COBRT, The Madison Coalition, and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) came together for a roundtable discussion on the Regulation Freedom Amendment presented by Roman Buhler.
The Regulation Freedom Amendment would end "regulation without representation" by permanently requiring that major new Federal regulations be approved by Congress. The Amendment would curb the power of Washington regulators to re-write the meaning of laws without the consent of Congress. The Amendment has been endorsed by a bipartisan group of more than 1,000 State Legislators, 7 Governors, and former Governors, including Mike Pence.
A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY
What will advocates of limited government do with the historic majorities we have won in 2016?
Will we be satisfied with executive orders and laws that will only last as long as our temporary majorities in Washington, or can we permanently restore checks and balances that will start taking power permanently out of Washington?
There is now a unique opportunity to permanently and constitutionally curb the authority of executive branch regulators and preserve the regulatory reforms of the coming Administration from repeal without the consent of Congress.
Nothing would do more to restore a long term 3 or 4 percent growth rate to our economy than permanently ending the fear of arbitrary federal regulation.
And nothing would do more for the electoral prospects of advocates of limited government than a high-growth job-creating, wealth-creating economy.
A bipartisan group of more than 1,000 state legislators, 7 Governors and former Governors including Mike Pence, language in the 2016 GOP Platform, a unanimous vote of the RNC, the American Farm Bureau, the National Taxpayers Union, and Resolutions passed in 23 State Legislative chambers have endorsed the "Regulation Freedom Amendment" to require that Congress approve major new federal regulations.
The Text of the Regulation Freedom Amendment is:
"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."
Just as states helped force Congress to propose the Bill of Rights, leaders in 2/3 of the states working with allies in Congress could potentially over the next 2-3 years force Congress to constitutionally require that major new federal regulations be approved by Congress and permanently restore the Article I power of Congress.
A team of political, business and grassroots volunteer leaders, could play a key role in making the issue of "ending regulation without representation" one of the decisive issues of 2018 and 2020.
Every state legislator, every Member of Congress, every statewide elected official, and every radio talk show host in America can be asked if they have heard of and will they support the Regulation Freedom Amendment to permanently require that major new federal regulations be approved by Congress.
The 2016 National GOP Platform includes the following language:
"We call on Congress to begin reclaiming their constitutional powers from the bureaucratic state by requiring that major new federal regulations be approved by Congress before they can take effect, such as through the Regulation Freedom Amendment."
The Republican National Committee has unanimously voted for a Resolution supporting the Regulation Freedom Amendment.
24 State Legislative Chambers have passed Resolutions urging Congress to propose the Regulation Freedom Amendment.
These chambers are:
West Virginia House and Senate
Georgia-House and Senate
Tennessee-House and Senate
Indiana-House and Senate
Kansas House and Senate
North Dakota-House and Senate
South Dakota-House and Senate
Wyoming-House and Senate
Montana-House and Senate
Utah-House and Senate
A majority of the Members of the Arkansas Senate have also signed a letter endorsing the Amendment)
Similar Resolutions are pending in other states.
President Trump said at the 2017 NRA Convention in Atlanta "We don't want to be ruled by the bureaucrats in Washington!"
Former Presidential candidates Ted Cruz, and John Kasich have endorsed the Regulation Freedom Amendment.
House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R, TX), House Natural Resources Chair Rob Bishop, (R-UT) Immediate Past House Judiciary Constitution Subcommittee Chair Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Trump Energy Task Force Chair Rep. Kevin Cramer (R, ND) are among the key supporters of the Regulation Freedom Amendment in the U.S. House.
The Madison Coalition is leading a bipartisan effort to mobilize state and congressional leaders to force Congress to curb the authority of federal regulators.
Ending the fear of capricious Federal regulators by requiring that Congress approve major new federal regulations would be a powerful way to protect our Constitutional rights and accelerate economic growth!
Every voting Republican Member of the of the U.S. House along with some courageous Democrats recently supported the "REINS" Act to require that Congress approve major new federal regulations, and President Trump, when he was a candidate, committed to sign it, but Congress is too divided to pass such a law and it could also could be challenged in Court or repealed or weakened by a future Congress.
However just as states helped force Congress to propose the Bill of Rights, and more recently Presidential term limits, 2/3 of the states who favored the same Amendment to curb regulators might well force Congress to propose it.
The 33 states with GOP majorities in the both houses of the state legislature, with the support of reasonable Democrats as in KY, where the Democratic House Floor Leader has endorsed the Regulation Freedom Amendment and potentially in other swing states like NM, NV, ME, CO, and WA where many are skeptical of federal regulators could add up to a 2/3 majority of 34 states that could force Congress to act.
The 2018 mid-term elections are likely to result in more large gains for supporters of limited government.
Even the credible threat that states might force Congress to act could deter regulators and force elected officials and candidates to answer a simple question:
"Should regulators keep their power to dictate from Washington, or should they be made more accountable to elected officials?"
Or even more starkly, should the nation be run by un-elected bureaucrats in Washington or by elected representatives of the people?
Polling shows that voters, by a 2-1 margin favor the Regulation Freedom Amendment. The issue unites friends of limited government and attracts Republicans, Independents and Democrats.
The legislatures of 7 States have already passed laws that strengthen their ability to force Congress to act: Indiana, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia
Utah, South Dakota and North Dakota.
Similar legislation is pending in other states.
These "Faithful Delegate" laws give each state the power to replace and thus control potentially disobedient delegates if there ever was an Article V Convention, even though the Regulation Freedom Amendment effort is not threatening to call one.
If enacted by a majority of states with a majority of the population, these laws would give those states the potential power to force Congress to call a convention, a majority of whose delegates could be enforceably instructed to limit the Convention to just an up or down vote on the Amendment states wanted.
Congress will do almost anything to avoid a Convention.
A U.S. House 10th Amendment-based "Madison Rule" or a similar pledge by a majority of U.S. Senators to recognize and enforce the Article V and 10th Amendment power of states to strictly limit the scope of a Convention would further strengthen the power of states to force Congress to propose a state-initiated Amendment, even if states never threatened a Convention.
Pete Sessions, Chairman of the House Rules Committee and Trent Franks, (R, AZ) past Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution support the "10th Amendment Rule" and the House Republicans have initiated a process to study it.
If 2/3 of the states demonstrate their power to force Congress to propose an Amendment without a Convention, the entire balance of state and federal power will be transformed.
Faced with even the potential of such a threat Congress would almost certainly propose the Amendment states wanted to avoid the risk of a Convention that would be more powerful than Congress.
The bottom line is that a strategy of passing "Regulation Freedom Amendment" Resolutions in 34 or nearly 34 states in addition Faithful Delegate laws in what could become a majority of states, or the adoption of a U.S. House Rule, or a pledge by 51 U.S. Senators could force Congress to propose the Regulation Freedom Amendment as early as 2017 or 2018.
Here is a partial list of political leaders who support the Regulation Freedom Amendment:
GOVERNORS AND FORMER GOVERNORS
Mike Pence, IN
Phil Bryant, MS
Matt Mead, WY
Paul LePage, ME
Bill Haslam, TN
John Kasich OH
Bob Ehrlich MD
STATE GOVERNMENT LEADERS
NCSL (National Conference of State Legislators) Past Presidents UT Senate President Pro-Tem Curt Bramble and former GA Senator Don Balfour.
CSG (Council of State Governments) Past National Chairs TN Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, ND Rep. Kim Koppelman, and former NE Sen. Beau McCoy.
ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Counsel) Past National Chairs IA Speaker Linda Upmeyer and TX State and Federal Power Committee Chair Rep. Phil King
AR Former Senate Majority Leader Eddie Jo Williams
GA Senate President David Shafer
ID House Speaker Scott Bedke
IN Senate President David Long
IN House Speaker Brian Bosma
KS Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning
KS Former House Former Speaker Ray Merrick
KS Former House Former Speaker Pro Tem Peggy Mast
KY Senate President Robert Stivers
KY House Democratic Leader Rocky Adkins
MI Senate President Pro-Tem Tonya Shuitmaker
MO Former Senate President Tom Dempsey
MT PS Commission Chair Brad Johnson
NE Former Senate President Galen Hadley
NC Former House Majority Leader Mike Hager
ND Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner
ND House Majority Leader Al Carlson
ND Treasurer Kelly Schmidt
NM Former Attorney General Hal Stratton
OH former House Speaker Pro-Tem Matt Huffman
TN Former Lt Gov/Senate President Ron Ramsey
TN House Speaker Beth Harwell
TX Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller
TX Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian
UT Senate President Wayne Niederhauser
VA House Maj. Caucus Chair Tim Hugo
WV Former Senate President Bill Cole
WY Senate Majority Leader Eli Bebout
WY former House Speaker Tom Lubnau
BUSINESS GROUPS AND LEADERS
American Farm Bureau Federation
Indiana Manufacturers Association
Indiana Bankers Association
Kansas Chamber..United for Business
Kansas Bankers Association
Kansas Automobile Dealers Association
Kansas Farm Bureau (KGFA))
Kansas Grain and Feed Association
Kansas Cooperative Council (KCC)
Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (KARA)
Kansas Building Industry Association
Montana Chamber of Commerce
Montana Farm Bureau
Montana Coal Council
Treasure State Resources Association
Montana Petroleum Association
Montana Mining Association
Salt Lake Chamber, UT's Business Leader
Southern States Energy Board
Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Tennessee Mining Association
Tennessee Association of Health Underwriters
Wyoming Stock Growers Association
Terry Considine, CEO Considine Investment Company
Ken Burgess, Chairman, First Capital Bank, Midland, TX,
C. Boyden Gray, Former White House Counsel
Chuck Cooper, Former Director, Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel
John Ryder, General Counsel, RNC
David Norcross, fmr. RNC Gen. Counsel Tom Sansonetti, fmr RNC Gen. Counsel Mark Braden, fmr RNC Gen. Counsel
Bill Crocker, fmr RNC Gen. Counsel
Curt Levy, Pres. Cmtee for Justice
John Eastman, Director, Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence
American for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist
Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott
Former House Appropriations Chair Bob Livingston.
David Barton, Wallbuilder Pro-Family Legislators Conference
Steve Moore, Economist, former Member of the WSJ Editorial Board
Columnist Dick Morris
Peter Wallison AEI Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
McCain 2008 National Chair Charlie Black
Tea Party Patriots Co-Founder Jenny Beth Martin
Let Freedom Ring President Colin Hanna
Federalist Society Co-Founder David McIntosh
Former RNC Chair and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson
Former NRA President David Keene,
Larry Pratt, Executive Director, Gun Owners of America.
Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell
Former Secretary of the Interior Manuel Lujan
Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli
Former National Federation of Women Chair Sue Lynch
Former NFRW Chair Kathy Brugger
American Commitment President Phil Kerpen
National Taxpayers Union
National Federation of Republican Women
South Dakota Republican Party
Wyoming Republican Party
Our goal is a network of volunteer and business leaders around the nation who can bring the Regulation Freedom Amendment to the attention of at least 4000 state legislators in both parties in at least the most pro-limited government 34 states. Together with allies in Congress, this coalition could force Congress to act!
For more information contact:
Director, The Madison Coalition