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Bill Protecting Our State’s Rights Passes House

February 2, 2010

Office of the Speaker



February 2, 2010

Contact: Greg Foster

(803) 734-3125

Bill Protecting Our State’s Rights Passes House

Lawmakers send a strong message to Congress

(Columbia, SC) – Today, the South Carolina House of Representatives passed a measure that affirms rights given to states expressively defined by the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution.  Recent overreaching by the federal government has pushed the limit of federal accumulation of power at the expense of the states it collectively represents.  This bill reaffirms rights granted to the states and implores the members of Congress to abide by the Constitution they took an oath to uphold.

House Speaker Bobby Harrell issued the following statement about the passage of today’s bill that moves to protect our state’s rights:

“Today, we sent a message to Congress – South Carolina believes that the federal government is engaging in an unprecedented takeover of power from the states.  While there is no law we can pass to stop them, it is important to make our position and the position of our constituents known to the federal government.

“The opposition to this simple statement of principle was astounding.  Over four days of debate, Democrats threw up multiple roadblocks and spent endless hours talking against the resolution in an effort to kill the measure – Republicans spent less than 16 minutes speaking in favor of the resolution.  Most members wanted to vote and move on, because issues like job creation, ESC reform and education were sidelined while the Democrats debated themselves for four days.

“Our freedom is what makes our country great.  Our founding fathers made it clear that the protection of those rights and freedoms set forward in the Constitution were paramount to the survival of our nation.  This core belief is what moved the South Carolina Legislature to take up this measure reaffirming those rights.

“Over the past several years, we have witnessed an incredible expansion of power and influence taken by the federal government.  From the passage of a national Real ID to the recent attempt to socialize health care, the federal government is eroding away our constitutionally granted rights that empower individual states.

“This piece of legislation is a key component of our ‘Protecting State’s Rights’ 2010 agenda item.  Last year – in an effort led by Rep. Mike Pitts and others – the House passed H. 3509, a bill affirming South Carolina’s 9th and 10th Amendment rights that powers not expressively granted to the federal government by the Constitution shall be left up to the states to decide.  Because of increased federal overreaching, the Senate further expanded this bill (S. 424) to include even more rights defined in the Bill of Rights.”

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