Constitutional Principles & Limited Government


At the dawn of America, the people entered into a sacred contract to establish rules for self governance – the U.S. Constitution.  In this founding document, Americans conveyed very specific and limited authority to the federal government, while reserving all other powers for the people and the states.  It is crucial that Congress, the President, and the Courts strictly adhere to the Constitution when making, enforcing and interpreting the laws, and that all three branches of government acknowledge and abide by the very real limitations on federal power contained in the Constitution.

Unfortunately, in recent years we have witnessed an unprecedented expansion of the federal government that has expanded the finite authority granted to it in the Constitution into seemingly infinite authority, trampling on state and individual rights and blurring the distinction between the public and private sectors.

I am committed to the Constitution and to the constitutional principles of limited government, states’ rights, and individual liberties, and I will continue to fight hard to make sure the federal government abides by the restrictions the Constitution places on it.


  • On the second day of the 112th Congress, I was proud to lead 137 Members of the House of Representatives in demonstrating our commitment to the fundamental principles upon which this country was founded.  Nearly one third of the House of Representatives took part in this first ever reading of the Constitution on the House Floor.  I hosted this reading and chose to read aloud the 10th Amendment to the Constitution which preserves the rights of the states and individuals.

  • I fought for changes to the House rules that require each Member to list the specific Constitutional authority for each bill he or she introduces in Congress. This requirement is now included in the rules for the House of Representatives for the 112th Congress.

  • I support H.R. 973, legislation to prohibit U.S. courts from using foreign laws to interpret the U.S. Constitution.

  • Among other efforts to rein in our supersized federal government, I support legislation to prevent unnecessary regulations and red tape, to restrict unfunded mandates on state and local governments, and to repeal the unconstitutional health care law and replace it with commonsense health care reforms that comply with our Constitution.

  • I am a Member of the Congressional Constitution Caucus, which is dedicated to restoring limited government to safeguard individual liberties as intended by our Founders and prescribed by our Constitution. 

  • I am a Member of the 10th Amendment Task Force, which is dedicated to dispersing power from Washington, DC and restoring the Constitutional balance of power through liberty-enhancing federalism. 

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