The Norman Transcript
March 28, 2010
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Tom Cole, R-Moore, has introduced the 10th Amendment Regulatory Reform Act, which would provide special standing for state government officials to challenge regulations issued in conjunction with the implementation of federal laws. Under the legislation, any rule proposed by a federal agency would be subject to constitutional challenges if state officials determine the rule infringes on powers reserved to the states under the 10th Amendment.
The 10th Amendment states: “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.”
“The reach of the federal government into citizens’ daily lives has become far more expansive than the Founding Fathers ever intended,” Cole said. “The Constitution places strict limits on federal power, but those limits are enforced so rarely that federal actions routinely usurp states’ rights in practice although not under law. This bill ensures that states can challenge unconstitutional mandates before they take effect so that more authority will reside at the state level where it belongs.”
Under the process created by H.R. 4946, federal agencies would be required to post publicly and rule on challenges filed by designated state officials. After a challenge is filed, the agency would have 15 days to withdraw the rule or issue a written declaration certifying the rule’s constitutionality under the 10th Amendment. State officials empowered to issue challenges under the bill include governors, lieutenant governors, and majority or minority leaders in state legislatures.
The bill, co-sponsored by Tom Rooney (R-Fla.), will now be referred for committee consideration.