Three Commitments Conservatives Should Get From a New Speaker

The Republican Conference will elect a new speaker soon.  When Republican House members consider who the next speaker should be, they should bear in mind that equivocating about conservatism cannot be allowed to take the place of executing a conservative legislative agenda.  Here are three commitments conservatives in the House should get from a potential speaker.  These commitments will help move a conservative agenda in the House.

Return power to the people:  The 10th Amendment to the Constitution states that, “[t]he powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”  That straightforward language makes clear that the people have the power unless the Constitution gives it to the federal government.  And the Constitution leaves most of the power to the people of the United States.

However, for approximately the last 100 years, the legislative branch has made a mockery of this amendment.  The federal government has involved itself in areas where the Founders never intended them to engage.  Education, transportation, healthcare, and the environment are some of the many areas in which the federal government has legislated contrary to what the 10th Amendment allows.  The result is an excess of bureaucracy, regulation, and constraints on liberty.

A new speaker should have as a priority returning power to the people, and announcing a “glide path to freedom,” where federal programs that overstep the bounds of the 10th Amendment are identified, prioritized, and legislation moved in committee and on the floor to roll them back over a period of several years.  This will allow the states a glide path to readjust to a return to constitutional normality.  Such a grace period will provide an orderly and predictable way to transfer power from the federal government back to the states, where much of it rightly belongs.