Questionable Constitutional Authority Statement
of the Week
- Bill: H.R. 1401, Democratizing the Federal Reserve System Act
- Introduced by: Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)
- Constitutional Authority Statement: “Article 1 Section 8”
Why this is an inadequate explanation: Article 1, Section 8 contains a list of legislative powers granted to the Congress, each of which could individually be cited to justify congressional action. However, a reference to the entire section does not specifically explain the constitutional justification for a bill. By the logic of this statement above, Congress has the power to do anything.
How to fix this statement: A better Constitutional Authority Statement would need to explain from where in the Constitution the Congress derives the authority to pass this particular legislation above. While citing the section which grants Congress particular powers is good, a more thorough statement should cite at least one specific clause of constitutional authority. Ideally, a thorough statement would also be accompanied by at least one sentence of explanation.
To see previous “Questionable Constitutional Authority Statements,” as well as advice for drafting your office’s Constitutional Authority Statements, go here.
RSC Staff Contacts for these weekly emails: Rick.Eberstadt@mail.house.gov and Paul.Teller@mail.house.gov.