On Tuesday, Republican Congressman Kerry Bentivolio co-sponsored his first bill, the Enumerated Powers Act (H.R. 109).
Bentivolio represents Michigan's new 11th Congressional District, which includes Novi and Northville.
According to a press release, the bill requires Congress to specify the source of authority under the United States Constitution for the enactment of laws.
“I am proud that the first bill I am co-sponsoring holds Congress accountable for its highest duty of upholding the Constitution,” Bentivolio said. “I was sent to Congress to protect our rights, not take them away. If this bill is enacted, it will act as a safeguard against unconstitutional legislation.”
In 2011, the House adopted a new rule requiring that a Constitutional Authority Statement is attached to each bill or resolution in the House. The purpose was to provide the authority given to Congress to pass a law, the press release indicated.
In December 2012, the Republican Study Committee found that many members of Congress were providing incomplete statements or simply citing the preamble.
The Enumerated Powers Act, introduced by Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia, seeks to strengthen the Constitutional Authority Statement by requiring a concise and definite statement of authority, according to the release. Members of Congress will be able to hold their colleagues accountable for their oath to uphold the Constitution by calling for a “point of order” on inadequate or flawed statements.
The bill has been referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.