GOP seeks to expand state repeal powers
House and Senate Republicans are introducing legislation this session that would ask Congress to give a super-majority of state legislatures the authority to repeal a federal law. Craig Carper reports.
The proposal would require an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would permit the repeal of any federal law or regulation by the vote of two-thirds of the state legislatures.
Republican Speaker of the House, Bill Howell of Fredericksburg.
Howell: Getting two-thirds of the states to agree on repealing a federal law or regulation is not going to be easy; it’ll happen only if that law or regulation is highly unpopular, but it would have the important effect of deterring further expansion of federal power at the expense of the sovereignty of the people and of the several states.
Democratic Senator Don McEachin of Richmond calls the proposal mind-boggling.
McEachin: Just because you say two-thirds of the state legislatures, does not mean you’re talking about a supermajority. Two-thirds could amount to 85 million people when you start adding up the Vermonts, the New Hampshires, the smaller states. Thirty-three small states, which is what the number would be, equates to 85 million people, and then the rest of us, the Virginias, the Georgias, the Texases, the Californias, the New Yorks, are being held hostage to this minority group.
The proposal is likely to pass in the Republican-controlled House and fail in the Democratic-led Senate.
Craig Carper, WCVE News, Capitol Square