Flashback: Obamacare Is 'Largest Legislative Transfer of Power to the Executive Branch' in History

Susan Jones | March 21, 2014 | 9:18am EDT
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(Editor's note: On Sunday, March 21, 2010, exactly four years ago today, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives passed the complicated legislation that established what came to be known as Obamacare. The vote was 219 to 212 to approve the measure, with every Republican voting no. Before the vote, Democrats hailed the "historic" moment, while Republicans warned their colleagues of disastrous consequences. Below are snippets from the Republican opposition, as recorded in the Congressional Record for March 21, 2010.)

Then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, holding her gavel, leads members of the Democratic caucus into the Capitol on Sunday, March 21, 2010 for the historic vote on health care reform. The measure passed, 219 to 212, without a single Republican vote. (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - "My heart is heavy with grief tonight at this turning point for the nation," then-Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) said in remarks on the House floor four years ago today, as the U.S. House of Representatives prepared to end debate and pass the lenthy, complicated legislation that established Obamacare.

"This vote will define the America we will have in the future: massive tax burdens, rationed care, and intrusive bureaucracy," Davis continued.

"Democrats are thwarting the will of the American people, taking them on a headlong rush toward socialism. This is based on a false premise that every need a person could have on Earth can be met by government. Almost like worshipers, they carry the heart of our Constitution, bought in blood, and sacrifice it on the altar of
political expediency.

"It raises taxes, violates your privacy, is policed by the IRS, intrudes on free choice, and hurts seniors.

"I stand firm in my opposition to this exercise in idolatrous statism, a true tyranny that is the largest legislative transfer of power to the executive branch in the history of this Republic. "Vote 'no' on this bill. Start over with real reforms that Americans want."

(Rep. Geoff Davis resigned from Congress on July 31, 2012, effective immediately, citing family health issues.)


"This bill violates the conscience of the American people," said Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.). "It violates the principle that we should not spend more than we have.
This bill is not reform. It just makes our existing entitlement crisis even worse.

"This bill violates the belief held by more than 70 percent of Americans that money collected by the government should not be used to pay for abortion or abortion coverage, but that's what this bill does.

(He noted that an Executive Order signed by President Obama "is not a statute.)

"The government will end up directly paying for abortions at community health centers. Taxpayer subsidies will, for the first time in decades, subsidize insurance coverage that includes abortion. The bill and the accompanying Executive order turns over the protection of the unborn to the most pro-abortion President in our history.

"This extreme legislation is being forced on an unwilling Nation. It is the most pro-abortion bill and the largest expansion of abortion in our history. No Member who votes for it will ever be able to claim again that they have always stood on the side of the unborn. I'm sad to say this. This is a career-defining vote. There will be no living it down.

I urge my colleagues to vote 'no' on this terrible bill."


"Madam Speaker, never before in the history of our Nation has such a massive change in policy been made on a purely partisan basis and in the face of such overwhelming opposition," former Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) said in remarks on the House floor on Sunday, March 21, 2010.

"Tragically, this bill will destroy freedom and do incredible damage to the very fabric of our society.

"This bill is a bailout for the insurance companies. They get the individual mandate that they wanted all along--a mandate that is un-American and unconstitutional.

"Mark my words: The massive expansion of Medicaid in this bill will bankrupt our States. Premiums for average Americans will go up, taxes will go up, the deficit will go up, and the debt will go up.

"This bill is the epitome of Washington politicians telling the American people, We know better how to run your lives than you do.

"We owe the American people much better than this. We owe them real health care reform. We owe them the kind of reforms that will bring down their premiums. We owe them across-State-line purchases. We owe them health care pooling so that the sick and the ill and those with preexisting conditions can get their health care paid for.

"We owe America better than this."

(Rep. Shadegg announced on Jan. 14, 2010, that he would not run for reelection, but would "take my life in a new direction and to pursue my commitment to fight for freedom in a different venue.")


Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) used the word "freedom" eight times in his brief remarks:

"Madam Speaker, today's vote defines what kind of America we want to live in. I for one know exactly what that is; it is the America I fought and sacrificed for, and all the freedoms we hold dear.

"Freedom from a $2.6 trillion Washington takeover of health care; freedom from skyrocketing taxes; freedom from bureaucrats coming between you and your doctor; freedom from Medicare cuts to seniors; freedom from exploding debt; freedom from the government forcing you to buy health insurance.

"I ask my colleagues, what kind of legacy do you want to leave for your children and grandchildren? Will you cave to the demands of Speaker Pelosi, or will you listen to the pleas of the hardworking American people who elected you?

"Join me in this fight for freedom. Vote 'no.'"

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