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Published On: Wed, Jul 31st, 2013

Coburn, Paul introduce the Enumerated Powers Act of 2013, requires each bill to ‘contain a concise explanation of the specific authority in the Constitution’

Senator’s Rand Paul (R-KY) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) introduced  legislation today that would gives members of Congress the procedural tools necessary to stop unconstitutional legislation.

The bill is called the Enumerated Powers Act of 2013 and has 34 co-sponsors.

The bill would do the following:

  1. Requires each Act of Congress, bill, resolution, conference report and amendment to “contain a concise explanation of the specific authority in the Constitution” that is the basis for its enactment.
  2. States any legislation that abolishes a Federal activity, spending or overall power may cite the 9th or 10th Amendments to the Constitution.
  3. Prohibits the use of the Commerce Clause, except for “the regulation of the buying and selling of goods or services, or the transporting for those purposes, across boundaries with foreign nations, across State lines, or with Indian tribes…”
  4. Allows a point of order to be raised in either House of Congress for bills that fail to cite constitutional authority.
  5. Cites the constitutional authority to enact the Enumerated Powers Act, which falls under Article I, Section 5, Clause 2 of the Constitution, allowing each House to determine the rules of its proceedings.
Photo of the US Constitution taken in the rotunda of the National Archives photo Mr. T in DC via Flickr

Photo of the US Constitution taken in the rotunda of the National Archives photo Mr. T in DC via Flickr

“Many of our nation’s fiscal woes can be linked to Congress’s ignorance of, and refusal to follow, the clear Constitutional limitations on our power to legislate,” Dr. Coburn said.  “Our founders recognized the need for the federal government’s powers to be strictly limited – not only to ensure effective governance but to prevent unrestrained federal overreach. Limiting government is important because it liberates people and expands freedom and opportunity. Today, Americans have more government but less liberty, less economic mobility, and less disposable income. I am hopeful this legislation will correct this trend by reconnecting Congress with the enumerated powers outlined in the Constitution and codifying Congressional accountability to the Constitution.”

“When I ran for the Senate, one of my promises was to fight to pass an Enumerated Powers Act,” Senator Paul said. “Politicians in Washington should abide by their oath to uphold the Constitution by only legislating within the powers it gives to the federal government. I am proud to be the lead co-sponsor of Sen. Coburn’s bill to make this a reality.”

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He regularly writes about infectious disease news for Examiner.com and administers the Outbreak News section of The Global Dispatch.

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  1. [...] Coburn, Paul introduce the Enumerated Powers Act of 2013, requires each bill to ‘contain a con… (theglobaldispatch.com) [...]

  2. Randolph says:

    …and has 34 co-sponsors.
    Where can I verify the 34 sponsors? I only see 9 official co-sponsors.

    • Robert Herriman says:

      Hi Randolph,
      The bill is cosponsored by Senators Ayotte (R-NH), Barrasso (R-WY), Blunt (R-MO), Boozman (R-AR), Burr (R-NC), Chambliss (R-GA), Coats (R-IN), Corker (R-TN), Cornyn (R-TX), Crapo (R-ID), Cruz (R-TX), Enzi (R-WY), Fischer (R-NE), Flake (R-AZ), Graham (R-SC), Grassley (R-IA), Hatch (R-UT), Heller (R-NV), Inhofe (R-OK), Isakson (R-GA), Johnson (R-WI), Lee (R-UT), McCain (R-AZ), McConnell (R-KY), Moran (R-KS), Risch (R-ID), Roberts (R-KS), Rubio (R-FL), Scott (R-SC), Sessions (R-AL), Thune (R-SD), Toomey (R-PA), Vitter (R-LA), and Wicker (R-MS).

      This is posted on Sen Paul’s website

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