Assembly 2011: House passes repeal amendment
A week after a State Senate subcommittee voted to kill an proposal that would ask Congress to give the authority to allow two thirds of the state legislatures to repeal a federal law, the House of Delegates has passed it.
Republican Delegate Jim Lemunyon of Fairfax is the House patron of the Repeal Amendment.
Lemunyon: The federal government has gradually but certainly become too big for 535 members of Congress to oversee and provide regular program review.
The repeal amendment is needed not to create an adversarial relationship with the federal government or poke Congress in the eye. It’s needed to create a partnership with Congress to conduct the oversight that Congress can no longer do because they let the federal government get too big. I think we need to keep in mind that this amendment, if it becomes part of the constitution, represents the first significant counter to federal power since the Bill of Rights.
Democratic Delegate Joe Morrissey of Henrico had a laundry list of problems with the proposal.
Morrissey: Many of our states, Alaska with 710,000 citizens, North Dakota with 672, would have the same vote as California with 36 million members. I actually take umbrage that twelve Alaskans would have the same vote as one Virginian. What if we want to repeal a law because regional state interests trump national ones? I’ve got three words, ‘American Civil War.’
We all know what’s happening here. We’re posturing and we’re pandering to our base. We’ve climbed up on that soapbox and we’ve screamed ‘States Sovereignty’ as loud as we can because it’s an election coming up.
While the House bill must now go to the Senate for consideration, it is likely to be killed just as quickly as its Senate companion version last week.
Other House bills passed yesterday that are likely headed to the Senate chopping block include a bill that would exempt products manufactured and kept in Virginia from federal regulation, another that would require a photo ID to vote and a proposal that would put additional regulations on abortion clinics.
Craig Carper, WCVE News, Capitol Square