GOP senator introduces states' rights bill prompted by reform law

A Republican senator introduced early Thursday a bill that would allow state officials to challenge federal regulations before they go into effect.

The legislation's sponsor, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), said the bill is in response to the new healthcare reform law, which Republicans say would create 159 "boards, commissions, bureaus, programs and offices of the federal government."

The Restoring the 10th Amendment Act would allow certain state officials to file a legal brief challenging the constitutionality of proposed regulations during the comment period. The head of the challenged federal agency would then have 15 days to certify the regulation complies with to the 10th Amendment, which states "powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Wicker told The Hill last week that he did not have high expectations for passing the bill before the lame-duck session.

"I think it's going to take another election, and probably another president, to get this taken care of," Wicker said last week. "But this is a step. It's a salvo."

However, Wicker said today that he hoped to gain support for the bill in the next Congress.