Breitbart News Network is joining American Principles Project (APP) and Cornerstone Action as sponsors of a forum centered on the principles of federalism. The forum will address the problem of federal overreach in the areas of health care, land use, education, and more.
As Breitbart News reported in September, “Practical Federalism: How the Federal Government Is Silencing the People,” will bring together state lawmakers, policy analysts, and activist citizens to address the current level of federal intrusion into the states and daily American life. The first forum is scheduled for November 22 and will be held at Southern New Hampshire University. Ticket information can be found at the APP website.
Among presenters at the forum, health care policy analyst John Davidson of Texas Public Policy Foundation will be addressing the problem of federal overreach in the Obamacare healthcare exchanges and related Medicaid expansion.
“It is unconstitutional for the federal government to command the states – the Supreme Court has been clear on that point,” Davidson told Breitbart News in an email statement. “Yet the federal government can accomplish much the same ‘commandeering’ of the states through the practice of ‘cooperative federalism,’ which is the intermingling of finances and regulatory activities among the federal and state governments.”
These arrangements are supposed to be voluntary, but they force states to choose between suffering a major financial penalty or submitting to the federal government on matters of purely state prerogative. Medicaid expansion under the ACA [Affordable Care Act] is perhaps the most salient example of this dynamic, and understanding why states should not expand Medicaid requires an appreciation of the degree to which the expansion scheme at the heart of the ACA is a particularly egregious example of “cooperative federalism” at work.
Steve Klein, policy analyst for Wyoming Liberty Council, will discuss EPA and education policy at the forum.
“Wyoming has stood against federal overreach by joining the successful challenge to Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, and then refusing to expand following the Supreme Court’s decision in NFIB v. Sebelius,” Klein wrote to Breitbart News. “The state is home to many actions against the Environmental Protection Agency, the Bureau of Land Management, and other federal agencies.”
“However, Wyoming has followed federal lead far too often, including civil forfeiture policy and campaign finance regulation, and there is much more work to be done on these and other fronts,” he continued. “Wyoming is hardly perfect, but is positioning itself as a more assertive state in our great American experiment in federalism.”
Georgia state Sen. William Ligon will address the framework of the Constitution at the New Hampshire forum, particularly federalism itself and the separation of powers.
“Federalism is not just a theoretical idea for political philosophers to discuss,” Ligon told Breitbart News in an email statement. “In order to protect personal liberty, the Founders of our nation relied upon federalism as the organizing, central principle of the Constitution.”
Ligon further explained:
By first subdividing specific powers into two distinct governments, federal and state, then further subdividing those powers, the Founders attempted to prevent the accumulation of power into the hands of the few. In our day, we are losing the understanding of this cornerstone principle of liberty. We are losing the ability to even identify how we are unwittingly destroying this very bulwark of freedom that was intended to stand between us and an ever-growing, centralized power — a power which is becoming so involved in our daily lives that it threatens our personal liberties.
Ann Marie Banfield and Bryan McCormack of Cornerstone will also be presenting at the forum, as will Emmett McGroarty, education director of APP.
Regarding the forum, Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon said, “Breitbart News is excited to sponsor a forum that not only exposes the extent of federal encroachment into the states and the everyday lives of the American people, but also brings the discussion about this into the public square.”
“We want those Republicans who plan to run for president in 2016 to know federal overreach must be addressed if they want the support of their conservative base, and we want state lawmakers to know their job is to push back against federal intrusion, and that we will hold them accountable to that,” Bannon added.
Subsequent forums are planned in other key presidential primary states, in Iowa and South Carolina, in February and April of 2015, respectively.