DownsizeDC.org
July 21, 2008
Great News on the Enumerated Powers Act
By Jim Babka
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Quote of the Day: "Ideas and images in men’s minds are the invisible powers that govern them."
 -- Hans Sennholz

Subject: Great news on the "Enumerated Powers Act"

The "Enumerated Powers Act" (H.R. 1359) would compel Congress to identify their Constitutional authority for every law they pass. It wouldn't stop them from passing bad laws, but it sure would highlight the fact that most of what they do has no Constitutional authority at all.

We pretty much know what they would do. They would have to invoke the so-called "general welfare clause," which is really just the preamble to the Constitution, or the "commerce clause," which was really intended to foster free trade between the states. It would become very embarrassing very quickly, and we could pound them about it constantly.

When we last reported to you the "Enumerated Powers Act" had 47 co-sponsors in the House. Well, now it has 52. But there's even better news . . .

Senator Tom Coburn introduced a Senate version (S. 3159) on June 19th, and 22 out of 100 Senators have already signed-on as co-sponsors. This is an incredible level of support that has come about very quickly.

Why are so many politicians sponsoring legislation that would serve to cast Congress in a poor light?

One possibility is that lots of them really would like to stick closer to the Constitution, but feel constrained by the Congressional leadership and the perverse incentives by which Congress operates. We're not saying this excuses their un-constitutional votes, but it could explain some of them. 

That's why we've crafted proposals such as the "Read the Bills Act," the "One Subject at a Time Act," and the "Write the Laws Act." If we could just change the incentives by which Congress operates, we could also change the outcome. The "Enumerated Powers Act" could be a small but important part of this.

Another possibility might be because you've been asking them to do so! So here's what we need to do now . . .

* If your Rep. or one or more of your Senators is a co-sponsor, please thank them (we've provided a list of co-sponsors below my signature).
* If one or more of your elected representatives is not on the list, ask them to please become a co-sponsor

You can send your message here.
 
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Thank you for being a part of the growing Downsize DC Army.

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

Here's the list of co-sponsors in the Senate . . .

Sen Allard, Wayne [CO] - 6/19/2008
Sen Barrasso, John [WY] - 6/19/2008
Sen Brownback, Sam [KS] - 6/19/2008
Sen Burr, Richard [NC] - 6/19/2008
Sen Chambliss, Saxby [GA] - 6/19/2008
Sen Cornyn, John [TX] - 6/19/2008
Sen Crapo, Mike [ID] - 6/19/2008
Sen DeMint, Jim [SC] - 6/19/2008
Sen Dole, Elizabeth [NC] - 6/19/2008
Sen Ensign, John [NV] - 6/19/2008
Sen Enzi, Michael B. [WY] - 6/19/2008
Sen Graham, Lindsey [SC] - 6/19/2008
Sen Grassley, Chuck [IA] - 6/19/2008
Sen Hutchison, Kay Bailey [TX] - 6/19/2008
Sen Inhofe, James M. [OK] - 6/19/2008
Sen Kyl, Jon [AZ] - 6/19/2008
Sen McCain, John [AZ] - 6/19/2008
Sen Sessions, Jeff [AL] - 6/19/2008
Sen Sununu, John E. [NH] - 6/19/2008
Sen Thune, John [SD] - 6/19/2008
Sen Vitter, David [LA] - 6/19/2008
Sen Wicker, Roger F. [MS] - 6/19/2008

Here's the list of co-sponsors in the House . . .

Rep Akin, W. Todd [MO-2] - 3/6/2007
Rep Barrett, J. Gresham [SC-3] - 12/5/2007
Rep Bartlett, Roscoe G. [MD-6] - 3/6/2007
Rep Bilbray, Brian P. [CA-50] - 3/5/2008
Rep Bishop, Rob [UT-1] - 3/6/2007
Rep Boozman, John [AR-3] - 4/24/2007
Rep Broun, Paul C. [GA-10] - 2/13/2008
Rep Burgess, Michael C. [TX-26] - 6/9/2008
Rep Burton, Dan [IN-5] - 3/6/2007
Rep Cannon, Chris [UT-3] - 2/25/2008
Rep Conaway, K. Michael [TX-11] - 3/6/2007
Rep Cubin, Barbara [WY] - 3/5/2008
Rep Davis, David [TN-1] - 3/27/2007
Rep Doolittle, John T. [CA-4] - 3/5/2008
Rep Duncan, John J., Jr. [TN-2] - 3/7/2007
Rep Feeney, Tom [FL-24] - 4/24/2007
Rep Flake, Jeff [AZ-6] - 3/6/2007
Rep Foxx, Virginia [NC-5] - 3/6/2007
Rep Franks, Trent [AZ-2] - 3/14/2007
Rep Garrett, Scott [NJ-5] - 3/6/2007
Rep Gingrey, Phil [GA-11] - 3/6/2007
Rep Gohmert, Louie [TX-1] - 3/6/2007
Rep Goodlatte, Bob [VA-6] - 9/7/2007
Rep Heller, Dean [NV-2] - 8/1/2007
Rep Hensarling, Jeb [TX-5] - 12/12/2007
Rep Herger, Wally [CA-2] - 3/6/2007
Rep Hoekstra, Peter [MI-2] - 12/4/2007
Rep Johnson, Sam [TX-3] - 12/4/2007
Rep Jones, Walter B., Jr. [NC-3] - 3/31/2008
Rep Kline, John [MN-2] - 12/12/2007
Rep Lamborn, Doug [CO-5] - 3/6/2007
Rep Mack, Connie [FL-14] - 12/12/2007
Rep Marchant, Kenny [TX-24] - 3/6/2007
Rep McCotter, Thaddeus G. [MI-11] - 3/6/2007
Rep Miller, Jeff [FL-1] - 3/6/2007
Rep Musgrave, Marilyn N. [CO-4] - 12/12/2007
Rep Myrick, Sue Wilkins [NC-9] - 3/6/2007
Rep Paul, Ron [TX-14] - 3/6/2007
Rep Pitts, Joseph R. [PA-16] - 10/25/2007
Rep Poe, Ted [TX-2] - 3/12/2007
Rep Price, Tom [GA-6] - 3/5/2008
Rep Roskam, Peter J. [IL-6] - 6/3/2008
Rep Sali, Bill [ID-1] - 12/5/2007
Rep Sensenbrenner, F. James, Jr. [WI-5] - 5/15/2008
Rep Smith, Lamar [TX-21] - 4/23/2008
Rep Souder, Mark E. [IN-3] - 4/9/2008
Rep Stearns, Cliff [FL-6] - 5/23/2007
Rep Tiahrt, Todd [KS-4] - 4/24/2008
Rep Walberg, Timothy [MI-7] - 3/9/2007
Rep Wamp, Zach [TN-3] - 4/4/2008
Rep Weldon, Dave [FL-15] - 5/1/2007
Rep Westmoreland, Lynn A. [GA-3] - 3/6/2007
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