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New Legislation Would Give States a Tool to Challenge Out-of-touch Federal Policies

May 21, 2014
Press Release
WASHINGTON— Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01) today joined with 20 fellow Members of Congress to introduce the Repeal Amendment [H.J. Res. 115]. This legislation would allow states to repeal a federal law or policy viewed to be out of touch with the priorities of the country by joining together in supermajority opposition.  States' ability to hold the federal government accountable for passing out-of-touch policies will help restore the proper balance of power between states and the federal government intended by the U.S. Constitution.

Specifically, the amendment states:

"Any provision of law or regulation of the United States may be repealed by the several states, and such a repeal shall be effective when the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states approve resolutions for this purpose that particularly describe the same provision or provisions of law or regulation to be repealed."

"Over the course of history, states have unfortunately lost the ability to compete against the dominant and powerful federal government. We know that this is antithetical to what our founding fathers envisioned for our country because they specifically outlined the balance of power between the people, states, and federal government in the 10th Amendment.  We commonly recognize the defined powers of the people, states, and federal government as the concept of Federalism. Without restoring Federalism as the foundation upon which all policy decisions are based, the size and scope of the federal government will unquestionably continue to grow," said Congressman Bishop, co-founder of the House 10th Amendment Task Force.

The Repeal Amendment would require two-thirds of the states to collectively agree that repeal of a federal policy is necessary.  The states would vote to proceed with repeal action in their state legislatures. Once a supermajority of states has agreed upon repeal of the law, Congress may determine to uphold the repeal or vote to pass the law one final time.

"We need to look no further than the $17 trillion debt to see that the approach we have taken as a nation is not working.  This immense debt is the direct result of the federal government not just spending too much, but doing too much.  The Repeal Amendment is a solution that deserves thoughtful consideration as we work toward returning power currently at the federal level back to the people and states," Bishop added.