Democrat: Citing Constitution will cost taxpayers $570K

Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown said a GOP requirement that lawmakers cite the Constitution in each bill they introduce will cost $570,000 in additional printing costs.

The Florida Democrat, who is in her ninth term in Congress, said the extra costs are attributed to “supplies, labor and delivery."

Democrats have complained about the new House GOP rule, which requires all legislation to include a citation to language in the Constitution that authorizes any bill they introduce. Democrats see the new requirement as an unveiled accusation that the last Congress exceeded its constitutional authority.

Brown’s argument seems designed to appeal to Republicans. She argues the new rule will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in Congressional Record printing costs to be paid for by taxpayers. 

In her extension of remarks attached to the January 7 Congressional Record, Brown said the Republican rule only requires a “perfunctory statement without explanation,” which lessens the value of including the statement in each bill. “Committees need not consider the statement, no Member will ever vote on it, and Senate bills can be considered without one,” she said.

Brown reiterated other Democratic arguments against the new rule, including that it is the job of the courts to decide when Congress has overstepped its bounds.