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Mon October 21, 2013
Senator Rand Paul Proposes Constitutional Amendment
Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky introduced a constitutional amendment that would forbid Congress from passing laws that don't apply equally to lawmakers, Executive Branch and U.S. Supreme Court.
According to Paul himself, the proposal is aimed at Chief Justice John Roberts over his swing vote last year upholding the constitutionality of the president's health care law.
"If he likes Obamacare so much, I’m going to give him an amendment that gives Obamacare to Justice Roberts," he told The Daily Caller last month.
The amendment reads as follows.
From Paul's office:
Section 1. Congress shall make no law applicable to a citizen of the United States that is not equally applicable to Congress.
Section 2. Congress shall make no law applicable to a citizen of the United States that is not equally applicable to the executive branch of Government, including the President, Vice President, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and all other officers of the United States, including those provided for under this Constitution and by law, and inferior officers to the President established by law.
Section 3. Congress shall make no law applicable to a citizen of the United States that is not equally applicable to judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, including the Chief Justice, and judges of such inferior courts as Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.
Section 4. Nothing in this article shall preempt any specific provision of this Constitution.
The root of the amendment is conservative angst towards an August ruling by the Office of Policy Management allowing members of Congress and their staff to continue receiving federal subsidies to help pay for their insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act.
It is an issue based largely on a misleading talking point by GOP lawmakers that congressional members and their staffers are exempt for Obamacare.
Under the health care law through an amendment backed by Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, lawmakers and their aides are required to take part in the marketplace exchanges. Supporters of the August personnel decision argue efforts by Paul and others would essentially have stripped those employer contributions and hurt certain aides.
In order to change the U.S. Constitution, Paul's amendment would need to receive a two-thirds vote from the House and Senate and then approval from two-thirds of the state legislatures.