As a reminder of the federal government’s limited powers, 20 representatives want to ensure that every single piece of legislation passing through Congress includes a statement citing specific constitutional authority for enacting it.
Sponsored by Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz., H.R. 450, or the Enumerated Powers Act, states, “Each Act of Congress shall contain a concise and definite statement of the constitutional authority relied upon for the enactment of each portion of that Act. The failure to comply with this section shall give rise to a point of order in either House of Congress. …”
Shadegg said the act would perform three important functions:
1. It would encourage members of Congress to consider whether their proposed legislation belongs in the federal level in the allocation of powers or whether it belongs with the states or the people.
2. It would force lawmakers to include statements explaining by what authority they are acting.
3. It would give the U.S. Supreme Court the ability to scrutinize constitutional justification for every piece of legislation. If the justification does not hold up, the courts and the people could hold Congress accountable and eliminate acts that reach beyond the scope of the Constitution.
The legislation has 19 co-sponsors – all Republicans.
Lamb suggested the act become the theme song of the tea parties taking place around the nation.
“Nothing short of massive public pressure will force congressmen to take a position on this important bill.” Lamb wrote. “Nothing short of a return to the Constitution can save this great nation.”