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08 April 2010

Burlison: House Endorses State Sovereignty Measure, Attacks "Cap And Trade" Proposals

Hello, in this week’s Capitol Report I would like to discuss with you HJR 88 and the “Cap and Trade” legislation the House is working on.

House Takes Measure to Protect 10th Amendment Rights of Missouri Citizens

This week, the House of Representative passed House Joint Resolution 88, sponsored by Representative Brian Nieves.

This proposed constitutional amendment, which requires voter approval, reinforces Missouri citizen’s constitutional sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. We firmly believe the federal government should be limited only to powers granted in the Constitution – without exemption. Although at this point HJR88 is non-binding, it serves as a warning to the federal government that we do not approve of any unconstitutional mandates and federal laws forced on Missouri.

The main provisions in HJR 88 are as follows:

If any action by the three branches of government, executive, legislative, or judicial, exceeds the limited powers outlined in the United States Constitution, such action will be prohibited and not recognized by Missouri. This includes federal law, executive orders, judicial or administrative rulings, collection or dispersal of revenue, and so forth.

It prohibits the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of Missouri's government from recognizing, enforcing, or acting on federal restrictions on the right of private citizens to bear arms; federal laws legalizing or funding abortions or the destruction of human embryos; certain specified federal actions involving health care including a federal public option (which is outlined in our Health Care Freedom Act); federal actions requiring the sale or trade of carbon credits or the taxing on the release of carbon emissions (Cap and Trade); federal actions mandating the recognition of same sex marriages; federal actions increasing the penalty for a crime based on a perpetrator's thoughts or designating hate crimes; federal actions regarding the Establishment Clause based on a "wall of separation" between church and state; and federal actions restricting the right of parents or guardians to home school or enroll their children in a private or parochial school or placing restrictions on the school's curriculum.

The resolution also requires Missouri courts to interpret the United States Constitution based on its language and the intent of its signers at the time of its passage, rather than leaving interpretation up to sponsors and co-sponsors of bills.

Finally, HJR 88 allows Missouri solid ground to bring suit to enforce the provisions of the resolution.

House Urges Congress to Put a Stop to “Cap and Trade” Legislation

Cap-and-trade is a massive hidden energy tax being pushed by the President and Congress which will crush Missouri families, farmers, and businesses. In fact, the Wall Street Journal called it the “biggest tax in American history.” As energy rates rise, everyone who flips on a light switch or drives a car will be affected. This will act as a regressive tax, impacting those who spend larger portions of their incomes on energy and other necessities.

If the bill passes, Cap Energy rates will rise exponentially. In fact, the Missouri Public Utility Alliance estimated electric bills could increase by 82% by 2030— they stress this is an optimistic estimate. Estimates vary, but one thing is clear: Cap and Trade will cost Missouri thousands of jobs and raise electricity rates on the average family hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

President Obama admitted the legislation would cause electricity rates to “skyrocket.”

"When I was asked earlier about the issue of coal, you know, under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket," Then Sen. Barack Obama, in an interview with San Francisco Chronicle Editorial Board, 1/17/08.

By supporting the cap-and-trade energy tax, Democrats have directly attacked Missouri’s two largest industries—agriculture and tourism—along with every business in the state. One version of the bill (H.R. 2454 in 2009) would have established a national building code for commercial and residential buildings, requiring a 30 percent reduction in energy use immediately after passage and an additional 50 percent reduction in energy use by 2014—meaning that bureaucrats in Washington will tell you how to build your house.

Republicans in the Missouri House of Representatives recently took a stand against Cap and Trade, sending a clear message to President Obama and Congress.

House Concurrent Resolution 46, sponsored by Representative Doug Funderburk, passed out of the House and was sent to the Senate in late March. HCR 46 opposes the Cap and Trade bill – urging Congress to stop their progress on the legislation and urges the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to put an end to the pressure they put on Congress and the President.

We are also asking the EPA rescind the recent decision made regarding the formal endangerment finding on greenhouse gases, seeing as the evidence was deemed to be flawed by the scientific community.

It is imperative we allow proven scientific measures and technological advances to help guide us in our environmental decisions. Direction to the federal government from the EPA should not be the sole source – especially when they try to control legislative objectives coming out of Congress which have harmful effects on our state and our citizens.

Just like the auto bailouts, the so-called stimulus bill, and the proposed government takeover of health care, the government is using ‘global warming’ as an excuse to assert more control over private business, industry, and on families – and in the Missouri House of Representatives, we won’t stand for it.

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