Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) filed H. Res. 959 expressing the sense that many members of Congress challenge the authority of the federal government to require by law that Americans purchase health insurance, or any goods or services.

The Resolution asserts that not every member of Congress agrees with the unprecedented expansion of Congressional taxing power and believes that it should be out of order for Congress to pass any future bills which take this approach.

Any bill that requires Americans to buy something under the guise of a tax or pay a fine, violates House procedural rules, said Poe. This legislation is based on the premise that such a bill is an unconstitutional exercise of legislative taxing authority. Thus any such bills brought to the floor would be ruled out of order.

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution states: The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.

It is a very slippery slope to allow Congress to expand this authority for the purpose of forcing American citizens to buy health insurance or anything else, Congressman Poe continued. We must heed the confines of our Constitution, not ignore it in a mad rush to expand the federal government or reinterpret its meaning to serve a political purpose.

Before serving in Congress, Congressman Poe served as a prosecutor and judge in Houston, Texas for 30 years. Congressman Poe is a member of the House Judiciary Committee.

For more information on Congressman Poe and the issues he support for healthcare reform, please visit our website: poe.house.gov.