Governor McAuliffe this morning announced that he was going to attempt a line-item veto of the #BLACKorBUST language prohibiting any expenditures on Medicaid expansion without an additional appropriation by the legislature. He further called the legislative commission set up last year to handle Medicaid expansion (MIRC) essentially a sham, and said he would work around them to achieve his goal of expanded Medicaid under Obamacare by September 1, 2014.More from Erika Johnsen at HotAir
As we understand the situation, though, this will not work for two main reasons. First, as we detailed yesterday, even if his line-item veto of the #BLACKorBUST language works, he is still left without an appropriation of funds. He will have to really push the envelope (or just rip it up entirely) to say that he’s got legitimately appropriated funds to do what he’s pushing for. He’d literally be acting lawlessly: without any authority or legislative appropriation.
Second, the line item veto is available only for appropriation items, not for instruction language. The Virginia Supreme Court has defined an appropriation “item” as an “indivisible sum of money dedicated to a stated purpose.” The #BLACKorBUST amendment carried by Bill Stanley is not a sum of money, or even an appropriation; it is instruction against “appropriation or expenditure” specifically designed to close loopholes the Governor needed to act without the legislature. In other words, the Governor’s attempt at a line-item veto is is not valid, and I would expect the Clerk of the House to ignore it for purposes of enrolling the Governor’s response for consideration by the General Assembly.
The White House will be so disappointed. Obama officials were really counting on McAuliffe to make this Medicaid expansion happen in good time, and McAuliffe in turn was really counting on his boozing-and-schmoozing skills to translate into his own made-up version of bipartisan governance. He has so far been remarkably unsuccessful at persuading either Republican legislators or Virginian voters to come around to his way of thinking on the proposed expansion, and there’s been some speculation that McAuliffe might keep up a budget standoff that could lead to the shutdown of the Virginia state government this summer — but the sudden resignation of a Democratic state senator earlier this month gave Republicans the full General-Assembly majority they needed to try to block Medicaid expansion for good. McAuliffe exasperatedly approved most of the state budget this week, but vetoed Republicans’ added anti-Medicaid amendment, via WaPo:
Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) vetoed portions of the state budget Friday, setting Virginia up for a legal showdown with legislative Republicans who oppose his efforts to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.McAuliffe exercised his line-item veto power to strike budget language that Republicans had hoped would block expansion of Medicaid.McAuliffe railed against Republican opposition to expansion as he announced the move, referring to GOP leaders as stubborn and unwilling to compromise. He said that he would have vetoed the entire budget if it were not just 10 days until the end of the fiscal year, risking a government shutdown.
The General Assembly will take the budget back up on Monday, but for McAuliffe, of course, the fact that the legislature is decidedly against him is no reason to back off of his quest to find a way to expand Medicaid via executive action, à la President Obama. Good grief."Stubborn and unwilling to compromise"? Why don't you go to the nearest mirror and see who that really describes, McAwful, you lawless, disgusting scumbag. McAwful, as Johnsen notes, has been looking for ways to make an endrun around the Virginia legislature to impose this Obamacare at a State Level in Virginia.
If he wants to follow in the footsteps of Richard Milhous Obama and act like a dictator-at-the-state-level, then I say it's time to impeach him and that crooked Attorney General-by-Theft Mark "Red" Herring.
Yes, and I'm holding your partially responsible for this, Bill Bolling. You still deserve a suit made of molasses and feathers.