Republicans take aim at federal 'overreach' with 10th Amendment bill

Republicans in the House and Senate have introduced legislation that would empower states to challenge federal regulations.

The bill, introduced in the House by Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) and in the Senate by Sen. Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerHillicon Valley: Google to limit political ad targeting | Senators scrutinize self-driving car safety | Trump to 'look at' Apple tariff exemption | Progressive lawmakers call for surveillance reforms | House panel advances telecom bills Senators grill safety regulator over self-driving cars Senate Democrats unveil priorities for federal privacy bill MORE (R-Miss.), would give state government officials the right to challenge any rule proposed by either a federal agency or the president that they think infringes on their 10th Amendment rights.

“President Obama pledged to use a ‘phone and pen’ to push through his liberal agenda against the will of the people, and thanks to his unconstitutional executive actions, there is very little left in our personal lives or in the realm of original State authority that the federal government does not control,” Culberson said in a statement.

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“From illegal amnesty, to Obamacare, to the IRS scandals — no president has shown greater disregard for individual liberty and states’ rights.”

The 10th Amendment helps define the relationship between federal and state governments by giving states the powers not granted to the federal government by the Constitution. States have long used it as a tool to fight regulations and limit the size, power and cost of the federal government.

Wicker, who championed the Restoring the 10th Amendment Act in previous sessions, said he has serious concerns about how the Obama administration’s overreach is affecting Americans’ personal lives and states’ authority.

“There is an urgent need for constitutional checks and balances on executive power, and this bill offers states and the American people an important tool to challenge federal overreach, from unlawful actions on immigration to extreme environmental rules,” he said.