Today, U.S. Senators Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) and Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced the Enumerated Powers Act of 2013. This bill gives members of Congress the procedural tools necessary to stop unconstitutional legislation. Dr. Coburn and Sen. Paul introduced the bill along with 34 cosponsors.
"Many of our nation's fiscal woes can be linked to Congress's ignorance of, and refusal to follow, the clear Constitutional limitations on our power to legislate," Dr. Coburn said. "Our founders recognized the need for the federal government's powers to be strictly limited -- not only to ensure effective governance but to prevent unrestrained federal overreach. Limiting government is important because it liberates people and expands freedom and opportunity. Today, Americans have more government but less liberty, less economic mobility, and less disposable income. I am hopeful this legislation will correct this trend by reconnecting Congress with the enumerated powers outlined in the Constitution and codifying Congressional accountability to the Constitution."
"When I ran for the Senate, one of my promises was to fight to pass an Enumerated Powers Act," Senator Paul said. "Politicians in Washington should abide by their oath to uphold the Constitution by only legislating within the powers it gives to the federal government. I am proud to be the lead co-sponsor of Sen. Coburn's bill to make this a reality."
The Enumerated Powers Act of 2013 does the following:
1) Requires each Act of Congress, bill, resolution, conference report and amendment to "contain a concise explanation of the specific authority in the Constitution" that is the basis for its enactment.
2) States any legislation that abolishes a Federal activity, spending or overall power may cite the 9th or 10th Amendments to the Constitution.
3) Prohibits the use of the Commerce Clause, except for "the regulation of the buying and selling of goods or services, or the transporting for those purposes, across boundaries with foreign nations, across State lines, or with Indian tribes "
4) Allows a point of order to be raised in either House of Congress for bills that fail to cite constitutional authority.
5) Cites the constitutional authority to enact the Enumerated Powers Act, which falls under Article I, Section 5, Clause 2 of the Constitution, allowing each House to determine the rules of its proceedings.
The bill is cosponsored by Senators Ayotte (R-NH), Barrasso (R-WY), Blunt (R-MO), Boozman (R-AR), Burr (R-NC), Chambliss (R-GA), Coats (R-IN), Corker (R-TN), Cornyn (R-TX), Crapo (R-ID), Cruz (R-TX), Enzi (R-WY), Fischer (R-NE), Flake (R-AZ), Graham (R-SC), Grassley (R-IA), Hatch (R-UT), Heller (R-NV), Inhofe (R-OK), Isakson (R-GA), Johnson (R-WI), Lee (R-UT), McCain (R-AZ), McConnell (R-KY), Moran (R-KS), Risch (R-ID), Roberts (R-KS), Rubio (R-FL), Scott (R-SC), Sessions (R-AL), Thune (R-SD), Toomey (R-PA), Vitter (R-LA), and Wicker (R-MS).