Resolution to be introduced demanding all legislation cite Constitutional authorization
New Jersey Republican Rep. Scott Garrett plans to introduce a resolution in the House of Representatives Tuesday that would require all legislation to cite an enumerated power in the Constitution that grants authority for the bill’s mandate.
Garrett, founder and chairman of the House Constitution Caucus, told The Daily Caller that the resolution is the direct result of the American people’s expressed desire for Congress to return to its Constitutional roots.
“This bill grows out of ‘The Pledge with America,’ going across the country prior to the campaign and hearing what was important to the American public and what they have told us is that we need to — as they and we put it — restore the preeminence of the Constitution in law-making and we do that by, as the rule would say, passing a non-waivable rule that would require every bill and amendment to have a citation of the specific authority in the Constitution.”
Garret pointed to the new Affordable Health Care Act as a prime example of Congress overstepping its Constitutional authority.
“I would think that would be the single largest example of a violation of our obligation to uphold the Constitution because there is nothing in the Constitution that gives the federal government the right to mandate that citizens buy a product that the government dictates,” Garrett said. “Which is why several states have filed law suits.”
Garrett’s resolution will prohibit members from manipulating the more ambiguous “general welfare clause” and “necessary and proper clause” and instead require members to isolate specific provisions which make their proposals Constitutional.
If a bill’s justification does not meet Constitutional muster, a member could raise a non-waivable point of order. Members would then debate on whether or not to proceed with consideration of the legislation. Garrett’s resolution currently has 34 co-sponsors.