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Washington, D.C. – To combat the growing burdens placed on states by the federal government, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and Representative Rob Bishop, R-Utah, introduced a joint resolution today that would amend the Constitution to provide states with the option of repealing any federal law or regulation and institute a check against egregious congressional action.

In 2009, states faced miles of red tape and costly mandates as the federal bureaucracy issued over 3,300 new rules and regulations. To restore the original state-federal balance that was intended by the Founding Fathers, Enzi and Bishop introduced the Repeal Amendment to give states a stronger voice in shaping national policy as much of what the federal government does ultimately falls upon the shoulders of state and local governments.

“The Constitution preserves the powers of the states and the rights of all people,” said Enzi. “Yet, we force states, which often bear the brunt of well-intended laws and one-size-fits-all policies, to rely on our backlogged court system to address issues of vital importance.  The Repeal Amendment gives states a voice and the ability to say ‘No!’” 

The amendment would provide states with the capacity to act in the best interest of their citizens. An agreement among 34 states would be required for any law or regulation to be repealed. The two-thirds requirement acts as a safeguard to ensure that any repeal has a true bipartisan consensus and that the impact of truly burdensome federal laws and regulations are not left to the courts.

“If we are to believe the old adage of President Reagan that ‘as government expands, liberty contracts,’ we must provide our states with the breathing room to decide what policies are best for them,” continued Enzi. “The role of the federal government was never meant to be a big brother, but a partner in providing the greatest amount of opportunity to the most people.”  

The proposed constitutional amendment reads: “Any provision of law or regulation of the United States may be repealed by the several States, and such repeal shall be effective when the legislatures of two-thirds of the several States approve resolutions for this purpose that particularly describe the same provision or provisions of law or regulation to be repealed.”

Senators John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and James Risch, R-Idaho are co-sponsors of the Repeal Amendment. Co-sponsors on the House side include Representatives Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., H. Morgan Griffith, R-Va, Paul Broun, R-Ga., Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., John Campbell, R-Ca., Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., Tom McClintock, R-Ca., Don Manzullo, R-Ill., Joe Walsh, R-Ill., Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, Tom Graves, R-Ga., and Tim Walberg, R-Mich.|

To read Enzi’s speech submitted for the record CLICK HERE.
For bill text CLICK HERE.
For video from today’s news conference CLICK HERE.