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Say, doesn’t the Constitution require tax bills to originate in the House?

Just a quickie post to debunk an argument that we’re already seeing in threads and e-mails: Namely, doesn’t Article I, section 7 of the Constitution say that all bills that raise revenue must originate in the House? And didn’t ObamaCare pass the Senate before it passed the House? And doesn’t that in turn mean that our nifty new health care “tax” was passed according to unconstitutional procedures?

Unless I’m missing something, no. The bill that passed the Senate wasn’t technically a Senate bill. Reid took a bill that had already passed the House, stripped out the provisions to turn it into a “shell bill,” and then inserted the text of ObamaCare to get around this requirement. The bill that passed the Senate was H.R.3590, which initially had to do with tax breaks for military homeowners. And yes, they’ve used the “shell bill” strategy before. In fact, the conservative opinion today specifically mentioned Article I, section 7 at one point while raising no objection to Reid’s sleight of hand. Quote:

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