Friday, February 13, 2015

Action Update - Regulation Freedom Amendment

Seven state legislative chambers, the 6 million member American Farm Bureau, two Governors, more than 350 state legislators including 15 House Speakers and Senate Leaders, the General Counsel of the RNC, and 3 former RNC General Counsels now support the Regulation Freedom Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to require that Congress approve major new federal regulations.

Every voting Republican Member of the U.S. House and some Democrats have supported the REINS Act, also to require that Congress approve major new federal regulations, but the President would almost certainly veto such a measure and it could be challenged in Court.

However, just as states originally helped force Congress to propose the Bill of Rights, 2/3 of the states who agreed on a specific Amendment could potentially force Congress to propose the Amendment, because Congress will do almost anything to avoid a Convention.

Even the credible threat of states forcing Congress to propose an Amendment could deter regulators and create a powerful issue for 2015 and 2016:

"Should federal regulators keep their power to dictate from Washington or should they more accountable to elected officials?"

Polls show 2-1 voter support for the Regulation Freedom Amendment.

The first step in our strategy is the passage of Resolutions in key states urging that Congress propose the Regulation Freedom Amendment.

Here is a progress update in the 35 states where we are most active:

1. Seven Legislative Chambers in 5 states have so far passed Resolutions urging Congress to propose the Amendment: The Indiana House and Senate, the South Dakota House and Senate, the Wyoming House, the Idaho House, and the Georgia Senate.

2. Legislative Committees in 2 more states, in the North Dakota House and the Arizona Senate have approved a Regulation Freedom Amendment Resolution which is now awaiting floor consideration.

3. Regulation Freedom Amendment Resolutions are awaiting Committee consideration in 5 more states: Tennessee, Texas, Mississippi, Montana, and Utah.

4. We have identified a legislative sponsor for a Resolution in 8 more states: Pennsylvania, West Virginia Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, and Kansas.

5. And we are working with friendly legislators in the state to identify a sponsor for the Resolution in 14 more states: Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Ohio Wisconsin, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Nevada, California and Alaska.

6. And in 1 state, VA, where informal rules prevent consideration of Resolutions urging Congress to act, we have identified legislators willing to circulate a letter for legislators' signatures in support of the Regulation Freedom Amendment.

The 31 states with Republican majorities plus 7 more swing states with a Republican majority in one chamber of the legislature a Democratic majority in the other, especially the energy states of KY, NM, and the farm state of IA offer the realistic possibility of winning bipartisan legislative majorities in 34, 2/3 of the states.

The second state legislative step in our effort is also underway:  The passage of laws, similar to those recently adopted in 5 states, that allow states to replace disobedient delegates to an Article V Convention, if one were ever held.

These laws, if enacted in a majority of states with a majority of the population, would allow those states to control a majority of delegates at any Convention, and thus to limit the scope of a Convention states could potentially threaten to just an up or down vote on the exact text of the Amendment that states wanted.

Faced with such a threat, Congress would almost certainly propose the Amendment states wanted rather than risk the possibility of a Convention that would be more powerful than Congress.

These "faithful delegate" laws have already been enacted in Indiana, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and Utah. Bills have been introduced in New Hampshire, West Virginia, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming, Idaho, and Arizona.

We are building a coalition of national legislative, business and grassroots leaders to help advance this effort.

For more information on this effort and how you and people you know can help, please contact:

Roman Buhler
Director of the Madison Coalition
202 255 5000
Here is the text of the Regulation Freedom Amendment:

"Whenever one quarter of the Members of the U.S. House or the U.S. Senate transmit to the President their written declaration of opposition to a proposed federal regulation, it shall require a majority vote of the House and Senate to adopt that regulation."

Here, if you have not already seen it,  is a WSJ piece about the effort:



State legislators in two thirds of the states could force Congress to propose a "Regulation Freedom" amendment to the U.S. Constitution just as states forced Congress to propose the original Bill of Rights.

May 4, 2014 6:28 p.m. ET

As your April 30 editorial "The EPA Unchained" points out, the courts have given federal regulators enormous power with little accountability.

The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, passed in the House with bipartisan support requiring that Congress approve major federal regulations, is unlikely to get 60 Senate votes or a presidential signature, even though polls show voters like the idea.

But state legislators in two-thirds of the states could force Congress to propose a similar "Regulation Freedom" amendment to the U.S. Constitution just as the states forced Congress to propose the original Bill of Rights.

Congress will do almost anything to avoid a convention that would be more powerful than Congress. Two-thirds of the states working together would also have the power to safely limit their delegates to an up-or-down vote on just the amendment states wanted.

Perhaps it is time for state leaders to do what the authors of our Constitution intended them to do—rein in the abuse of power in Washington.

Roman Buhler

The Madison Coalition
McLean, Va.

Letters, May 5, 2014

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