Politics & Policy

Conservative Groups Request House Investigation into Congress’s Fraudulent Obamacare Applications

Two months after five Republican senators scuttled an investigation into Congress’s fraudulent applications to D.C.’s Obamacare exchange, conservative groups are now pushing House Oversight Committee chairman Jason Chaffetz to subpoena the false documents.

Conservative nonprofit American Commitment led a group of nearly 20 right-of-center organizations in drafting a letter to Chaffetz (R., Utah), which was sent to the chairman’s office on Monday. It urges the Oversight chairman to investigate the House and Senate applications to D.C.’s Obamacare exchange, in which unidentified members of Congress falsely described the two legislative bodies as small businesses in order maintain illegal federal subsidies for themselves and their staffs. Other signatories include the Club for Growth, Heritage Action, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, and Tea Party Patriots.

“Under House rules, you have the authority to issue a subpoena for these documents without a committee vote,” the letter to Chaffetz reads. “On behalf of the members and supporters of our organizations and millions of other Americans keenly interested in this issue, we urge you to do so.”

The applications, which claimed the House and Senate each employed just 45 people and falsified those employees’ names, were first obtained last year by the conservative nonprofit Judicial Watch. But the D.C. health-care exchange redacted the names of the congressional staffers who filed them, making it impossible to ascertain who in Congress ordered the fraud.

’Under House rules, you have the authority to issue a subpoena for these documents without a committee vote,’ the letter to Chaffetz reads. ‘We urge you to do so.’

Senate Small Business Committee chairman David Vitter (R., La) tried to subpoena the unredacted applications, but was unexpectedly stymied by opposition from Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky). When Vitter put the subpoena up for a vote on April 23, GOP Senate leadership reportedly lobbied other Republican senators to withdraw their support. Four eventually did so, resulting in the overwhelming defeat of Vitter’s subpoena request.

By going through the House instead of the Senate and pressing Chaffetz to use his expansive subpoena power as Oversight Committee chairman, American Commitment president Phil Kerpen hopes to ensure that recent history doesn’t repeat itself. “The big unknown is what kind of response we’ll get from the chairman,” he says. “If he says, ‘This is a great idea,’ and he does it, then it’s not going to need a big push to put pressure on him.”

“[Congressman Darrell] Issa did this all the time as [Oversight] chairman,” he says, adding that committee member Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.) has also expressed support for the subpoena.

Kerpen says they haven’t heard from Chaffetz since they sent the letter to his office on Monday. The congressman’s office did not respond to a request from NR for comment.

— Brendan Bordelon is a political reporter for National Review.

Most Popular

World

The ‘Rough Sex’ Problem

John Broadhurst, a 41-year-old multi-millionaire from the United Kingdom — convicted of “manslaughter by gross negligence” after he killed his 26-year-old girlfriend Natalie Connolly during so-called “rough sex” — will walk free after serving only half of his 44-month sentence. Like many countries, ... Read More
World

The ‘Rough Sex’ Problem

John Broadhurst, a 41-year-old multi-millionaire from the United Kingdom — convicted of “manslaughter by gross negligence” after he killed his 26-year-old girlfriend Natalie Connolly during so-called “rough sex” — will walk free after serving only half of his 44-month sentence. Like many countries, ... Read More
U.S.

A Stay-at-Home Mom on Her Reasons for Leaving Portland

While covering events (see here and here) in Portland, Ore., National Review writer Luther Abel sat down with Joanna -- a college-educated, stay-at-home mom and now Trump voter -- who feels it is no longer safe or healthy to live there. They discussed the change that has happened in the city politically, the ... Read More
U.S.

A Stay-at-Home Mom on Her Reasons for Leaving Portland

While covering events (see here and here) in Portland, Ore., National Review writer Luther Abel sat down with Joanna -- a college-educated, stay-at-home mom and now Trump voter -- who feels it is no longer safe or healthy to live there. They discussed the change that has happened in the city politically, the ... Read More

Why Trump’s Losing

President Trump pulled an inside straight to win in 2016, and now he needs another one. The good news for Trump is that his approval rating has stopped falling recently. The bad news is that it has stabilized in the low 40s. Election-watcher Harry Enten points out that no president since Harry Truman has won ... Read More

Why Trump’s Losing

President Trump pulled an inside straight to win in 2016, and now he needs another one. The good news for Trump is that his approval rating has stopped falling recently. The bad news is that it has stabilized in the low 40s. Election-watcher Harry Enten points out that no president since Harry Truman has won ... Read More
Elections

Joe Biden’s Authoritarian VP Finalist

Last year, Senator Kamala Harris may have become the first presidential candidate in history to laugh derisively at the idea that the Constitution limits what a president can do. When former Vice President Joe Biden said that her plan for gun control by executive fiat didn’t pass constitutional muster, she ... Read More
Elections

Joe Biden’s Authoritarian VP Finalist

Last year, Senator Kamala Harris may have become the first presidential candidate in history to laugh derisively at the idea that the Constitution limits what a president can do. When former Vice President Joe Biden said that her plan for gun control by executive fiat didn’t pass constitutional muster, she ... Read More