Come sue our state, please, Nebraskans plead
- 2009/12/26 02:20:17
- Read all 99 opinions
When Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Ne) traded his vote for an estimated $45 million to pay for his state’s expanded Medicaid program, which the new bill requires, he thought he was doing the right thing for the corn huskers.
Not according to some Nebraskans, who think the deal may have violated the Constitution, as well as federal bribery laws.
"Equality before the law” is Nebraska's state motto, which Nebraskan Republicans, at least, take very seriously. Seriously enough to ask states to sue them, please.
“Is there anyone out there that will sue the state of Nebraska and/or Senators Ben Nelson and Harry Reid?” asked Patricia Rief-Heskett, the chairman of Nebraska’s Republican Party. “Why should the state of Nebraska not have to pay for the unfunded mandate of Medicaid and all the other states have to pay for Nebraska’s portion?” asked Rief-Heskett.
Nebraska's Republican leader said the deal the senator made for Nebraska violates federal laws, as well as the Constitution of the United States. Rief-Heskett enumerated article and section numbers the deal appears to have violated in the Constitution and existing federal laws, including:
Article 1, Section 9: `No preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one State over those of another.'Article 4, Section 4: `The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a Republican form of Government.'
US code Title 18 201, Titled "Bribery of Public Officials and Witnesses," Section B: `Whoever directly or indirectly, corruptly gives, offers or promises anything of value to any public official (officials is defined as a member of Congress, Delegate or Resident Commissioner) ... with intent (a) to influence any official act; or (b) to influence such public official or person who has been selected to be a public official to commit or aid in committing, or colluding, or ally any fraud or make opportunity for the commission of any fraud on the United States.”“Is there not one person out there who will file a suit?” asked Rief-Heskett. “Or are we just to sit by and watch all of our freedoms taken away, to live in a country with no laws that has only to abide by a Congress, who would buy out votes whether or not it is lawful?”
Nebraska is just one of 15 states that received preferential treatment in return for votes in favor of Reid's health care reform bill on Christmas Eve.
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