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So-called Repeal Amendment passes House

An effort of conservatives nationwide that would permit the repeal of any federal law or regulation by a vote of two-thirds of the state legislatures has passed the Virginia House of Delegates.

The so-called Repeal Amendment passed the House today by a 59-34 vote. The measure is backed by House Speaker Bill Howell, a Republican who was the first state lawmaker in the country to offer his support for the initiative calling for a 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

“Checks and balances are at the heart of the U.S. Constitution, and the Repeal Amendment is a timely and thoughtful check on the threat to American liberties posed by our presently out-of-control federal Congress and federal government. Like many, I believe the Repeal Amendment will help restore the proper balance of power between the states and the federal government as contemplated by our founding fathers. With no constitutional requirement for a balanced federal budget, overwhelming levels of national debt, unbridled federal mandates and unconscionable deficit spending by Washington that has mortgaged the futures of current and unborn generations, it is the duty of leaders and concerned citizens to use every tool available to help restore the health and integrity of our republic,” Howell said.

As is evidenced by the tone to Howell’s comments, the legislation is more a paean to the conservative base than anything that would be anticipated to have meaningful impact on public policy. Howell himself seemed to indicate his feelings to that degree in a followup comment in a press statement on the passage of the bill in the House.

“Getting two thirds of state legislatures to agree on repealing a federal law or regulation will not be easy or commonplace. It will happen only if the law or rule is highly unpopular. But, perhaps its most important effect would be deterring further expansion of federal power at the expense of the sovereign people and state governments. That would be a positive step forward,” Howell said.

Story by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at

augusta free press
augusta free press