October 21, 2013
Forget the Vitter amendment. Rand Paul wants to make sure that Congress can’t ever again write laws with provisions specific to lawmakers.
The Kentucky freshman Republican has introduced a constitutional amendment that would preclude senators and congressmen from passing laws that don’t apply equally to U.S. citizens and Congress, the executive branch and the Supreme Court. The amendment is aimed squarely at Obamacare provisions specific to members of Congress and their staffs that became a central point of contention during the government shutdown.
Under Obamacare, Capitol Hill aides and lawmakers are required to enter the law’s health exchanges and a summertime ruling from the Office of Personnel Management ensured they will continue to receive federal employer contributions to help pay for insurance on the exchanges. A number of lawmakers, specifically Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), have been pushing for the end to those contributions, arguing they amount to a Washington exemption from Obamacare. Vitter has drafted legislative language that would eliminate these subsidies and tried to attach the measure to an energy efficiency bill and pushed for it to be included in the government funding bill last week.