STAUNTON, VA – Delegates Richard P. “Dickie” Bell announced today that he has signed on as a co-patron of House Joint Resolution 542 in the 2011 Session of the General Assembly that convenes on January 12. House Joint Resolution 542 was introduced by Delegate James LeMunyon (R-Fairfax/Loudon), and 19 co-patrons including Delegate Bell.
House Joint Resolution 542 calls for a 28th amendment to the United States Constitution, which would permit states to repeal federal laws and regulations if two-thirds of the states act in unison to do so. HJ 542 requests that the U.S. Congress call an amendment convention pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution for the purpose of proposing this amendment.
“I am proud to join Speaker Howell, Delegate LeMunyon, and the 17 other co-patrons of this resolution.” said Delegate Bell. “I believe the Repeal Amendment will help restore the balance of power between the federal government and state governments that was originally intended by our founders. This amendment would allow state governments to have some form of remedy when the federal government oversteps its authority.”
“In a time where we see a great deal of federal overreach in the form of mandates, deficit spending, and a climbing national debt, I believe the repeal amendment could create a better partnership between state and federal governments by offering a non-partisan check on the authority of the federal government.” he added.
The repeal amendment has gained considerable interest in numerous other states as well. In order for the amendment to be adopted as part of the United States Constitution, 34 states must call a convention, and if approved, it must be ratified by 38 states. Congress may also approve the amendment by a two-thirds vote in each House followed by ratification in 38 states.
More information about the national Repeal Amendment effort can be found at www.RepealAmendment.org.
Elected to the House of Delegates in 2009, Delegate Bell represents the 20th District, which includes Highland County, portions of Augusta and Rockingham Counties, and the City of Staunton.
The text of the Repeal Amendment is as follows:
Any provision of law or regulation of the United States may be repealed by the several states, and such repeal shall be effective when the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states approve resolutions for this purpose that particularly describe the same provision or provisions of law or regulation to be repealed.
The Text of House Joint Resolution 542 is as follows:
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 542
Offered January 12, 2011
Prefiled December 15, 2010
Making application to the Congress of the United States to call an amendment convention pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution for the purpose of proposing a constitutional amendment that permits the repeal of any federal law or regulation by vote of two-thirds of the state legislatures.
WHEREAS, Article I of the United States Constitution begins “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress”; and
WHEREAS, the Congress has exceeded the legislative powers granted in the Constitution thereby encroaching on the powers that are “reserved to the states respectively, or to the people” as the Tenth Amendment affirms and the rights “retained by the people” to which the Ninth Amendment refers; and
WHEREAS, this encroachment includes the accumulation of federal debt, which combined with interest represents a future tax, and is of such great proportion that responsibility for its payment will be passed to future, unborn generations of Americans to assume without their consent, thereby disparaging their rights; and
WHEREAS, this encroachment also includes compelling state and local governments to comply with federal laws and regulations without accompanying funding for such mandates; and
WHEREAS, in Federalist No. 85, Alexander Hamilton wrote in reference to Article V of the Constitution and the calling of a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments that, “We may safely rely on the disposition of the State legislatures to erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority”; and
WHEREAS, the Constitution should be amended in order to halt federal encroachment and restore a proper balance between the powers of Congress and those of the several states, and to prevent the denial or disparagement of the rights retained by the people; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the Commonwealth of Virginia hereby applies to the Congress of the United States to call an amendment convention pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution for the purpose of proposing a constitutional amendment that permits the repeal of any federal law or regulation by vote of two-thirds of the state legislatures. The Virginia Delegation to such convention, when called, shall propose the following amendment:
“Any provision of law or regulation of the United States may be repealed by the several states, and such repeal shall be effective when the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states approve resolutions for this purpose that particularly describe the same provision or provisions of law or regulation to be repealed.”; and, be it
RESOLVED FURTHER, That this resolution is revoked and withdrawn, nullified, and superseded to the same effect as if it had never been passed, and retroactive to the date of passage, if it is used for the purpose of calling a convention or used in support of conducting a convention to amend the Constitution of the United States for any purpose other than consideration of the amendment proposed in this resolution; and, be it
RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Commonwealth of Virginia reserves its right to add future amendments as the legislature deems warranted to this application; and, be it
RESOLVED FURTHER, That delegates to such convention, when called, be selected according to procedures established by the legislatures of the several states; and, be it
RESOLVED FINALLY, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates transmit copies of this resolution to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the President of the United States Senate, and the members of the Virginia Congressional Delegation so that they may be apprised of the sense of the General Assembly of Virginia in this matter.
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