"Dear Mr. XXXXX,
Thank you for writing to express your concern regarding the constitutionality of recent bills. I offer my sincere apology for the delay in my response, and I hope I can still be of service to you.
I absolutely support your idea to require all Congressional bills to begin with a reference to the constitutional authority behind them. In fact, in June of last year, I joined with 23 co-sponsors to introduce the Enumerated Powers Act (S. 1319), proposing exactly that requirement.
The act also contains point of order provisions that would enable members of Congress to hold their colleagues accountable to their constitutional oaths. Some members of Congress would undoubtedly continue to ignore constitutional boundaries, but this act would provide a compelling tool with which American citizens could hold their representatives accountable.
Our founders left us a remarkable document that contains the power to preserve our freedoms for generations to come, and I am convinced the immediate passage of the Enumerated Powers Act is essential. The proposal was referred to the Committee on Rules and Administration, and I spoke on its behalf the following day. No further action has been taken by the Committee. My hope is that citizens like you will take the lead in your communities and rally Americans to call for the enactment of this measure and to hold our elected leaders accountable to its premises.
State leaders can also find many ways to be strong in the face of federal encroachment. In fact, the State of Oklahoma, in its 51st Legislature (2008), passed a resolution claiming sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment, and serving notice to the federal government to "to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers." Oklahoma legislators are currently working on other pieces of legislation designed to protect states' rights. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to contact your representatives in the state legislature. You can find their contact information <a href="http://www.capitolconnect.com/oklahoma/default.aspx">here</a>.
Thank you again for your email and for your interest in our nation's return to its founding principles. I welcome any additional thoughts you may have, and I look forward to hearing from you in the future.
Tom A. Coburn, M.D.
United States Senator