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Mack IV: 112th Should Be the ‘Repeal Congress’

The results of the historic 2010 elections have given us the opportunity to change course and restore our Constitutional government. The principles of limited government that were so fiercely protected by our nation’s founders have been trampled upon by Members of Congress who have sworn to uphold the Constitution and unelected, overzealous bureaucrats who seek to regulate every aspect of our lives.

One does not need to look further than the massive nationalized health care behemoth known as Obamacare as evidence of this overregulation.

But it doesn’t stop there.

The extremely intrusive security screenings by the Transportation Security Administration, the Federal Highway Administration’s ruling requiring local communities to reformat street signs that use all capital letters and even the mandate that Americans use compact fluorescent light bulbs instead of incandescent ones by 2014 are all the proof one needs that the federal government has gone too far.

And it’s not done yet. Later this month, President Barack Obama’s Federal Communications Commission chairman, Julius Genachowski, is expected to issue burdensome new rules governing Internet access despite a recent ruling from a federal appellate court stating that Congress has not granted the organization the authority to regulate the Internet.

This is government run amok, and it’s time to stand up and say enough is enough.

Of course, Congressional actions are always justified as being what’s best for the people. We are continually told that Congress and federal regulators are acting in our best interest and are simply looking out for our health and safety.

In reality, this means ceding more of our independence to Washington, continued out-of-control spending, endless deficits and, perhaps most importantly, the loss of freedom that was so cherished by our Founding Fathers.

Congressional leaders and the continually growing number of unelected bureaucrats no longer trust us to make personal decisions about our health care or how we feed our children. For example, in an effort to combat childhood obesity, the federal government has assumed the role of super-parent and will dictate what our children eat at school.

In “The Conscience of a Conservative,” former Arizona GOP Senator and presidential candidate Barry Goldwater wrote, “My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden.”

Unfortunately, Goldwater’s wise words have fallen on deaf ears in the halls of Congress.

Too many Members of Congress believe there is a federal solution to each and every one of life’s ills and have sent us on a long journey down the road to serfdom. Unfortunately, too many Members on both sides of the aisle fail to recognize that the federal government has caused many of the problems facing American families, small businesses and local communities. We’re drowning in a sea of red tape, unconstitutional laws and unnecessary federal regulations that would have been unimaginable to our nation’s Founding Fathers.

The framers of the Constitution rightly understood that government should be limited, decentralized and that the people grant its authority. As James Madison wrote in Federalist 45, “[t]he powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State Governments are numerous and indefinite.”

Fast-forward to 2010, and Madison and Thomas Jefferson would be appalled not only by the size and scope of the federal bureaucracy but by the power it exerts over the states. We now have to ask permission from the federal government to participate in even the most mundane of activities.

But it is not too late to follow in Goldwater’s footsteps and champion freedom through repeal. Therefore, I will lead an effort to ensure the 112th Congress is remembered as the “Repeal Congress.”

In January 2011, I will begin introducing legislation to repeal unconstitutional and unnecessary laws and regulations that our masters in Washington, with all of their wisdom, have decided to force upon us. We labor under more unnecessary laws than ever before; a thorough examination of the United States Code, followed by a strong repeal effort, is long overdue.

Voters could not have sent a clearer message this past November: The federal government is overreaching, and not only must it stop, it needs to be put in reverse.

Rep. Connie Mack IV (R) represents Florida’s 14th district.

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