On September 17, 1787, 39 men made history when they signed the United States Constitution. Convened in Philadelphia, these founding fathers had a bold vision of a new form of government for our young nation; a government where power is not concentrated in a single, central entity--as was the day's custom--but shared and spread among bodies; a government that takes cues not from a monarch, but from the people it serves. This idea, Federalism, became the cornerstone of our government and the foundation for the American way of life.
But in the past two years, led by a free-spending Democrat majority and President, the federal government has embarked on an unprecedented and reckless power grab. More and more, Americans are feeling the reach of Washington bureaucrats into their everyday lives. Unfortunately, as Washington continues to grow, the governing role of the states and the American people is getting smaller. Federalism, once a living thing, is becoming an abstract idea.
This line of thinking that puts Washington as the sole problem solver is a trend we must reverse. As the federal government continues to expand, we must remember that the Constitution reserves power that is not explicitly granted to the federal government to the states and the people.
In every Congress since 1994, I have introduced the Enumerated Powers Act. This measure would require that all bills introduced in Congress include a statement setting forth the specific constitutional authority under which the law is being enacted, forcing Congress to re-examine the role of the national government. This year alone, federal spending is expected to surpass $3.5 Trillion, creating a deficit of $1.47 Trillion. For the sake of all Americans, Washington must be reigned in.
So today, on the 223rd Anniversary of its signing, I encourage you to read a copy of the U.S. Constitution. As you know, perhaps too well, our country has lost its way, and we are stranded at an ideological crossroads; on one path, an out-of-touch Congress that continues to spend money it doesn't have, and on the other, hard-working Americans who value choice, options and personal responsibility. To move forward towards better governance, we must go back to the basics. The Constitution is our map, and from there, we'll find that Federalism is the way.