GOP bill gives states standing to challenge federal regulations

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and eight other Senate Republicans want to give states the right to challenge federal regulations when they believe the rules violate the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution.

Wicker's Restoring the 10th Amendment Act, S. 1632, is an attempt to set up checks on federal rule making authority at the state level. Wicker argues that the federal government has ignored the Tenth Amendment, which holds that powers not delegated to the federal government are "reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

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"Small businesses, families, and individuals around the country are right to be frustrated with the growing size of their government," Wicker said Thursday. "My bill stresses the need for constitutional checks and balances on executive power and gives states and the American people a tool to challenge federal overreach."

His bill gives state officials "special standing" to challenge proposed regulations during any public comment period. That challenge must be based on arguments that the proposed rule violates the Constitution's Tenth Amendment.

The bill requires the federal agency to post the challenge online, and if the agency decides to continue with the rule, it must certify that the rule does not violate the Tenth Amendment. That certification must include a legal reasoning that supports the agency's position.

Wicker has introduced similar legislation in the past two sessions of Congress. This year's bill is cosponsored by Sens. Thad Cochran (Miss.), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Charles Grassley (Iowa), James Inhofe (Okla.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Pat Roberts (Kan.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), and John Thune (S.D.).