House bill takes aim at eminent domain

House bill takes aim at eminent domain
© Getty Images

Rep. Jim SensenbrennerFrank (Jim) James SensenbrennerProtecting the fundamental right of all Americans to have access to the voting booth Republicans compare Ron Johnson to Joe McCarthy: NYT GOP puts pressure on Pelosi over Swalwell MORE (R-Wis.) has introduced legislation in the House to deter state and local governments from using eminent domain to take private property for economic development.

Under the Private Property Rights Protection Act, unveiled Thursday, a state or political subdivision of a state would become ineligible for federal economic funds for two fiscal years if it uses its eminent domain power to transfer private property to other private parties for the purpose of economic development.

A judicial body will have to determine first if the law has been violated before any funding is taken away.

“The freedom to own and protect one's private property is foundational to our country,” Sensenbrenner said in a statement. “Congress must fight to protect the private property rights of Americans and reform the use and abuse of eminent domain.”

The bill, which was first introduced in 2005, would also prohibit the federal government from using eminent domain for economic development purposes.