COLUMBIA, March 19, 2014– The South Carolina Senate chamber is in the middle of a fierce debate with regards to H3101. The legislation is intended to invoke anti-commandeering principle to stop many elements of Obamacare from within the state. After mocking the Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution, Senator Bradley Hutto (D-Orangeburg) could not correctly spell government or Constitution in an amendment he offered to the bill, which was an attempt to embarrass Republicans. It backfired.
If the bill passes the Senate, state officials and agencies will be prohibited from assisting in the implementation of Obamacare. Furthermore, no state funds would be allowed towards the implementation of the federal healthcare law. South Carolina would be the first state to have such a strong bill pass both chambers.
Hutto called this practice “completely unconstitutional”. He then extensively continued to mock the Tenth Amendment of the US Constitution.
Hutto’s claim proves that not only is the legislator incapable of spelling basic political vernacular, but he also clearly lacks a basic understanding of US Supreme Court case law.
Contrary to Hutto’s claims, four separate US Supreme Court cases have upheld this practice over 180 years. In fact, National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius itself allows for states to use this very practice.
Hutto attempted to paint the South Carolina Republican caucus as neo-Confederates and wanted to force them into saying that they were “nullifying” Obamacare in South Carolina. By doing this, Hutto hoped to paint republican legislators in a negative light by associating them with slavery, racism and secession.
The truth of the matter is, as it sits, H3101 is not a nullification bill. It is a bill that utilizes anti-commandeering doctrine to stop many elements of Obamacare in South Carolina. It does not completely nullify Obamcare in any way. It simply requires that the federal government pay for all implementation.
He offered an amendment, which read, “Whereas, the intent of this legislation is to nullify actions of the governemtn [sic] of the United States that conflict it with the Constiution [sic] of this State.”
Hutto wouldn’t vote on his own amendment and it failed.
Democrats then attempted to adjourn so that they could go to a barbecue. Senator Tom Davis (R-Beaufort), H3101’s Senate sponsor, refused multiple times to yield the floor and allow Democrats to leave. “I will not yield, I will not take questions. We will not be trapped on this! Democrats don’t want to vote, and they must vote.” said Davis.
Live updates on the debate can be seen here.