.S. Congressman Steven Palazzo stopped in Stone County last Thursday and took the time to have lunch with, and address, the Stone County Rotary.
Representing Mississippi's Fourth District, Palazzo focused his remarks on the atrocious state of the federal deficit and what he called the, "nightmare of Obamacare."
"We are $17 trillion in debt and that has doubled in the last four years," he said. "We're spending money we don't have; we're spending our children's future."
He said America is not producing more wealth as a nation and faced decreasing wages and increasing costs, insuring the debt will do nothing but grow if reins are not applied to government spending.
"Folks in the private sector are struggling but they're making it," he said. "That's because they apply common sense to their budgeting; you don't spend what you don't have."
Palazzo's recommendations are, in short order; have the Congress pass a realistic budget, repeal Obamacare, put forth a pro-growth agenda, rein in regulatory agencies and come up with a simpler tax code.
He also argued against the idea of tax clauses contained in the Obama health care law which penalize Americans who do not purchase health insurance.
To correct that, he has co-sponsored legislation entitled, "Right to Refuse."
"Every American has a right to not be taxed for something they didn't choose," he said. "If you buy some food, you're taxed but you made a choice to buy the food.
"You're not taxed if you choose to not buy the food. That would be ridiculous and yet that's exactly what happens if you choose to not buy health insurance and I believe that's a violation of the Fourth Amendment."
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
The act of taxing a citizen for nat taking part in the health care law would, in Palazzo's opinion, constitute an unreasonable seizure.
Palazzo said serving in Congress was giving him lessons in Constitutional law.
"When I went to Washington I knew the Second Amendment and the 10th Amendment," he said. "You have a right to own guns and do what you want with them and states' rights.
"Now, I know all 27 amendments and this is a violation of the Fourth Amendment."
The Congressman also spoke about his support of the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (H.R. 940) introduced by Congresswoman Diane Black.
According to a release from Palazzo's office:
"This comprehensive legislation provides badly needed conscience protections for Americans who face an increasingly frequent use of coercive means – governmental and other – to compel participation in providing abortion and other procedures regardless of religious and moral objections.
Section 3 of H.R. 940 would amend the Obama health care law (“ObamaCare”) to prevent the imposition of regulatory mandates that violate the religious or moral convictions of those who purchase or provide health insurance.
When the health care legislation was pending in the Senate in 2009, NRLC warned that the “preventive health services” provision would empower the Secretary of Health and Human Services to mandate coverage of any medical service, merely by adding the service to a fluid list.
That authority has since been used to issue regulations that attempt to coerce countless employers and citizens to purchase health plans that include drugs and procedures that violate their religious and moral convictions.
H.R. 940 would amend the ObamaCare law itself, to provide protection for those who in conscience cannot participate in providing certain procedures or drugs.
Section 4 of the bill would codify the Hyde-Weldon provision (a limitation on appropriations that has been enacted every year since 2004).
This provision will prevent any level of government from discriminating against health care providers, including doctors, nurses, hospitals, and insurers, who decline to participate in abortions.
Section 5 would allow victims to seek relief in court for violations of the federal conscience laws.
This provision is particularly important in view of the Obama Administration’s oft-demonstrated commitment to expansion of abortion, its disregard for rights of conscience, and its lethargy in enforcing even the conscience protections that exist in current federal law.
The National Right to Life Committee intends to include any roll call vote on H.R. 940 in its scorecard of key pro-life roll calls for the 113th Congress. We urge your support for this badly needed legislation."
Palazzo left no doubt about his attitude toward the new health care legislation.
"I will not quit until we repeal or reform Obamacare," he said.