As Gov. Scott Walker contemplates whether to create a state health care exchange under Obamacare, he will have to contend in the coming legislative session with nine lawmakers who have said they back a bill to arrest any federal officials who try to implement the health care law.
Eight of the nine Republicans also have gone on record saying they also want to write a law that would see airport screeners charged with sexual assault if they conduct overly invasive pat-downs of passengers going through security.
All nine also told a tea party-aligned group they backed passing so-called "right-to-work" legislation; allowing people to carry guns without having to get permits from the state; allowing people to buy raw, or unpasteurized, milk; and blocking state funding for the federal Real ID law that requires states to develop more secure driver's licenses.
But their stance on the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, could cause the most fireworks in the upcoming session. Walker must decide by Friday whether the state will create a health care exchange under the health care law or leave those duties to President Barack Obama's administration.
Rep. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) is one of the nine from Wisconsin who told the Campaign for Liberty he would back legislation to declare Obamacare illegal and allow police to arrest federal officials who take steps to implement it in Wisconsin. He said he believes the health care law is unconstitutional, despite the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that it passes constitutional muster.
"Just because Obama was re-elected does not mean he's above the constitution," Kapenga said.
In addition to Kapenga, those listed as supporting the Campaign for Liberty's positions are Sen. Mary Lazich of New Berlin; Reps. Don Pridemore of Hartford; Erik Severson of Star Prairie; Tom Larson of Colfax; Scott Krug of Wisconsin Rapids; and three Republicans elected for the first time last week who will be sworn in early next year -- Rob Hutton of Brookfield, Mark Born of Beaver Dam and Dave Murphy of Greenville.
Severson told the group he did not support the legislation on Transportation Security Administration pat-downs, but backed the other measures. The other current and newly elected lawmakers said they supported the entire agenda of Campaign for Liberty, according to the group's website.
The Campaign for Liberty and others endorse a notion being promoted by conservatives called nullification that holds that under the 10th Amendment states can ignore federal laws if they choose. The 10th Amendment says: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester), the incoming Assembly speaker, said he has no position on nullification and is waiting for Walker to make his decision on an exchange, said Vos spokeswoman Kit Beyer.
But Larson said leaders told Assembly Republicans on Tuesday that nullification is "not an option."
"I'm certainly not for Obamacare, and if there's any way we could stop that in the state of Wisconsin, I'd be up for that," Larson said.
As for arresting federal officials, he said, "I don't think that's possible under the circumstances."
Pridemore said he would like to find ways to block Obamacare, but he doesn't know the best way to do it.
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