Proceedings, Debates of the U.S. Congress
April 25, 2013
113th Congress, 1st Session
Issue: Vol. 159, No. 58 — Daily Edition
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Constitutional Authority Statement for H.R. 1725
(House of Representatives - April 25, 2013)
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[Page H2352] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] By Mr. CARTWRIGHT: H.R. 1725. Congress has the power to enact this legislation pursuant to the following: Article I; Section 8 of the Constitution states ``The Congress shallhave Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;'' The power to spend for the general welfare is one of the broadest grants of authority to Congress in the United States Constitution. The scope of the national spending power was brought before the United States Supreme Court in a landmark case in 1937 dealing with the newly enacted Social Security Act. In Steward Machine Co. v. Davis the Court sustained a tax imposed on employers to provide unemployment benefits to individual workers. Subsequent Supreme Court decisions have not questioned Congress's policy decisions as to what kinds of spending programs are in pursuit of the ``general welfare,'' and so numerous programs have been funded in such diverse areas as education, housing, veterans' benefits, the environment, welfare, health care, scientific research, the arts, community development, and public financing of election campaigns.