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15 Bills to Restore the Balance of Power Between Washington, the States and the People

February 6, 2012
In The News


1.     H.R. 2514: The Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success Act or A-PLUS Act

Brief Description:  This legislation would allow states to enter into a five-year performance agreement with the U.S. Secretary of Education, allowing states complete autonomy to improve and enhance their education system without federal interference. 

Sponsor:  Rep. Rob Bishop (UT-01)


2.     H.R. 3176:  Local Education Authority Returns Now Act

Brief Description:  Requires the Secretary of Education to determine credits due to states as opt-out state education amounts.  Amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow individual taxpayers in states that opt-out a refundable tax credit for a share of the opt-out amount creditable to such states.

Sponsor:  Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-05)



1.     H.R.1737:  The Surface Transportation and Taxation Equity Act or State Act

Brief Description:  The STATE Act returns primary responsibility for transportation and infrastructure projects back to the states without any additional cost to the taxpayer. This legislation would increase the revenue available to States while enabling them to prioritize projects based on safety, traffic needs, and improved commerce without being subject to federal mandates. The STATE Act accomplishes this by granting states the ability to opt out of the federal transportation program through increasing their gas taxes while simultaneously reducing the federal gas tax by the same amount. 

Sponsor:  Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-05)


2.     H.R. 1585: The State Transportation Flexibility Act

Brief Description:  This bill would give states the option to keep the funds they would otherwise be forced to contribute to the Federal-aid Highway Program and the Mass Transit Account (MTA).  If a state chooses to opt-out of these programs, they would be able to collect, remit and manage their own gas tax dollars. 

Sponsor: Rep. Lankford (OK-05)



1.     H.R.1683: State Flexibility Act

Brief Description:  The bill would repeal federal Maintenance of Effort (MOE) laws – first established in the Stimulus law of 2009 – that prevent states from making changes to their Medicaid programs, effectively tying the hands of Governors during tough economic times.

Sponsor:  Rep. Phil Gingrey


2.     H.R. 3326: The Medicaid Flexibility for States Act

Brief Description:  This legislation simply allows states to opt-out of this Obamacare Medicaid mandate, and not let the federal government get away with hiding the true costs of this forced Medicaid expansion.  Americans want quality healthcare that is affordable and accessible. Instead, Obamacare passes off billions of dollars of costs to states as a way to pay for the president's unpopular national healthcare reform.

Sponsor: Rep. Ben Quayle (AZ-03)


3.     H.R. 782: State Health Care Flexibility Act of 2011

Brief Description: Authorizes a state to opt out of the application of certain provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) with respect to health insurance coverage within the state by.

Sponsor: Rep. Thaddeus McCotter


4.     H.R. 663: Save Our States Act

Brief Description: Delays the effective date of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the health care provisions of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, and prohibits the federal government from promulgating any further regulations or otherwise preparing to implement the the provisions of such Acts, until the U.S. Supreme Court renders a judgment that includes a holding on the constitutionality of the requirement to maintain minimum essential coverage in any case pending before a federal court on the date of the enactment of this Act.

Sponsor: Rep. Kevin Brady




1.     H.R.1047:  The State Right to Vote Act

Brief Description:  Amends the National Labor Relations Act to clarify that State-approved legislation or Constitutional amendments insuring secret union ballots are appropriate exercises of State's congressionally approved authority. The legislation also prohibits federal agencies from bringing a challenge against a State statute or constitutional provision which protects the right of employees to choose labor organization representatives through secret ballot elections.   

Sponsor:  Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC-03)


2.     H.R. 2731: The Helping Innovation of Re-Employment Services in States (HIRES) Act

Brief Description:  Currently, the one-size-fits-all approach of the unemployment insurance program forbids states from trying to improve the way they operate the program and put workers back to work.  If enacted, the HIRES Act would provide states the much needed opportunity to apply for waivers in the unemployment insurance program to explore ways to help Americans get back to work.

            Sponsor:  Rep. Rick Berg (ND-AL)


Government Reform:

1.     H.J.Res.62:  The Repeal Amendment

Brief Description: Constitutional amendment that authorizes the repeal of any federal law or regulation when the legislatures of two-thirds of the States approve resolutions that describe the federal provision to be repealed. 

Sponsor: Rep. Rob Bishop (UT-01)


  1. H.R. 2917: Restoration of State Sovereignty Act of 2011

Brief Description:  Empowers States by giving them the opportunity to accept or reject federal grant money. Grant money rejected by State legislatures would be dedicated to paying off our outstanding national debt and deficit.

Sponsor:  Congressman John A. Culberson (TX-07)



  1. H.R. 2916: Tenth Amendment Enforcement Act

Brief Description:  Reaffirms each State's autonomous sovereign police powers under the Tenth Amendment to preserve and protect the safety, security, and property of its citizens without interference from Federal authorities.

Sponsor:  Congressman John A. Culberson (TX-07)



4.     H.R.455:  10th Amendment Regulatory Reform Act

Brief Description:  Provides State officials with special standing to challenge proposed federal agency rules and regulations, and for other purposes. Further, the legislation calls for expedited review of district court rulings in the US Court of Appeals.

Sponsor:  Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04)


5.     H.R. 2018 Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act

Brief Description: Amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to preserve the authority of each State to make determinations relating to the State's water quality standards, maintaining protection of public health, and the environment by requiring a cooperative effort between state and federal governments.

Sponsor: Rep. John Mica