Late last night, the General Assembly wrapped up its special session and finalized a budget -- without ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion!
You may recall McAuliffe tried to veto a provision prohibiting the Governor from unilaterally proceeding to expand Medicaid under ObamaCare, but Speaker Bill Howell ruled it out of order last night and cast the veto aside.
McAuliffe had tried to strike language explicitly requiring that the legislature approve any money used to expand Medicaid. Howell ruled that the veto was out of order because it attempted to veto a portion of a budget item, rather than an entire item. Howell said McAuliffe had made the veto “in a manner which I believe is outside his scope of authority.” By striking the veto on procedural grounds, Howell averted an override vote that would have required the support of two-thirds of both chambers — an unlikely outcome given the closely divided Senate.
Of McAuliffe’s eight vetoes, the one related to Medicaid spending was considered most critical to McAuliffe’s go-it-alone expansion bid. Despite the setback, there is no question that McAuliffe will push ahead with his expansion plan. Less clear is how he can do so in a state where, even before the amendment, the constitution requires the legislature to sign off on any spending — even the pass-through spending that Washington has promised to bankroll most of Medicaid expansion.
This is a big victory for those of us who've been fighting tooth and nail to prevent ObamaCare's full effects from being forced on Virginians, but it's important to remain vigilant.
McAuliffe and his ilk are shrewd political operatives that are determined to bring Washington's ways to Richmond. Residents of the Old Dominion must stand guard in defense of their liberties.
Tags: Medicaid Expansion, Virginia